Rockstar leaders don’t happen because they decide to be one. Great leaders happen because they put their goals and team first. This article will address what workers want in 2022 and how great leadership balances todays employees’ needs with their own.

How leaders balance employees' needs.
How leaders balance employees’ needs

Today’s Employees’ Needs Checklist:

Generous Compensation

Wanting a generous salary is nothing new, but today’s workers are not as willing to patiently wait for it. Leaders don’t always have control over the compensation of their team. Regardless, you need to know whether it is a fair wage for the work you expect out of the team.

With quit rates cresting, if your firm can’t meet industry salary norms, do you have alternate compensation for your employees?  Consider what other means you can use to retain their effort and talent. Can you offer better health benefits?  Do you have a profit sharing plan so employees are rewarded when they help the company succeed?

Skills Development and Application

As important as a generous salary, employees today want an opportunity to learn and grow as they develop their careers. They also want to use the skills they have. How does great leadership do both? 

Some leaders turn weekly meetings into learning opportunities. Others feel the biggest learning opportunities happen when you trust an employee enough to delegate a new task. However you organize it, as a leader, you train your employees in new skill sets needed to accomplish those tasks.

While assigning tasks just beyond their skills may not be appreciated, it is another method of developing new employee skillsets. Following employee training, do you step back to allow them to use those new skills to complete the project?

The act of giving your employees the trust to apply the skills you instilled, sponsors growth and confidence. The trick is to strike a balance between applying their current skillset and stretching that skillset with new project needs.

Better Work-Life Balance

One of the biggest factors in the great resignation was reportedly the need for a better work-life balance. This concept allows employees to split their time and energy more evenly between work and their personal life. Though most companies have returned to traditional work conditions, others use a hybrid schedule, mixing remote and local work options. This arrangement gives some of the balance capability back to the employee.

By focusing on productivity instead of trackable hours, leaders report the hybrid model actually boosts productivity while improving work-life balance. Meanwhile, workers are more satisfied with their work and less likely to job search. By answering another of today’s employees’ needs, great leadership is benefitting business too. Their company saves money on training their replacement and benefits by better productivity.

Flexible Working Conditions

Flexible work arrangements, alternate arrangements or schedules from a traditional work week focus less on schedule and more on work completion.

An employer might arrange a flexible employee work schedule in advance to retain a talented worker. For example, an employer could allow an employee to arrive late, leave midday, then return and work late. This allows the employee to handle family responsibilities, which keeps them happier on the job. The employee works the same total hours, but the time is broken up differently.

The downfall of flexible hours is that teams have less together time, building less project cohesiveness. On the other hand, with less forced togetherness, team friction is naturally reduced. In a flexible work environment, employees are satisfied even if there is less remote work time. Meanwhile, the job still gets done.

Finding Balance and Employees’ Needs

Like every other business negotiation, there is a gap between employees’ needs and those of  employers. Great leadership lies in finding the balance between the two. If you don’t have the generous salary to offer, can you offset it with better training and opportunities?  Do you have a profit sharing plan? Or perhaps you can make employees happy with a more flexible work arrangement. Today, workers are less willing today to settle, but when you take the time to investigate what the real priorities are, you will be better equipped to find a solution that benefits both sides.