We have all been dealing with COVID-19 and the effects this pandemic has caused on all of our businesses and especially on managers/supervisors who are trying to manage their staff in a virtual world. During this time of year, we are all thinking about what presents and gifts we can give to those who are dear to us that are meaningful and well thought out. But there is a population – our employees – who we may not give actual “presents” to. The following are some things that they actually want and need all year long.
It is important to understand what employees are saying they need and want from their manager, now more than ever. There are seven needs and wants that managers should pay attention to in order to maintain an engaged and productive workforce.
- Trust – The ability to trust goes both ways. Employees need to know that their manager is providing them with the facts regarding their jobs and duties and then allowing them to carry out those job duties without being micromanaged. Managers need to be sure they are providing clear and concise direction to their employees.
- Listened to – Employees need to tell their manager about any concerns or issues they may have and want to be sure they are heard. Managers need to listen to those concerns and then act appropriately on them.
- Consistent Messages – Managers need to make sure that they are delivering consistent messages to their employees about things that are happening in the workplace and with their jobs. Managers need to be consistent in what they are telling all their employees as employees will talk to each other.
- Flexibility – Employees need to know that their manager will be flexible regarding work hours, assignments, and their individual specific needs as it pertains to current working conditions. Managers who remain flexible and consistent will have an engaged workforce.
- Clear Expectations – Employees need to receive their manager’s expectations of a project or work assignment in a clear and concise way. Managers need to listen to questions and provide answers that are meaningful for the employee.
- Honest Communication – This goes without saying – managers must tell the truth! If you don’t know the answer, just say so. Faking an answer doesn’t do anyone any good. It is okay to let the employee know that you will get back to them (set a timeframe) with the right answer.
- Respect – Again, this is a two-way street. Respect is the most important thing between a manager and an employee. Employees would like their manager to respect their opinions, thoughts, ideas, comments and work product and vice versa. Managers should be positive about what someone shares, listen and then provide constructive feedback.
Giving your employees these seven things all year long will get you an engaged, productive and happy employee. What more could you ask for as a manager?!