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What employees really want

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Sure, every worker dreams of his or her manager handing out a large raise, but there is more on an employee wish list than money. Here’s what else employees would choose if they could:


Simply put, workers at every level enjoy being around welcoming, happy people. Take a moment to chat with staff members. Ask employees questions, and stick around to hear their answers.


Workers value work-life balance and appreciate a manager who helps them find ways to blend the two spheres. A supervisor who realizes the morale-boosting power of shifting an employee’s work schedule on Friday so he can catch his son’s soccer semifinal is a godsend. (Bonus points for the manager who remembers on Monday to ask how the game went.)


It’s hard to feel like a competent adult when someone is looking over your shoulder like a fourth-grade math teacher. Give clear instructions, remind the employee that you are available if questions come up, and let your charges prove why you made a wise decision in hiring them.

Respect for time 

Clock-watching is inevitable when a useless meeting keeps people away from important work. Limit disruptions whenever possible, keep meetings on track, and make it clear why the get-together is necessary.


No worker wants to waste time second-guessing what the boss really wants. Be decisive, and don’t beat around the bush if there is a problem. Speak with the person privately, and address it professionally.

Genuine appreciation 

Finally, you can never go wrong with a heartfelt “thank you.” Skip the generic “attaboys” and worthless company tchotchkes. Instead, write or tell the individual exactly what he or she did that is praiseworthy and why it means something to you.

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