Workers Are Suspiciously Positive About Their Bosses

America’s bosses can relax: workers have a high degree of confidence in the competence and ability of the people who lead their companies. Really.

Workers in a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey cast a vote of confidence for executives leading their firms.

Approximately eight in 10 professionals polled feel at least somewhat confident in the ability of senior management to grow the business, provide sound financial stewardship and drive innovation.

Similar numbers of respondents believe their organization’s executives support staff members’ growth and manage change effectively.

Yet, the research also raised red flags. Roughly one in five workers expressed concerns, including a feeling their firm’s senior leadership doesn’t value employees’ career and personal advancement.

“Most professionals recognize and appreciate the efforts of company leaders,” said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “In recent years, businesses responded to intense hiring competition by focusing on creating satisfying work experiences. For example, many firms now place greater emphasis on work-life balance and developing career paths for their teams.”

Robert Half Management Resources offers five tips for leaders:

  • Take a genuine interest. Talk to employees about their career goals and what keeps them up at night. You can only address their motivations and concerns once you know what those are.
  • Add meaning to the job. Employees should know how your firm’s products and services improve the lives of customers and how their individual contributions support the company’s mission.
  • Provide regular business updates. Make the organization’s objectives an ongoing topic of conversation. Also explain to staff the rationale behind operational goals and the steps being taken to attain them.
  • Tap experts. People won’t feel confident in leadership if they don’t have the support they need. Bring in consultants who provide in-demand knowledge not available internally, such as for a change initiative or merger integration. Interim professionals also can assist with spikes in activity, helping staff better manage heavy workloads.
  • Sell the firm to staff – again and again. Managers woo job seekers during the hiring process but often fail to keep the courtship alive. Keep employees apprised of the firm’s successes and regularly promote the many great reasons to work there.

So, bosses can relax, but they shouldn’t be too relaxed.

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