The 5 Things Bosses Want to Hear from Employees

Yesterday’s Advisor featured four characteristics of great onboarding programs. Today we shift to leadership and take a look at a new study highlighting boss/employee relations—including five things that bosses wish their employees would tell them.

Managers and leaders make contributions every day to ensure their employees’ success. Building a strong relationship with your supervisor is crucial to understanding each other’s expectations, maintaining quality performance output, and achieving overall job satisfaction. In fact, 28% of employees would rather have a better boss than a $5,000 raise, according to the Randstad USA Employee Engagement Study.

“Not only is a healthy boss/employee relationship integral to overall career happiness, it is vital to positively affecting the company’s bottom line,” said Jim Link, chief human resources officer for Randstad North America. “In fact, our study found that employers truly believe their company would be more successful if they listened to employees’ ideas and feedback more often. After all, communication is key to discovering what drives employees, enhances morale, and improves employee retention.”

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Given that the majority of employers say they are inspired by their employees, it is important for managers to create an open and honest communication atmosphere that allows employees to feel comfortable voicing their feedback. In turn, employees must take advantage of such opportunities to express their ideas and concerns.

Here are five things bosses wish their employees would say to them:

  1. “I want to demonstrate that I’m capable of doing more.” Employers want their employees to feel comfortable sharing their career aspirations. Doing so allows employers to better understand an employee’s goals so they can work together to develop their individual career path. Managers should create benchmarks for success and hold employees accountable for taking the necessary steps to meet those expectations.
  2. “I have a solution to a problem we have in the workplace.” Workers often feel their feedback does not matter to their managers or senior leaders. Employers can remedy this by focusing on engagement from the employee perspective rather than leave it to the top executives. This helps to instill greater transparency between supervisors and workers, as some of the best ideas to maximize performance, innovation, and company culture come from the employees themselves.

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  1. “I’m looking to strengthen my skillset.” While managers may feel they are furthering their workers’ careers by giving them more work, not nearly as many employees would agree. Employees should communicate the desire for more opportunities to attend conferences and workshops or to pursue degree programs that complement their skill sets. Managers can then keep an eye out for projects they think their employees would thrive and excel in.
  2. “I’m ready to move my career forward, and I’m considering other opportunities.” It is very common, especially for entry level professionals, to switch companies or careers every 1 to 2 years. When employees are ready for a change, managers can take the time to show them any growth opportunities that exist within the company. This helps to retain valuable talent that can positively increase the company’s bottom line and earn loyalty from employees that feel the company is truly investing in their success.
  3. “I have some ideas on how to improve staff morale.” Workplace happiness is a two-way street. Sometimes even the most well-intentioned managers can overlook problems in the workplace. Employees must take it upon themselves to bring forward any issues or suggest solutions for improvements. Workers can suggest an employee engagement survey or an open discussion among the team that the manager can facilitate.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Ipsos on behalf of Randstad USA from June 10–26, 2015, and included 2,279 employed adults aged 18 and older. The data was weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, education, and ethnicity. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error.

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