What Do Employees Want from Their Leaders? 7 Leadership Tips to Follow

what do employees want from their leaders

As an employer and leader, you have the responsibility of guiding your team of employees. Workers want and expect certain leadership qualities from you. However, they may not always tell you what they need. This begs the question, What do employees want from their leaders?

What do employees want from their leaders?

Employees need reliable leaders to grow. Use strong leadership skills to increase productivity, improve communication, and encourage employee engagement.

Read on to learn seven things employees want (and need) from leaders.

what do employees want from their leaders

1. Less micromanagement

A sure way to weaken your workforce is to micromanage. Employees want leaders who trust them to work independently.

Constantly managing your employees’ tasks can stress out employees, prevent ideas, and reduce employee independence. And, micromanaging can waste your and other employees’ time.

Micromanagement can drive employees away and cause you to lose top talent. Allow employees to thrive by cutting down on micromanaging. Build an environment that encourages innovation and allows employees to think for themselves. The more independent your workers are, the better.

2. Recognition and appreciation

One source states that recognition is the number one things managers could give employees to inspire great work. Employees want to be seen by managers and executive leaders. And, they need recognition and appreciation to know where they stand.

Ask yourself if you are giving employees enough recognition. Make sure to take time to recognize employees for a job well done. And, show your appreciation to encourage them further.

Consider having routine reviews to discuss performance and give constructive feedback, such as twice per year or every quarter. Mention what you appreciate, areas the worker has improved on, and what they need to work on.

You can show your appreciation with a bonus, raise, or additional paid time off. If your business budget cannot afford those rewards, consider taking employees out to lunch as a thank you instead.

3. Care

Showing employees that you care is simple, but effective. You don’t have to become best friends with workers. However, you should know how to engage with employees and find out who they are outside of work.

What employees want are leaders they feel comfortable around. Something as small as checking in on employees after tough weeks or discussing mutual hobbies shows employees that you care. Aim to balance work- and life-related topics in the workplace.

4. Listen to employees

Listening to employees is just as important as employees listening to you. Some leaders tend to talk at employees, rather than listening to what they have to offer. Employees want their voices heard. Wouldn’t you?

You may feel the urge to intervene instead of letting employees speak. Listen carefully to help guide employees in the right direction.

Be open to suggestions and listen to employees’ ideas. Sometimes the best recommendations come from less experienced workers.

5. Honest feedback

A little feedback can go a long way. Waiting a few months or part of the year can be a long time for employees to go without feedback. Employees want honest feedback outside of performance reviews.

According to one source, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Providing feedback is a pivotal role of leaders and employers. Not offering feedback can set employees up for failure.

Use positive feedback to help employees stay on the right track. And, give employees feedback on a regular basis. What areas can they improve on? Did they go above and beyond?

For example, say a customer raves about an employee’s customer service. Take the time to inform the employee about the customer’s review and give them feedback about their performance.

6. Clear communication

Communication is key, right? Employees want leaders who regularly communicate with them about tasks, issues, and solutions. And, employees like knowing your expectations from the get-go.

Keep employees up-to-date to prevent miscommunication and other problems. Ensuring everyone is on the same page allows employees to remain focused and be in the loop.

Think about different ways to effectively communicate as a leader. Does something need to be sent in an email? Should you discuss the topic in person? Timing and tone make a big difference in communication. Deliberate your objectives to help craft motivational and reassuring discussions.

7. Challenges

As a leader, you likely know employees’ strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. Great leaders use strengths and weaknesses to bring out the best in employees.

Consider challenging your employees to improve weaknesses and enhance strengths. Challenges allow employees to shape skills.

For example, you may pair up employees with different strengths to work on a project. That way, they can learn from each other, develop new skill sets, and perform better than ever.

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