1. They really just want you to care about them as people.
I remember working in an organization where many people felt like a number or just a means to add more revenue to the bottom line for leadership’s bonus checks. Employees were really dragging and I fielded many complaints and concerns simply because I was a willing listener.
If you are someone who is truly interested in creating a more open work culture and increasing engagement with your employees, try caring more. You will be surprised by the results!
2. They are in many ways afraid to provide honest feedback
I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.–Elon Musk
I have read many leadership books and articles about great leaders, and the one thing they all have in common is that they were constantly striving to be better than they were the day before….at everything!
I have to admit that I have received some very painful feedback as a manager and a leader at different points in my career.
Did I stop and think about it? Yes.
Did I shed some tears? Yes.
In the end, though, I was better for it. I used it as an opportunity to grow.
This is where many managers slip up and really lose out on a huge opportunity to be better than they are today and well into the future. Their team members or other employees within the organization have a lot to say to everyone else, but not so to their own managers.
Managers, take note!
Commit to listening with an open mind.
Don’t be that frightful leader who makes people hide in their offices or behind masks for fear of telling you the truth. Provide positive recognition for those who speak up in respectful ways.
You will develop a closer bond to your team and follow in the steps of the great leaders before you!
3. They often do not trust their manager or senior leaders.
Leadership without mutual trust is a contradiction in terms. Warren Bennis
It’s awfully hard to expect more from employees when they do not trust their leaders. Usually, employees distrust their leaders based upon a compilation of actions or inaction by leaders over the course of their working lives.
To promote a healthy trusting environment, firstly between managers and their teams, managers should focus on having truly sincere conversations with their employees. Disingenuous dialogue does nothing to build trust. Remember, too, that actions speak louder than words (although sincere verbal recognition is great!)
Lead by example.
Seek to understand.
Trust them to do their jobs and they will trust you.
Have fun building that spirit of trust!
4. Their pay is not as important as doing meaningful work that is recognized often.
Gallup defines engaged employees as “those who are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace.” In 2014, Gallup reported that only 31.5% percent of employees were engaged.–Gallup 2014 Report on Employee Engagement
This is an important point and one that anyone–either in a leadership role or interested in being in a leadership role–should get excited about.
Leaders can positively impact their employee engagement results.
Talk to your employees.
Find out what they find meaningful.
Ask them what they would do for work if money were no object.
Find a way to make it happen, even in a small way, at work.
Then, recognize their work and show them how what they do contributes to organizational success. After reading much of the research on this topic, I can tell you that paying them fairly is a good thing, but it is not the most important thing. Strive to have all of your employees in the “Engaged” category.
5. Many are looking at new opportunities to GROW inside or outside of your organization.
- They are afraid of the response their managers might provide.
- Their managers and the organizations for which they work have made it quite clear that they are not interested in hearing the truth.
- They think it’s silly to have this type of conversation about work.
- They are apathetic that anything will change if they do broach it.
- If it does not go well, they lose more of their dignity, and maybe even their jobs.