This is the main thing employees want their managers to do differently

A new report by the Workhuman Analytics & Research Institute surveyed more than 3,500 people in the US, UK, Canada, and Ireland about recognition, reviews, perks, and more.

The main thing workers want their manager to be doing is to show more appreciation (31%). That’s followed by giving them more independence (15%) and focusing more on their learning and development (14%.)

A little recognition

Speaking of appreciation, employers could begin with a pat on the back. More than half of all workers (51%) say their last work anniversary was not even acknowledged.

What do employees want from a work anniversary? Just some positive attention. First of all, they want to share memories and congrats with their coworkers and managers. The next thing on their list is a private congratulations from their manager.

The traditional annual performance review is on its way out. For the fourth year in a row this survey has been conducted, the number of companies performing annual or semiannual reviews has declined. In 2016, 82% of employees surveyed said their company performed an annual review. However, that number dropped to 65% in 2017, then 58% in 2018, and now in 2019, just 54%.

Over half of workers (55%) say annual reviews don’t improve their performance.

The key might be more frequent check-ins. According to data, workers who check in at least once a week (as opposed to not at all) are:

  • more than two times as likely to trust their manager
  • nearly two times as likely to respect their manager
  • five times less likely to be disengaged
  • almost two times as likely to believe they can grow in their organization

Other findings

Employees who feel meaning and purpose are four times as likely to love their jobs.

One in five survey respondents said they are currently looking for a new job.

The most important workplace perks were remote/flexible work (41%), healthcare coverage (27%), trailed by an employee recognition program (7%.)