EMPLOYEES & They Often View Their Happiness Differently (& 5 Things You Can Do)

By Bob Whitesel

Recent research has shown that leaders often misperceive what their employees want.

Look at these comparisons:

  • Employees want to succeed in their work – more than their employers think they do
  • Employees want flexible hours – more than their employers think they do.
  • Employees want their home time and off hours respected – more than their employers do.
  • Employees want to discuss their compensation – more than their employers think they do.

The answer for these misperceptions is better communication and team-building. Below are some of my recommendations.

1). Listen to your employees. Even when there is a decision to which they don’t have required input, still go to them and listen for their viewpoint. Listening to others viewpoints has been shown to create unity and team-building. See my book “Staying power” chapters 1-2, 6 as well as my book “Preparing for change reaction,” the chapter titled “Go slow, build consensus and succeed.”

2) Respect your employees’ non-work hours. Don’t text message, email or call them at night or in their off hours. If you want to send something put it on a delay through your email program and send it during office hours. They may be checking for emails from family/friends and see an email from their employer with an intriguing headline that is too tempting not to open. Then it may wind up robbing them of minutes or even hours in the evening as they respond and/or ruminate on it.

3) Take some time out of the workday to just fellowship with your employees. Go out to lunch, etc. but do not count this as time off and require extra work hours. You’re actually working, working on building relationships.

4) Ask them what they feel they should be paid. Often the only time we ask employees what they feel they should be paid, is when we hire them. And then we don’t ever ask it again. As this survey shows, the employer usually thinks their employees are happier with their compensation than the employees usually are. Compensation should be an annual part of your review of the position. If you are asking to review their performance – they should be able to talk to you about reviewing your compensation for that performance.

5) When you see your employees at a social event, go out of your way to connect with them over your peers. Often times I will have the choice of sitting with my colleagues for lunch or joining some of the students I teach. I usually err in favor of the students, because they need time to discuss things with me. And there will be other opportunities to connect with my colleagues. So when you are in a social environment and have an opportunity to connect with colleagues with whom you feel more comfortable or employees who are more disconnected, choose those whose connection needs to be improved. Yet there is a caveat here, don’t stay too long or connect too much in social settings. But let them know you are accessible at such social opportunities (mainly be a listener).

Read more of the 2015 Workplace Trends report at … http://workplacetrends.com/the-2015-workplace-flexibility-study/