We need no justification to claim that a good manager is one who accurately understands the needs and wants of his employees. In short, as a manager or one who wants to become a good manager in the future, you need to begin to understand what employees expect from their ‘ideal’ job. Any gap between your understanding and the actual expectations of the employees is the start of misalignment between you and the employees.
Of course, different employees have different sets of expectations from their ‘ideal’ job. However, like any other trend, there are some common expectations that apply to the vast majority of employees. If you know these generic expectations of a typical employee, you will not be very far from the reality of the expectations of your employees.
Research conducted by an Oxford-based practical psychology consulting firm, i-Oponer, identified the top five items that staff all over the world want in their ideal job, according to what they reported in a book written by their founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Jessica Pryce-jones entitled ‘Happiness at work—maximising your psychological capital for success’. Today, we will cover these five items so that we can all have a good understanding of the generic expectations of staff from their ‘ideal’ job. In ranked order, the five items are as follows:
Progress in their careers: Have you never come across someone who resigned from a job and you asked them why and their reason was as simple as “Amwene, I can’t see a future for me in this job/company”? Staff want to be doing a job where they can see career growth. Even if it does not really mean promotion, they want to see that they are continuously learning new knowledge or acquiring new skills, meeting new people, using new methods or techniques. They want to be exposed to new things. For example, even as simple as being moved from one bank branch to another one that is viewed as bigger but at the same rank may be viewed as career progress to staff.
Being good at their jobs: Every employee wants to excel in their job. The best chance they have to excel is by doing what they are good at. The last thing you can do is to assign a staff member to a role very different from what they are best at, unless you want to deliberately move them away from their comfort zone or you want to challenge them further or you are in short supply of employees who can do a particular role.
Doing something worthwhile: Staff want to feel important by doing something that is important for the organisation for which they work. Try one day and take someone at the same rank and with the same perks and move them into a role that is not as important for the organisation and measure the amount of disappointment or frustration.
Having control over what they do: People generally do not like red tape or bureaucracy. Staff want to have as much control over what they do as possible. Having control helps them to be good at their job and so helps them to deliver more worthwhile things for their organisation.
Having a boss that they can respect: The i-Opener research showed also that staff want a boss that they can respect because once they respect their boss, they will be able to go all the way and deliver maximum output for him or her and, in return, they expect reward for the outstanding delivery.
Now that we know what staff generally expect from their ‘ideal’ job, we can try to create a job environment for our staff as close as possible to the ‘ideal’ job they would want to have. Good luck as you rise and shine as a good supervisor or manager, team leader or even a future team leader.