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It’s easy to think that employees only care about benefits like decent insurance, excellent pay, and having a little bit of time off. While those things may be very important to attracting new employees and even keeping existing ones, there are other things that employees care about and have an impact on morale. Undoubtedly all of us have had a job that we didn’t like showing up to every day. While pay, benefits, and time off may have been good, maybe the leadership made it a tough place to be. Here’s a look at what employees really want from their leadership at work.

Work-Life Balance

People are far more interested in working to live than they are in living to work. All of us need a consistent way to make money, and most of us do that at a job that provides income in exchange for labor. Companies like Amazon, who are wildly successful, promote a healthy work-life balance for employees. Don’t be afraid to let employees come in earlier than their normal “9-5” schedule and leave a little earlier as long as tasks are still being completed.

Daily Work Experience

Employee experience focuses on the way employees view the organization they work for. A trendy term for this is “company culture,” but the idea itself is more than just a trend. If employees feel valued and believe that their opinions are heard, they will have higher morale and, in turn, be more productive at work. Providing things like a holiday party or gifts, recognizing birthdays, or sending condolence cards during times of grief let employees know that they are more than just a number in a computer system to you.


It sounds rudimentary, but employees really want to be able to communicate back and forth with the people that lead them. Successful leaders want the people they are leading to be successful as well, so they take the extra steps to communicate and mentor them along the way. Opening yourself up for face-to-face meetings with employees will allow them to feel that you are investing in their future and care about their working experience.

It’s important that you take care of your employees with a good company culture, fair wages and benefits, but those things only go so far. Be sure to take the extra steps to be the leader that your employees need you to be.