The 4 Things Employees Need From Their Employers
The Big Quit. The Great Resignation. The Turnover Tsunami. There are many names for this era of employees making the decision to leave their jobs en masse. A variety of factors have led to this, but the fact is that a large number of employees are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their work lives. Over time, as more of the older generation leave the workforce and more of the younger generation enter it, attitudes and priorities for a workplace environment evolve, and companies need to evolve with them.
Let’s explore four basic concepts that employees need out of their work lives.
The foundation of the employer-employee relationship is trust. Of course, an employee must be trusted to do a job well done, but there are arguably more trust implications with the employer. An employer who is not trustworthy does not have a healthy relationship with their employees. This can lead to the employee feeling isolated and alone. A company of people who cannot trust their leadership erodes their own ability to communicate with each other, and the employees begin operating as their own “micro-companies” who coexist despite one another. The work is slow and inefficient, the workers are lonely and depressed, and the company suffers as a whole.
Relationships are the currency of the future. Trust must be established and consistently demonstrated in order to create and preserve healthy working relationships between employers and employees. Employees who trust their leadership are more engaged, communicate better, and bring their best ideas forward.
This trust goes beyond an employer’s words, but an employer’s actions as well. Volatility can destroy one’s relationship with their employees just as quickly as a lack of trust. Employees need to know that their employer will support them consistently, in the good times and the bad times. If employees are worried about being thrown under the bus by their employer at a moment’s notice, they will never be fully transparent and communicative. This leads to an excess of stress while at work, a feeling of dread when away, and a lack of focus or productivity overall.
Of course, mistakes should be addressed and corrected; that is the only way for the employee and the company at large to improve its processes. But this must always be handled in a way that is constructive, and never as a personal attack.
Trust and stability are the bare essentials to a relationship with one’s employees, but in order to have a truly great relationship, you need compassion. It requires having that empathy to realize that – no matter the hierarchy of the company – people are people. They have lives, they have feelings, and they deserve to be treated with care and respect. An employer would be well served to treat their employees with the same level of dignity and compassion as they would their own superior. With any luck, those employees will not only reciprocate that compassion back to their employer, but pass along that same level of compassion to one’s customers. This is an excellent way to establish loyalty, not only with the employees, but with the customers as well.
When employees feel that they can trust their employer, that there is stability within the organization, that their employer is compassionate toward them; only then do they have hope for their future with the company. They must be able to see their fellow employees being recognized and rewarded for their successes, be it in the form of a promotion, a pay raise, or otherwise. These cannot be incentivized or promised as a dangling carrot only to be dismissed later. As previously discussed, this breaks the bond of trust between employer and employee. When employers present their employees with opportunities to excel in their work, employees stay motivated to elevate their work lives, which breeds loyalty, productivity, and hope.