Employees' Top Likes and Dislikes

 

Leadership Tip of the Month by Ron Jasniowski


Before I put on a one-day seminar for a client, I ask a lot of questions. There is one question that all too often stumps my clients. What would your employees say if I were to ask them, “What are the top likes and dislikes you have about working here?” Nearly half of my clients say, “That is a good question, I don’t know.”

 

Occasionally I get permission to ask employees on all three shifts what their top likes and dislikes are about working for their current employer. Even though this is very spontaneous and they have no idea about my specialty, they frequently say something like, "My manager always criticizes what I do wrong, and rarely appreciates what I do right." And ironically their manager usually denies this and claims to express appreciation frequently.

 

Why such a difference in opinions? There are two reasons and two different perspectives. First, managers often have an innate desire to help others improve. And more frequently than they realize, they mix criticism with appreciation. Often managers say something like, Hey, you did a nice job on that project ..., then comes the dreaded "but" and the criticism. When this happens managers often walk away feeling they helped the employee improve and expressed appreciation. However employees walk away feeling they were criticized. Appreciation needs to be expressed in a way that is 100% positive. Do not mix criticism with appreciation! Separate the two. Always address each separately and promptly.

 

Second, managers typically need less appreciation than employees. Some managers feel expressing appreciation a couple times a month is adequate. It is not.

 

Children constantly look to elders for affirmation. If they don't get it, they are demoralized. Part of adulthood, is needing less affirmation, but it doesn't cease. When your employees go the extra mile without your acknowledgment or appreciation, over time this demoralizes them. During times of lack of communication, people often think the worst. Each day your employees might be thinking: "My manager doesn't like me or the work I do. Good work performance makes no difference to my manager."

 

Annual reviews are no substitute for regular feedback. Affirm your employees strengths frequently and if they have some shortcomings that are holding them back, let them know in a helpful manner. Also ask your employees what their top workplace likes and dislikes are. Then ask them for their thoughts of how you might make life at work better for them. Most of your employees probably never had a manager who expressed that kind of concern. Employees have a lot of respect for managers who express genuine interest in their needs and concerns.

 

Unappreciated employees are our most perishable resource.

            --Ron Jasniowski ©2002

 

Future issues will provide you with more details on how you can reach the next level of leadership success.

 

You may want to print this and discuss it at your next leadership team meeting.


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Improve Your Next Leadership Retreat!

Ron Jasniowski specializes in training managers and supervisors at in-house training workshops and at leadership retreats around the country about character-based leadership skills. This helps managers develop the untapped potential in employees. Learn more from the services page or con.tact us for more information and a quote.

 

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