The roles which employees fill are changing. With that, the structure of management needs to change. Unfortunately, not all schools or businesses have recognized these changes, and it costs businesses quality employees. Increased globalization from the internet results in more mobility, international competition, and more fluidity in how workers perform tasks. As a result, the necessary skills of any manager is changing. Every employee seems to wish their bosses had these five skills.
We see changes in how workers perform and bosses manage teams
Technology today creates an exciting change in the type of jobs available, how employees do their jobs, in the flexibility and mobility of employment, and in how the entire organization operates.
According to Gallup, the changes in the workplace look like this:
- Workspaces are not fixed. 74% of workers can move about to perform their job.
- Working hours are flexible. 52% of employees report the capability to influence their working hours.
- Less requirement to work on the site. 43% of employees state they can at least part of the time work away from the office
- Increase in cooperating in multiple teams. 84% of employees state that at least to some extent, they work with multiple teams in various departments. Additionally, the team members might all report to different managers.
Employees don’t need micromanagement
That reflects the physical workspace. It also points to more project-based, independent thinking groups who bosses empower to complete projects with limited supervision. These individuals don’t rely on a manager to get approval on each step before moving on to additional measures.
In other words, micromanaging is out. The employees are now responsible for their own decisions, time management, and their ability to work independently. Furthermore, they must master working on a team, problem-solving, and managing their workload. Companies hire individuals who work without supervision and handle all of these details.
This method of allowing employees independence and freedom to develop and utilize their skills results in higher job performance. Where does management fit in then? Management now needs to fulfill a more supportive role. However, they must still recognize the need for accountability and motivation. Many employees who work remotely, feel isolated.
It is the manager’s job to make the team feel like a team despite individuals working in different locations. Essentially, the new role of the manager is to recognize the individual’s needs to stay connected, motivated, and inspired. The manager needs to perform as a leader. In addition, companies might hire more than one manager to fulfill the needs of the team.
“Bottom line” mentalities discourage today’s employees
Every company needs to make a profit. The higher the profit, the better. Does that mean that it needs, or should be, drilled into your employees as a method to get higher performance? Should those demands take a higher stage to your employee’s welfare, safety, and ethics in the job?
In a report in Science Daily, a study addressed the question of why employees respond so negatively to the “bottom line” tactics of management. In this study, 866 people were interviewed by various industries. Half were managers or supervisors, and half were employees. All completed a questionnaire with given responses to choose from related to if each party felt the other had a strong “bottom line mentality,” related to productivity, recognition of empathy or compassion towards the other, and other similar responses.
The results were this:
- Managers who were reported as having a high “bottom line mentality” had low-quality relationships with their employees, and employees viewed them as having low-quality leadership skills. As a result, employees purposely did not perform as high as they could.
- Even in groups where both the employees and manager had high “bottom line” mentalities, the quality of the work was still affected. This pointed to the fact that even if an employee has a bottom-line mentality, they still desired a more considerate and involved manager who brought the office or team together in a healthy, productive manner.
What skills do employees wish their bosses had?
Ironically, as the future becomes more technologically based, there is a push for all businesses to become more relationship-based. Know your clients, know your customers, and know your employees. That is the basis for many of the skills that employees wish their bosses had.
1 – Workplace recognition
In 2017, a study was performed from The Workhuman Research Institute. They interviewed over 2700 American workers and determined that employees desired three primary things. One of those was the recognition that what they do matters.
Many managers believe that most employees are only interested in how much money they earn. While there may be a percentage of employees who are money-driven, and obviously, making enough money to support themselves and their family is of importance for employees, it is not the driving force.
This is not a new concept. In 2004 Gallup studied the recognition of over 4 million workers in 10,000 different businesses in 30 different industries. They discovered that when employers offered employees positive praise at their job, that there were distinct and measurable differences in job performance:
- Increased productivity
- Increase in social engagement within the office
- Maintain loyalty to the company
- Receive better feedback from clients and customers
- Follow safety regulations better and have fewer accidents
Included in this recognition is honest feedback about employee performance done in a constructive manner and with the attitude of being available to assist in that improvement.
2 – Have empathy and compassion
In 2019, LinkedIn completed a survey of 3000 employees to discover what they wanted in a boss.
Empathy and compassion came in as two separate traits, but each at a similar percentage with empathy coming in at 38% and compassion coming in at 36%. Employees want to know that their manager can understand work-related difficulties or personal difficulties, but also relate to them personally. Additionally, employees want a manager who is willing to share their experiences with the staff or team.
3 – Decisiveness with accountability
Even in a workplace where employees have more autonomy in making decisions, there are always decisions which they go to the manager for. This is out of lack of experience, multiple options, or factors out of their control. In an environment where there isn’t as much independence for the employees, decision making is dependent upon the manager, and it must be made relatively quickly.
That decision must be made with as much information as possible, without extreme discretion and without looking around at everyone to gauge its popularity. Employees waste their time and energy if they have to wait too long to move on with their job. They need to know you have an answer and a direction to provide.
Simultaneously, accountability is also part of any decision making. Employees must see that you are going to take responsibility for your decision and not pass it on to someone else if things go wrong. You can’t expect to lead a team if you are indecisive and if you can’t take responsibility for how you chose to move your team forward.
This also includes holding your team responsible for their misjudgments or poor decisions. If a manager doesn’t hold a team accountable, they won’t learn and grow.
4 – Focus and Time Management
It is integral that the manager can provide the focus for the team, especially when often, they are handling multiple projects at once. The manager must be able to recognize which items take priority and communicate with the employees.
With that focus, it means that the manager can set an example of time management but also respect their employee’s time. When a manager schedules a meeting, he or she should understand that it pulls the employee away from completing another task. Ensure that not only do they know in advance, if possible, but also that it starts and ends in a determined amount of time.
5 – Positive attitude
None of us are always chipper, but a manager who has energy, enthusiasm for the projects, and the company in which he works, will communicate that to his employees. Positivity is contagious, and it creates an atmosphere of teamwork and connectivity. There will be more positive interactions between the manager and the employees.
Business and employee to manager relations are changing. Employees now enjoy multiple ways to augment their income rather than stay in a job that makes them miserable. Consider the following means of income:
- Freelance work
- Gig jobs
- Internet job availability
- Work mobility
Final Thoughts on How Bosses Can Ramp Up Their Managerial Skills
The current young workers and the up and coming new employees have a more modern mindset than previous generations of talent. They are unlikely to say, ” I just have to suck it up.” They do not adhere to the principle that ” I work, and then I die.” They grasp the concept that we all only have this one life, and they don’t want to spend it doing something meaningless, disconnected, and treated like a worker ant.
The new employees are looking for managers that can lead, teach, motivate, and guide them to make themselves, the company, and society great. Every employee wishes their boss had these five skills, and I don’t think they are going to settle for less.