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What Employees Do and Don’t Like in a Manager

It pays to be a considerate leader with happy subordinates.

I hear it all the time working in retail: “The manager makes the job.”

In an ever-changing environment where managers get moved around and employees come and go, those who have stayed get a taste of what they like and what they don’t like in a manager, and it makes all the difference in how they feel at work.

Managers should make an effort to keep those working for them happy, as happy employees will be more willing to stay and put in their best effort.

Losing employees has a huge impact on the bottom line. Society for Human Resource Management reports that it costs an employer six to nine months of an employee’s salary to find and train their replacement.

That said, ensuring that your employees are content with your work as manager is a worthy investment.

Here are traits that are commonly brought up as a manager’s strongest or weakest points by those I’ve worked with.

What employees like: being trusted

This is especially true for workers that have been in their position for a long time. Veteran employees don’t want to be treated like they just started last week. Instead, they should be trusted in their ability to get their job done well.

Showing that you trust your employees can be as simple as allowing them space to complete their assignments without guiding them constantly.

Another powerful way a manager can make their employee feel trusted is to allow them to make some decisions for themselves. When an employee comes to their manager for direction, instead, their manager can tell them that they trust their judgment on what would be best.

Of course, employees won’t always know what to do, and managers are there to help, but employees who are allowed the room to flourish may bring to the table a new perspective that their manager wouldn’t have thought of.

What they don’t: micromanaging

Micromanagers make employees feel as if they are treated less like an individual and more like a money-making machine.

It’s a quick, surefire way to turn an employee from motivated and enthusiastic to miserable with one foot out the door. When under the thumb of a micromanager, employees are unable to grow or prove their abilities. The ones who could be contributing the most to the team aren’t given the opportunity to do so.

This breeds feelings of distrust and helplessness, and no one benefits. Those with a tendency to micromanage would benefit from stepping back and allowing their employees to show what it is that they’re capable of.

What they like: consideration

Employees aren’t money-making machines. They deserve to have their individual needs respected.

One of those needs is just a basic courtesy. When asked what traits most encourage faith in leaders, one of the top responses reported was speaking “like a regular person.”

Consideration can be shown in many ways and a lot of it centers around managers treating their employees as equals – we’re all just people. This can look like being lenient, personable, or able to hold a conversation not centered around work.

Employees feel really good when their managers show an appropriate level of interest in their personal lives and are willing to share parts of their life with their employees in turn. Forming a bond in this way can lead to all sorts of benefits.

When employees feel respected, they’re likely to be more willing to put in extra effort, to trust their boss, and to come to them with issues rather than let them build up.

What they don’t: negligence

Several personal experiences come to mind here, such as having my time off requests denied, being scheduled outside of my availability, and broken promises.

Treating employees with negligence is an easy way for managers to leave their employees feeling undervalued and insignificant. As with other negative traits, this results in unmotivated employees who won’t be willing to pull their weight or stick around for long.

Instead, managers should listen closely to the needs of their individual employees and deliver on the promises that they’ve made to them.

It’s important for managers to be mindful of how their subordinates perceive them. Maintaining a favorable image and relationship between manager and employee leads to a healthier and more productive work environment all around.

When this is neglected, managers will be forced to spend more time and money on finding and training new employees all over again.

Satisfied employees create a more favorable work environment and save the company money.