5 Things Employees Look for From Supervisors

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on December 12, 2014

Year after year, studies that ask “Why did you leave your last job?” turn out the same number-one answer: “My boss and I didn’t get along.” A bad employee-supervisor relationship can wreak havoc, crushing productivity and sending turnover rates skyrocketing.

If all these worker-boss relationships are imploding, what do workers want? Here are the top five things employees want and need from their supervisors in order to produce their best work:

  1. Transparency. Honesty, integrity, and transparency top the list of “must haves” from employees looking for a good relationship with their supervisors. Year after year, honesty trumps friendship, optimism, or “good news.” In other words, workers want to know what’s going on – even if it’s bad. When workers can trust their supervisors to provide a clear picture of what’s really happening, they can prepare to weather rough times more effectively, or even contribute to an innovative solution.
  2. Communication. Communication comes in a close second behind honesty, and for good reason: “telling the truth” requires telling. Employees prefer supervisors who tell them what’s going on and who are available when workers have a problem that needs to be addressed.
  3. Dependability. It’s tough to get honest answers from someone who is rarely available when workers have a question, and it’s even harder to communicate with someone who may or may not be available when they’re needed most. Supervisors don’t have to be on call for their team 24/7, but keeping regular office hours and responding to problems when they’re raised move many supervisors high in their employees’ esteem.
  4. Appreciation. The vast majority of employees need to know that what they do matters and that it is appreciated. Even simple verbal feedback like “Good job!” or “Thank you for handling this!” improves the relationship between workers and their supervisors.
  5. Feedback. Appreciation is a type of feedback – but it’s just one type workers need to trust their bosses, see them as open and dependable, and to do their best work. Supervisors who regularly provide feedback, good and bad, demonstrate that they’re paying attention and that they care how well their employees perform on the job. With the information offered, employees can do better work, find motivation in a better understanding of how their work contributes to the whole, and build stronger relationships with their supervisors.

At TERRA Staffing, our experienced recruiters can help you make a great match between the talent you need and the supervisors you have. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services in the Pacific Northwest.


Categories: Employee Engagement Ideas, HR and Management Advice

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