What Your Employees Expect of You
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Employee retention is one of the most pressing issues facing forward thinking
leaders and managers. In their book "Values Shift" authors John Izzo and Pam
Withers describe a whole new set of expectations people now have of their
As unemployment in Australia hits a 33 year low and even exceptional
employers struggle to fill vacancies and retain the best people, you can't
afford to ignore these expectations. As a leader and manager you need to be
constantly aware of how you measure against these expectations and how you can
meet and even exceed them in day to day practice.
Izzo and Withers identified six emerging expectations you need to focus on.
1. Better work-life balance and synergy.
This is one of the strongest and most consistent expectations, rejecting the
all-consuming nature of work as it was for many of the baby boomer generation.
This extends earlier concepts of balancing the spread of time between 'at work'
and 'out of work' life, to include a better variety and balance of roles and
activities within work hours, as well as ample time out of work for a full and
2. A sense of community and connection at work.
With trends such as greater mobility and dual income families, we see less
traditional neighborhood connection or sense of community for many people. This
has created an expectation that the workplace will help overcome isolation and
offer its own sense of community and connection.
3. Opportunities for personal (as well as professional) development.
This becomes particularly important in flat workplaces where there is little
opportunity for employees to work their way up a set career ladder. People still
yearn to be challenged and stimulated and to grow and develop and expect that
you will facilitate that through the workplace.
4. The opportunity to contribute to a more noble cause.
Employees expect corporate objectives to be broadened beyond making money to
incorporate triple bottom line and a commitment to the betterment of society.
They are looking for meaning and purpose in what they do and expect to find it
in their work.
5. A more democratic partnership role.
Information is now ubiquitous and there has been a shift in the balance of
power. The 'decline in deference' means that employees expect to be able to
question authority, share opinions and say what they think - and they expect to
be listened to and involved in decisions, as would any partner.
6. A relationship based on trust.
Past breaches of trust have generated suspicion and distrust. Organizations
need to consistently demonstrate they are trustworthy and leaders will be held
accountable for any breach of trust. Employees expect to trust, respect and even
like the companies and leaders they work for - or they'll move on.
While you may not have total control over any one of these areas in your
organization, as a leader and manager you do have significant influence within
your own team over aspects of every one of them.
By deliberately doing what you can within your sphere of influence to meet
these six expectations you will not only be better placed to retain and attract
good employees and team members, you will begin to enjoy your own role as a team
leader more too.
About the Author
Kerrie Mullins-Gunst is one of Australia's leading experts in leadership and
founder of the Leadership Coaching Club. Visit
http://leadershipcoachingclub.com to claim your free leadership resource
pack, including the Top Leadership Tips Workbook and How to Become an Ideal
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-11-09 23:28:38 in Employee Articles