What Employee’s Value from Work: Tips From The Manager’s Answer Book

The Washington Post, using an independent research organization, does an annual survey called Top Workplaces.  They publish the results in their Sunday Post magazine.

It’s not surprising to learn employees surveyed are looking for organizations where they have confidence in the firm’s direction.  Even in a time of low unemployment, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Said in a slightly different way, employees want transparency from their leaders.

The Post’s survey also showed that employees want to work for an organization with high ethics and where the organization’s values are lived. Most well managed organizations publish their values, but some have trouble living up to or demonstrating them. This is not what today’s workers are looking for in an employer.

The result that did surprise me is that 67% of the respondents said they value working in a place were different points of view are encouraged. This is great news. People want to work where there is diversity of thought.

High on the list of things people value is having a good manager. The adage that “people don’t leave organizations—they leave managers” reinforces what the respondents said in this survey. Strong managers who set clear expectations and hold people accountable tend to be the kind of managers people want to work with.

Manager’s Tips:  If holding employees accountable is a struggle for you, The Manager’s Answer Book addresses this issue and here is a portion of the answer:

Managers should hold their people accountable for their work but before you can do that, clear expectations must be set. One of your most important roles as a manager is letting your team know what is expected of each of them. If they are new to our organization or your team, if you’re starting a new project, or if you are asking for something you’ve never asked of them before, they need you to be clear on issues such as:

  • When is the task/project due?
  • What are the key deliverables?
  • Are there milestones for check in?
  • What will success look like at the conclusion of the project
  • How will my performance be measured?

See page 76 of The Manager’s Answer Book for more information on setting expectations and holding employees accountable.

As you work to improve your managerial skills, keep in mind what people value from work and if you don’t already do so, maybe you want to ask your own team what’s important to them.  You may learn valuable information that will help you engage and retain your staff.

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