By Diane Stafford
The Kansas City Star (MCT)
There’s a time-worn saying that employees join companies but leave managers. It turns out that may be less true than it used to be.
I recently heard from the folks at TINYpulse, a company that does “employee engagement“ surveys for companies. Results from 40,000 employees at 300 companies this year indicate that workers are more likely to leave jobs because they don’t care for their peers or the top executives, not because they’re at odds with their direct supervisors.
The surveys found that employees most want pleasant, team-oriented co-workers and top management to whom they feel connected. The responses suggest that employees crave communication from “the brass“ about the organization’s mission, vision and values; they want to understand the big picture and how their own jobs fit into it.
The two high priorities revealed by the surveys - camaraderie among peers and communication from the top - are understandable in today’s flatter, do-more-with-less workplaces. Fewer layers of middle management make it more important for even entry level workers to know and buy into the mission.
It’s also vital in downsized work groups for co-workers to get along, to share the workload, and have mutual respect.
Something of a surprise: The TINYpulse surveys found that most workers think their managers are effective in outlining their duties and accountability. About 82 percent said their personal reponsibilities were clearly conveyed by their bosses. But only 42 percent of employees thought they were getting enough communication from top executives.
Also, many want the communication to be two-way. They crave input on the processes and policies attached to their jobs. It’s a reasonable request. After all, who knows the job better than the one who does it?