The Top Eleven Things Employees Want From A Leader

 In Coaching, Employee engagement, Employee Satisfaction, Leadership, Leadership Development

What do employees want from their boss or in a job? Obviously, they are not receiving it with the elevated levels of employee discontent, disengagement, and distrust. Consequently, the current Great Resignation and Quit manifested into a nightmare for leaders and organizations.

You do not have to succumb to these negative results. If you pay attention to these eleven things employees want in a job, you will have a real opportunity to create an inspired and highly engaged team. And you will be able to retain them. That is good news for employees, companies, and for your career.

Top Six Things Employees Want


80% of employees say they do not get respect on the job. So, do not have secrets, or intentionally instill fear in people. Treat employees as adults not like children. Certainly, be as open and as honest as you can. Build up your team; do not beat them up. Above all, you earn respect by giving respect. Engage employees as partners not peons or expendable resources.


The Top Eleven Things Employees Want From Their LeaderFollow-through on your commitments. Further, be genuine and conduct business in an ethical manner. Pay fairly and give people a clear path on how they can earn more. Admit mistakes and move head with a plan to improve.

There are too many examples in the media of ineffective and fallen leaders. You do not have to be one of them. For example, Vishal Garg, the CEO and founder of, laid off 900 employees on a Zoom call. That is disgraceful, and it destroyed any trust between management and employees.

Clear Expectations and Goals

Give your employees a clear understanding of their roles, responsibilities, and objectives. Do this one on one and with the team. Always remember, this is not a one-time event. Do it periodically through the year: monthly to quarterly. Conducting performance reviews only once a year does not cut it today. Our clients learn to do monthly performance discussions. This has led 75-80% highly engaged employees! (Remember 85% of global employees are disengaged, in the US it is two out of three on average. Most performance problems come from a lack of clear expectations/goals, poor communication, and little recognition.

Recognition and Praise

The better people feel about what they do, the more they want to do it well. Recognize them for progress, a job well done or for goals achieved. Do the same for your team. Be genuine and creative. When consulting with clients we always find ways to do individual and team recognition at meetings. Interestingly, most client managers seldom think of it on their own.


As simple as it sounds, keep people informed as a team and aware as individuals. This means that you need to communicate multiple formats. For example, use meetings, one on ones, virtual sessions, phone conferences, company portal, email, Zoom, and texts. Learn to do each of these appropriately. Therefore, it is not an excuse for poor communication if you are separated by distance from members of your team. In most employee engagement surveys; leadership communication often has the poorest ratings and the most negative feedback. Interestingly, surveyed CEO’s list communication as a key to their success. See the problem?

Workplace Flexibility

The pandemic showed that remote work…works! Employees discover crucial benefits working from home. (no commute, more time with family, save money etc.) Working from home can improve results!

Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “I do not know how you build great management virtually.” So, he wants people to be in the office. The thought of this angered Google employees. Think about it, with a little creativity could not this highly educated leader…learn. That is the problem with aloof leaders, they do not want to change. It is their way or the highway. Google did eventually institute a hybrid work environment. The future of work is flexibility.

The Top Eleven Things Employees Want From Their LeaderThe Next Five Things Employees Want


People want to be great and if they are not, managers are usually the obstacle. Listen to your team’s ideas and get them involved in fixing problems. Coach effectively and regularly. For example, meet one on one with each employee monthly. When they bring you a problem, hold on trying to solve it. Ask, what have you done so far? What do you think the next steps should be? Teach them to think through and solve their own problems.

Pride in the Work

Most people want to do an excellent job. This fuels self-motivation and pride. Create a positive working environment. Have fun while working hard. and leading by example. Subsequently, it will pay great dividends for your employees and you. In a manufacturing company, we helped them set up process improvement teams in all areas of the business. They eventually won the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. You tap a power when you get people involved.


People become more motivated when they can develop their skills. Be sure to learn to delegate effectively. Find ways to give your team a chance to expand their capabilities in new areas. In addition, if an employee is interested and capable help a person advance in the company. In other words, know what your team’s career goals and dreams.


In addition, on-going training is necessary to maintain current job skills, but even more importantly to add to them. Fortune’s magazine’s annual list of the world’s best companies shows that the highest-ranking companies give employees sixty plus hours of training and education each year. How about your company? How about your team?


People want to win. Consequently, work hard to align people with the right role where they can succeed. Persevere to eliminate obstacles for your team and be an advocate for your employees’ success. Most importantly, avoid changing direction often or not dealing with inferior performance. Moreover, do not set unrealistic goals because these behaviors can lead to poor morale in your employees. One of our clients loved to compete. We helped them design training, incentives, and team competitions. As a result, they achieved increase sales to existing customers by 212% over two years. Also, they had fun with all of the activities.

Pulling It All Together

Certainly, consider these eleven areas for motivating, engaging and retaining employees. Help your employees be successful, and you will be successful as a leader.  Quite frankly, it is not hard if you value people. Plus, you see them as human beings and not human capital. This is called Servant Leadership. What is the payoff for following through on this?

  • Higher employee engagement and productivity
  • Lower employee turnover
  • Better internal teamwork and communication
  • Increased employee morale and commitment
  • Improved customer service, sales, and quality
  • Career advancement and success

In conclusion, if you want your people to be better, you must become a better leader.

The Top Eleven Things Employees Want From Their Leader
Also, do you want to learn more about proven approaches to motivating and engaging employees? If so, I suggest you check out this complimentary eBook: How to Motivate-No-Inspire Employees: 10 Keys to Employee Engagement.

In addition, go here for our RealTime Learning & Training–aThe Top Eleven Things Employees Want From Their Leader leadership and personal development website. Micro-learning and career advancement at your fingertips!

Finally, see Rick’s newest book. The Dynamics of Servant Leadership: Inspire Your Team to Achieve Extraordinary Goals!

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