October 16th marks Boss's Day this year. What began in the 1950s as a local event in Deerfield, Illinois, has grown to be a day celebrated annually by employees everywhere, as they recognize company leaders for their hard work and guidance.
While today is an opportunity to honor bosses, it’s also a time to reflect on the critical relationship between employees and their superiors—because not only is a healthy boss/employee relationship integral to overall career happiness, retaining good employees is vital to positively affecting a company’s bottom line, as well.
Jim Link, Randstad North America’s chief human resources officer, provides five key takeaways for today’s bosses, based on a recent study by Randstad US, to help them better understand what drives employees, enhances morale and improves talent retention:
1. About half (53%) of employees feel their boss values their opinion.
Communication is one of the most important qualities in a leader, and according to a 2016 Gen Z study from Randstad US, it is especially important for younger generations of workers: 39 percent of Gen Z and Millennials prefer to receive feedback in person, rather than over email or by phone. As a boss, the key to establishing good accessibility with your employees is finding out what method of communication works best.
2. Younger employees (25- to 34-year-olds) feel the least comfortable (35%) challenging their boss’s ideas, while 50- to 64-year-old workers feel most comfortable (41%), showing workers’ confidence improves as they gain age and experience.
Similar to considering the communication preferences of employees, bosses should welcome an open dialogue. That means being open and honest about job expectations, work-related issues and general company news. Whether it’s regular one-on-one meetings or daily check-ins via email, figure out the best strategy to ensure you’re an accessible, approachable manager.
3. Less than half (41%) feel confident that their boss is helping them to achieve career growth.
While it’s essential for employees to take initiative and determine his or her own set of goals, bosses can also motivate their employees by setting a clear roadmap for success and empowering employees to meet those objectives. Uncover what motivates your team members and what matters most to them. When it comes down to it, you succeed when your team succeeds. Offer your employees the respect and trust that you’d like to receive.
4. Roughly one-third (35%) feel inspired by their boss.
Employees who are inspired will get much more done for your company, compared to those who feel uninspired—it’s as simple as that. Your role as a boss is to paint an inspiring vision for your team to achieve. Connect employees to that vision by touting successes and encouraging collaboration. Setting the tone at work starts from the top-down.
5. Approximately 1 in 5 (17%) workers say their boss takes credit for their work.
It should come as no surprise that taking all the recognition does little to build the kind of camaraderie that employees need to be successful at work. It only builds resentment and unhealthy competition. A truly successful leader is one who does not need to steal credit from their team—rather, they are sufficiently confident in their own skills, encouraging and motivating employees by giving credit where credit is due.
As you develop your own style as a boss, be sure to make cultivating relationships with your employees an important part of that strategy. After all, behind every effective leader is a great team.
Research findings are based on an OmniPulse survey fielded by national polling firm Research Now on behalf of Randstad US. The survey was fielded between September 18th, 2017 and September 22nd, 2017. It included 1,200 respondents over the age of 18, and a nationally representative sample balanced on age, gender and region.