What Today’s Employees Expect from Their Leaders

Posted on 05-09-2019
what today's employees expect

Employee-centric cultures place a premium on engaged leaders who walk the talk. It’s not enough for a leader to talk a good game. Rather, it is important to demonstrate the ability to follow through and put into practice what is being discussed. And doing so means staying in tune with what employees want and need. With that in mind, here are some key ways leaders can meet employees’ expectations and provide a happier, more productive workplace.

Attention to work-life balance

All employees have a life outside work, and that busy life includes for many employees home, family, friends, volunteer activity, hobbies, travel and more. So to help employees cultivate a vibrant and well-rounded routine, companies need to be mindful of enabling a better work-life balance. To achieve that, many strategies come into play. Those include offering flexible work hours, remote working, adequate paid time off, gym memberships and more. A company should spend time considering the needs of its own unique employees and their lifestyles. And then, policies and benefits should be put into place to create a healthy environment that promotes work-life balance.

Collaborative environments

No man or woman is an island, as the saying goes, and that is certainly true in today’s workplace. Gone are the days when people sat at their desks with a tunnel vision type of mindset, only working independently. Today’s workers crave a culture in which they can mix and mingle with colleagues while collaborating on projects and having a true sense of team spirit. There are many ways to achieve that type of environment and culture in a workplace.


It might sound counter-intuitive, given that employees desire collaboration and teamwork, but workers today at the same time want an ability to maintain their autonomy and independence. They need adequate training to successfully fulfill the requirements of their jobs, but then, they enjoy working on their own without interference.

Career development focus

It is not enough to simply stay in the same place throughout one’s career.  Rather, today’s employees want to be on a growth-oriented career trajectory. And to grow, they need to learn. Thus, whether it is continuing education opportunities locally or attendance at faraway conferences, companies are smart to help employees constantly grow and learn as they navigate their career path. That level of training can help employees be more productive while feeling more competent and confident about the work they are doing. This creates a win-win situation for both employees and employers.

Technology know-how

As we all know so well, technology changes at a seemingly ever-increasing rate. And digital transformation in today’s workplace ups the ante when it comes to technology proficiency. Employees expect their workplaces to keep pace with technology while also providing them with ongoing training on the latest tools they need to succeed with their work. Because technology continues to change, staying properly up-to-speed tends to be an ongoing activity.

Adequate communication

Everyone wants to be in the loop when it comes to issues that matter to them. So leaders should make sure they properly inform employees in a timely way, whether that means making an announcement at the weekly meeting or sending an all-employee email. It’s always better for employees to hear about what is going on through official sources rather than through the grapevine.

Praise and gratitude

Employees today also want to be noticed when they do a great job and go the extra mile. That praise doesn’t need to be elaborate. Even a heartfelt “thank you” or a small gift certificate are much-appreciated gestures.

Leaders do well to keep in mind what today’s employees want and need. Stay in tune with your company’s unique dynamics by obtaining feedback from workers through surveys and other information-gathering tools. By staying responsive to employee needs, you will boost employee satisfaction and productivity while improving retention.

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