As a leader it is essential that you understand what it is that your employees need and focus on their needs and desires as much as your own, if not more. To create a productive workforce you must make your workforce happy, and to do this you must listen to them, identify what it is that they need and somehow fulfil this need. If you’re looking to improve as a leader here are some basic employee needs and what you can do to help.
The first issue that you will face is significance; each and every employee wants to feel like their job has a meaning and that their life is fulfilled with purpose. They also wish to feel that the work they do as an individual is significant to the whole.
In order for you to make your employees significant it is important that you regularly make conversation with your employees and thank them for their hard work and discuss with them the fact that the company could not progress without individuals such as them.
You should also take time out of your busy schedule to speak with individuals and thank them for the work that they have specifically completed; ask if there is any way in which they feel the task could have been made easier or if they have any ideas on how the process could be improved.
Another of your employee’s desires includes the need to feel that they are growing.
There are not many ways in which you can show an employee that they are growing as a person and that they are personally improving as this is a decision that they have to make for themselves.
However, it is possible to send your employees on training courses every now and then in order for them to learn a new skill or improve at a skill that they already have; although this may not be equivalent to personal growth the activities will keep your employees happy as they will feel that they are a step closer to improving within themselves.
Another method of ensuring growth within your employees is to give them a little push along the way and encourage some of them to take positions that hold a little more responsibility than the others. These are only small steps but the fact that members of your workforce are encouraged to grow will give the rest of your employees hope that they too can progress and earn more responsibility or authority as a result.
If your employees feel ignored they will become increasingly unhappy very quickly and they may begin to become less productive as a result.
To restore balance to your workforce you should ask your employees how they feel about the company, what improvements can be made, how they feel the company should move forward and opinions on any current projects that are underway.
If you take these thoughts, ideas and opinions into account and use some of them, your workforce will feel as if they have contributed to something of more importance, or to something greater which will restore their faith and trust in the company.
Even if the changes are small such as improving facilities such as toilets and eating areas, your employees will be grateful for the change.
However to truly make your employees happy you must consider some of the larger changes such as how your employees feel about the way that the company conducts business or the way a current project is progressing. Although it may be a great risk to take these ideas into consideration you could find that the productivity of your workforce increases greatly and that the work atmosphere is much more pleasant than before as the majority of your workforce will be content with their role.
These are the most important needs of your workforce that you must deal with in order to keep them happy; however it will take time for your employees to understand that you are working on their behalf and see that you are working towards ensuring their happiness within the company.
Do not be surprised if a few employees misunderstand your actions in the beginning as some leaders are not so gracious.