The start of any new year is an exciting time. It’s a chance to plan for new activities and resolve to try new things. But it’s also a time when people think about changing jobs or looking for new opportunities. And findings from a recent report by TINYpulse, leaders in the organizational culture space, show that many employees are far from satisfied.
The report features responses from full-time employees about exactly what they would change about their managers in the new year. It turns out that interpersonal skills and communication made the Top 5 wished-for changes: 15 percent desired a better, more open communicator, 10 percent would like to see improved empathy and people skills, and 7 percent were looking for a better collaborator and team leader.
When asked about the first thing they would change if they were promoted as a head manager, respondents again zeroed in on people. The top response focused on firing, demoting or improving the caliber of colleagues. People want to be surrounded by better colleagues, so they would look to get rid of dead weight or improve the people their organization hires.
David Niu, CEO of TINYpulse, noted that he was not surprised by the results. He said, “The report shows how valuable people are to any employee’s workplace satisfaction. Whether it’s a direct supervisor or an organization’s environment in general, the one thing all employees agree on is that personalities and work styles make or break a work experience.”
While these results are sobering, it gives managers and leaders a clear outlook into how to improve their organizations in 2015, by focusing on these three resolutions:
1. Understand employee pain points
Employee engagement tools give managers direct insight into employee sentiment. Rather than assume all is well, managers should actively measure sentiment to understand what is working well and what needs attention.
2. Cultivate people skills
Some people are born leaders while others need guidance. You can leverage employee surveys to understand interpersonal and communication challenges within your organization. Do employees feel there is enough transparency? Perhaps they aren’t certain about their responsibilities or expectations. Probing these dimensions allows managers to know where they need to focus their one-on-one conversations.
3. Hire for fit
A major way to avoid people challenges in the first place is to hire for fit. Consider the personalities and traits you need to drive your organization forward, and only extend offers to candidates that meet those criteria. A highly skilled candidate that doesn’t fit in culturally is not going to help your work environment.
Power of surveys
Forest Key, the founder and CEO of hotel software company BookingSuite, and a TINYpulse client, explains how using an employee survey tool has allowed him to be a better manager. “As a manager, I know I can’t be everywhere at the same time,” he said. “Having a survey tool lets me make sure that I’m always meeting my team’s needs and it brings my attention to any issues that are blocking them from reaching their goals and objectives.”
Forest was also quick to point out that in today’s millennial-driven workplaces, surveys let him and BookingSuite’s managers make sure that they are fostering the open communication this generation craves. He said, “Many of our employees are millennials. Regular survey questions around satisfaction with growth opportunities, recognition, and transparency, just to name a few, tell us at a glance if we’re creating the type of open, collaborative environment that is good for keeping millennials engaged and retained, and frankly, is good for business too.”
As you get ready to ramp up in the year ahead, don’t forget to take stock of what your employees have on their wish lists. If you make sure you give them what they need, you’ll find your 2015 goals will be that much easier to achieve.