Managers have a very important job and it comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility. They oversee hiring and training new employees, making sure these employees are doing their jobs correctly, dealing with performance problems, and conducting evaluations. It seems as if the manager is doing all these things and checking all of the boxes that they would be a pretty successful manager. Not necessarily. The truth is managers often manage by telling their employees what needs to be done and evaluating their performance based on sales numbers, deadlines, and other measurable criteria. Unfortunately, what is happening is that these managers are focused solely on employee performance without giving any regard to what these employees need.
Why Employee Needs Matter
Managers need to know more than just what time their employees showed up and how they account for every minute of the workday. They need to know whether their employees are happy or not, if they are struggling with a particular skill, if they feel empowered in their position, if they are fulfilled in their job, and if they are giving their employees opportunities to further develop their skills. Employees have needs in the workplace and a good manager pays attention to these needs and works to meet them because in doing so, employees will be more motivated and aligned with the mission of the organization. When a manager listens to the needs of their employees, it makes the employees feel valued.
What are an Employee’s Needs and How Can Managers Meet Them?
Employees want more out of their job than just showing up and performing a task. They have a variety of other needs that need to be met for them to be satisfied and successful in the job. Let’s examine a few basic employee needs:
- The need to feel appreciated.
Managers need to understand that employees need to be appreciated in order to perform consistently. They need to know they are valued. Problems arise when managers fail to acknowledge the hard work of their employees. Managers can meet this need by offering verbal praise, rewards, recognition, or pay increases.
- The need to know how they are doing.
Employees need feedback in order to do the job well. They need to know what they are doing well and what areas need improvement. Managers need to meet with their employees on a regular basis to evaluate their work and provide corrective feedback. It is the manager’s job to guide their employees and help them achieve their goals.
- The need to feel connected in the workplace.
Employees want to be more than just another face in the office. Employees need to feel a sense of belonging in the workplace. After all, they are spending nearly 8 hours a day in the office, so they need to feel connected to their colleagues. Managers can foster a congenial working atmosphere by recognizing important events such as birthdays, weddings, and babies. They can also celebrate holidays and special events to create a more pleasant company culture. They should also set aside time for team-building activities to help foster a cohesive working environment.
- The need to feel empowered.
Nothing is worse than working for a micromanager. Employees need to feel empowered to do their own job and even make a few important decisions without having their manager tell them exactly how to do it every step of the way. Managers need to step back, delegate, and give their employees the chance to work freely.
- The need to learn and grow.
Part of creating a high-performance culture is giving your employees the opportunity to learn and grow. Employees need to feel like they are advancing professionally, and this happens when managers provide frequent development opportunities, coaching, and support.