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Job satisfaction is one of the main things which everybody expects from their jobs. Better communication and relationships with leadership are right up there with benefits and compensation. Employees require some very basic things to be treated like people and acknowledged as valuable members of the organization. And according to this year’s SHRM Report, the results are even more astounding.

The New Workplace

There are 10 factors that affect overall employee satisfaction and engagement in the workplace,

1) A most respectful treatment of all employees

2) Trust between employees and senior management

3) Job security

4)Relationship with immediate supervisor

5) Benefits overall

6)  Compensation/pay overall

7) Immediate supervisor’s respect for employee ideas

8) Opportunities to use skills and abilities in your work

9) Organization’s financial stability

10) Management’s recognition of employee job performance

Benefits, compensation, job security, and financial stability come as no surprise. What is surprising is that respectful, trusting relationships are even more highly valued than paychecks.

How can managers create more respectful, trusting relationships with employees?

Try to unpack several of these factors which, taken together, indicate a shift in the American Workplace. Managers require to start asking themselves, How can I create more respectful, trusting relationships and recognize employees for the great work they do?


The word is based on Latin and means to look back upon. On the other hand, employees want to be seen and recognized, not just be treated like a cog in the machine or worse.

In the dying command and control paradigm, employees are viewed as assets and are intentionally or subconsciously seen as less than the whole. Managers demand information or performance so that they can make decisions that influence business growth. 

The wording and weight of this factor are significant. 72% of respondents value respect for “all employees at all levels”. Employees hope to be treated with demand and respect to see leaders treat everyone at the organization that way.

The effect of poorly treating any employee is felt by all. These types of behaviours create toxic environments where nobody feels safe. It’s like going out with someone for the first time who is extremely nice to you but rude to the waiter. This behaviour sets off red flags about who the person really is and begs the question, How long will it be before I am treated poorly?

Managers may think that compensation and benefits rank high enough on the list that employees will put up with disrespect and distrust as long as they have their basic needs met. 

The Speed of Trust

As per the SHRM study, organizations that lack trust between their employees and upper management often develop adverse working conditions. If management does not support its workers, suspicion may arise, resulting in less than the productive workforce. Apprehensive employees may feel the requirement to withhold information or use other tactics to gain leverage.

People who engage in relationships which lack trust are always on edge. Communication is stifled and bottlenecks can form. Managers are unable to gather information on what is really going on. Before long a stressful environment is designed that drains employee energy, and is a leading factor in decisions to leave the company.

Immediate Supervisors

Human Resources manager has its place in terms of handling paperwork and benefits or providing guidance to managers in the areas of people and performance management. It is the immediate supervisors themselves who want to own these relationships. 

Recognizing Performance

The comparison with other business problems, the majority of Human Resources professionals reported performance management was a top priority. Yet only 2% of HR professionals deemed their organization’s performance management system worthy of an A rating.

15Five’s Guide To Creating High Performing Teams responds to this deficit in performance management:

People are driven by extrinsic motivators like compensation and recognition, or the intrinsic achievement of mastery. Managers who acknowledge employees for who they are becoming, empower them to do their best work and encourage them to step into expertise or leadership roles.

When managers highlight the strengths of people, those people are far more engaged, productive and creative. There are clear and measurable positive impacts on the bottom line.

Yet the highest level of personal fulfilment is attained when people become something better. That is when your employees’ focused work has led to a position of mastery, and you’re telling your employee that, beyond having performed well on a task or having increased revenue.

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