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August 14, 2017

I Am Your Employee: Employee Wants and Needs to Drive Engagement


Employees come to work for different reasons, have different goals, and are motivated by different things. How well do you know your employees? 

What Employees Want and Need

If employees could collectively tell you what they want and need, here’s what they might say:

“I am your employee...

• I’ve been told I am part of the human capital equation and very important here. So, if I may, I have a couple of thoughts I’d like to share."

• It’s about why I chose this organization…and what I expect from my employment experience. I need to feel valued, to be treated with respect and to know my supervisor cares about me. I need regular information from my manager, but still need to hear from senior leaders on broader company issues."

• I need to know how I will benefit when I produce good results. And I need regular, tangible, specific, constructive feedback about my work."

• So you see, if I am really a part of your human capital, I need to feel like the ‘human’ aspect is important to you, not like I am a commodity."

• When I can do good work and get back from you what I need, I couldn’t be happier. I wake up in the morning eager to do a good job. During those times I feel fulfilled and happy with my work life. I’m ready to go ‘above and beyond’ when you need me to."

• But, if you ask more and more from me without acknowledging what I am contributing, telling me I have value or telling me how I’m doing, that makes me frustrated and leaves me unfulfilled. I start to question whether coming here was the right thing to do."

• If you don’t meet my expectations, how can you expect me to meet yours, especially if you don’t make your expectations clear?"

• And if I have expectations that I don’t share with you, as my employer, how can you know what motivates, energizes, and supports me?"

• It’s pretty much about communication; between us; between my supervisor and me; and between my fellow employees and me."

• And good communication is tough. I am bombarded by messages and communications clutter, and appreciate having a choice of media. I am willing to take the initiative to find out some of the information I need. But I may not realize the responsibility I have to seek out information. And I’m not sure you realize how much I need to feel included in the process."

• I will be more engaged if I have had a chance to provide input up front, especially in decisions that affect my job. My behavior is a consequence of how I’m treated and rewarded."

• When you get my attention, I am listening to what you say…more importantly I am watching what you do!…I am your employee!”

What most stood out for you that – if you could address – would further engage your team?

—David Grossman

Make sure you’re helping, not hurting, your employees’ work lives and careers. Find out what kind of boss you are and learn how to lead for good, not evil, with this eBook:

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