After being blessed with being a managing leader for so many years, I have found that employees, many times, would rather tell their friends and family outside of work and even other managers in ancillary departments about their work environment than say a thing to their managers.
I have often been that other manager to whom employees come for advice or just to vent. I feel their pain.
I am sure that there are many more things that employees are not telling their organizations that I have not listed here. I am providing some of the top level things that employees don’t openly share and why I think they are reluctant to do so.

1. They really just want you to care about them as people.

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I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.-Tony Hsieh


Keeping customers and employees is not rocket science. Well, let me say this differently: If you are willing to invest a little time, and you truly care about people on your team and those with whom you work, keeping good employees is not hard at all.
It does take energy. Your energy will be well spent. It will pay off in big ways.

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!

RELATED: Enroll in the Employee Loyalty Leader boot camp

2.  They are in many ways afraid to provide honest feedback

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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.

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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.

RELATED: The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty

5. Many are looking at new opportunities to GROW inside or outside of your organization.

I recently read a crazy statistic that about 75% of U.S. employees are job searching. There are a variety of reasons why they are doing so. Some I have already listed in this article.
One point I have not made, though, is that employees are looking to grow and develop themselves through the work they do for organizations.
Sure, they are there to perform a job function for which they were hired, but they have an expectation that the organization will help them get better through training and development opportunities.
If they are unable to find or be offered an opportunity to grow with one organization, they are very likely to jump ship to go where they feel these opportunities are front and center.
Make it your business to be a place where opportunities to be better everyday exist all around!

RELATED: Capture the Voice of your Employees and Do Something About What You Hear!

So, you might be wondering why employees don’t share these things and more! In fact, I would venture to guess that you have a pretty good idea. Below are a few reasons why employees are reluctant to share the points above:
  1. They are afraid of the response their managers might provide.
  2. Their managers and the organizations for which they work have made it quite clear that they are not interested in hearing the truth.
  3. They think it’s silly to have this type of conversation about work.
  4. They are apathetic that anything will change if they do broach it.
  5. If it does not go well, they lose more of their dignity, and maybe even their jobs.
So, the question remains: Would you be more likely to choose and stay at a place where you felt you were cared for as an individual, where you trusted your leaders, where you were not afraid to provide honest feedback, where you did work that was meaningful to you and were recognized for doing it often and where it was very clear that the organization would invest in your professional development? I know my answer to this question. What is yours?
Thank you for reading this post. I would love to hear your thoughts. Please do share it with anyone you feel would benefit.