What Your Employees Really Need

There’s no denying that money is important. It can help you attract star employees and keep you from losing those employees to competitors. However, salary isn’t everything to employees, and if you rely too heavily on money to make your workers happy, you could find yourself in a situation where your employees are less productive or loyal than you’d like. What will make your employees really happy is having…


Allowing your employees some sense of freedom and autonomy is a great way to improve their attitudes and performance. Freedom makes employees feel more in control, which greatly increases their sense of job satisfaction, and giving them some latitude in how they complete their jobs is a great way to inspire some innovation and creativity in your company. Employees don’t need to be micro-managed at every turn, and in fact, doing so can actually curb their motivation. Everyone’s optimum performance occurs differently, and trusting your employees (at least until they give you a reason not to) with the freedom to find how they work best could greatly improve your business.

Known Expectations

That being said, there will always be certain situations in which company policy will need to dictate your employees’ actions. This will help to foster consistency in your company, and it will give your employees a “fall back” plan for those situations they aren’t sure how to approach. Making your expectations known is extremely important because nothing confuses employees quite like not knowing what their boss wants from them.

Fair Treatment

One of the best things you can do for your employees is to learn how to treat them fairly without treating them uniformly. There is a huge difference between being consistent (which is extremely important) and treating everyone the same across the board (which is a great way to show your employees that you don’t view them as individual entities). You need to be fair in your treatment of each person, but each of your employees will need to be dealt with on an individual basis. If you’re a manager who loves the idea of positive reinforcement, for example, be sure you’re doling out the praise to all of your employees who deserve it, not just the ones who you favor on a personal level.

The Opportunity to Provide Input

Everyone needs to feel like their opinion matters, and affording employees the opportunity to make their ideas heard is a great way to foster a sense of meaningfulness in their positions. Take care that you explain to those employees whose ideas simply won’t mesh with your business why their suggestions probably won’t work for the company, but always do so in a manner that doesn’t trivialize their opinions. Do not simply reject their input without considering it; help the employee understand that their ideas are valuable even if they aren’t implemented.

A Connection

Employees want to be treated like people, not like robots. They want to be seen as valuable for who they are and what they contribute as individuals, not as an easily-replaceable piece in the company machine. Take the time to get to know your employees as the people they are, and their work ethic and attitude will likely improve as a result.

In general, your employees just want to feel appreciated. They want to know that you recognize them as the hardworking, trustworthy adults that they are and that you value them on an individual level. Doing so can vastly improve employee performance and loyalty at your company.

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