Leaders are always trying to communicate what they expect from their employees. While such downward communication is very important, most leaders often don’t pay enough attention to creating a stream of upward communication. Just like you have expectations from your employees, they too expect their leaders to act a certain way. By understanding what your employees want from you, you can establish a two-way communication system that can help you meet your and the organization’s goals much faster. So take the time to listen to and appreciate your employees. Here are 6 things most employees what from their boss.
When your employee performs well, don’t just acknowledge it with a “good job” or a “keep it up”. Instead be more specific, like, “I appreciate the way you coordinated with different departments to get this report ready. You’ve got really good people skills.” As leader, be specific when recognizing your employees’ contributions.
Whether it’s the elevator or in the office cafeteria, make use of every opportunity to interact with your employees and engage in a dynamic discussion with them. Employees need to know regularly that their work is being appreciated. Thank them for their efforts in a staff meeting or send out an email appreciating their contribution.
Employees often withhold their best ideas from leaders who always have the right answer or who take credit for others’ ideas. As a leader, create an environment where employees can freely share ideas and inputs. Also, allowing them to share their ideas and recognizing their efforts will make them more accountable.
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The market environment can be very dynamic and take-overs and mergers are always a possibility. Companies today change so quickly that information is withheld until the last minute. This is a huge distraction for employees, who need to know the truth about their futures. Leaders will gain deep respect when they share as much as they know as soon as they can share it.
Studies have shown that lack of regular feedback affects employee motivation and productivity. Don’t wait for a performance review to tell people how they’re doing. Instead, have regular team meetings and one-on-one discussions to share feedback and set expectations. When your employees know what they need to do, delivering becomes that more easier for them.
As a leader, your employees look up to you to have the answers. Share your positive experiences and your learning with them. Employees like and trust leaders who not only are smart but can occasionally lean back and laugh at their own mistakes and who are honest about the lessons life has taught them.