A question crossed my desk recently. What do employees really want from their managers? What employees want most from their managers is COVER. No, I don’t mean they want their managers to cover for them, or to cover up their mistakes (that’s how we learn).
Employees want COVER, as in:
Clarity: defined, achievable objectives
Opportunity: to grow and develop their skills
Variety: don’t ask them to do the same rote tasks forever
Empowerment: allow them to do their jobs and don’t micro-manage
Resources: to get the job done whether that means time, money or people
When managers provide COVER to their employees, they’re freed to do their best work in a positive environment. Employees want to know that managers have their backs. They don’t want to feel like they have to watch their back.
The bottom line is this: people work a lot harder if they feel they are working with someone rather than just for them.
So managers, do you provide cover for your employees?
COVER also means treating employees in a human-centric manner. Catch people doing the right things instead of focusing on what they do wrong. Productivity increases when employees are given sincere praise. Empower people by acknowledging their strengths. See also http://bit.ly/Srtn8g.