• mjharbaugh

On What Your Employees REALLY Want?

Updated: Feb 10


Think you know… think again! As a leader, have you fallen into this all too frequent attitude trap?


I always get a lot of positive feedback when I publish this information... so we will keep doing our research and keep publishing the findings, even though the results haven't appreciably changed in decades!


We’ll keep doing it because it's important to everyone that is responsible for leading others. It's important because, as leaders, our primary responsibility is getting results with and through others... that's it. If we can understand and apply the truth about what others are feeling and needing, we put ourselves in a much better position to be successful in the one thing we are paid to do.


The Research

When asked to rank the most important contributors to maintaining high employee morale, supervisors and managers are often surprised to find that their ideas are not aligned with what their employees think. This fact has been studied and documented over many years, with tens of thousands of employees and managers, in every conceivable organizational setting, all across the country. The results have been remarkably similar and consistent.

Here is the latest aggregate rankings of what employees want, and what their managers think they want... if you are in a leadership role, what will you do with this knowledge?


Findings: Management’s Perspective

In rank order, supervisory and manager groups believe employees want:

1. High wages

2. Job security

3. Promotion in the company

4. Good working conditions

5. Interesting work

6. Personal loyalty of supervisor

7. Tactful discipline

8. Full appreciation of work done

9. Help on personal problems

10. Feeling of being in on things


Findings: Employee’s Perspective

However, when employees are asked to rank order the same issues, they say they want:

1. Full appreciation of work done

2. Feeling of being in on things

3. Help on personal problems

4. Job security

5. High wages

6. Interesting work

7. Promotion in the company

8. Personal loyalty of supervisor

9. Good working conditions

10. Tactful discipline


Okay, So What?

Note that the top three items sought by employees are the bottom three felt to be important for them by their supervisors.


Why are supervisory evaluations so drastically different from those of their employees?


What dynamic does this create in your organization on a daily basis?


Under these circumstances, what is the likely-hood that everyone is working at their top level of productivity every day?


Imagine what would happen if your team leaders, supervisors, and managers put this knowledge into practice, and focused their efforts on helping address those areas that are most important to their employees?


What would that allow you to do that you can't do now?


Imagine that!!


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