In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, the concept of a 'thriving workplace' has transcended mere profitability and productivity. A thriving workplace is characterized by engaged employees, a positive atmosphere, and an environment that fosters both personal and professional growth.

At the heart of such dynamic and successful environments are the managers, who play a pivotal role in shaping the culture and driving the performance of their teams. 

The Qualities Employees Desire in Their Manager

An ideal manager is not just a leader but also a source of inspiration and guidance. Below are 5 core attributes that employees value the most in their managers, which ultimately lead to a workplace where everyone thrives.

1. Communication and transparency

Effective communication and transparency are pivotal for any flourishing workplace. Clear and consistent communication from managers is more than just conveying information; it's about creating an environment where dialogue flows freely, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding.

Active Listening is a critical component, as it demonstrates to employees that their opinions and feedback are not only heard but valued. This level of engagement leads to a more inclusive and dynamic workplace.

Transparency is particularly vital when it comes to challenges and organizational changes. When managers are open about the hurdles the team or company faces, it fosters a culture of trust and collective problem-solving. Employees feel more involved and invested in the organization's journey, leading to a deeper commitment.

Actionable steps for enhancing communication and transparency include:

  • Regularly scheduled team meetings and one-on-ones to ensure consistent communication channels.
  • Workshops and training sessions on effective communication and active listening for managers and team members.
  • Utilizing digital tools for maintaining transparent and open communication, especially in remote work settings.

2. trust and empowerment

Trust is the bedrock of any strong relationship, including that between a manager and their team. Gallup says, "Leaders must adopt the trait of trustworthiness and prioritize it as one of their most important skills -- because without it, people won't feel as confident to follow."

Building trust among team members goes beyond just having faith in their abilities; it is about establishing a culture where employees feel safe to take risks and are encouraged to learn from their mistakes.

Managers who delegate tasks and responsibilities to their team members not only demonstrate their confidence in their team's capabilities but also empower their employees to take ownership of their work. This ultimately leads to a more productive and engaged workforce, where everyone feels valued and motivated to contribute to the organization's success.

Building a culture of trust and empowerment can be achieved through:

  • Setting clear expectations and providing the necessary resources for employees to accomplish 
    their tasks.
  • Establishing an open-door policy, encouraging employees to share their ideas and concerns freely.
  • Recognizing and rewarding initiative and creative problem-solving, thereby promoting a sense of ownership and accountability.

3. vision and inspiration

Effective leadership involves a manager's ability to define a compelling vision that aligns the team with the organization's goals. This vision should be clear, inspiring, and engaging enough for the employees to see their role in achieving it. A well-defined vision also helps the team to understand the purpose of their work and how it contributes to the organization's success.

In addition to articulating a clear vision, recognizing individual efforts and accomplishments plays a crucial role in keeping employees motivated and engaged. Acknowledging the team's hard work and accomplishments is an effective way to show appreciation for their efforts and contributions. It reinforces the idea that their work is valued and that they are making a meaningful impact on the organization.

Effective leadership is about creating an environment where the team feels valued, respected, and motivated to achieve common goals. By articulating a compelling vision and recognizing individual efforts, managers can create a culture of excellence, where everyone is committed to achieving organizational success.

To foster vision and inspiration:

  • Regularly share the company’s vision and progress towards goals in a way that connects individual contributions to the bigger picture.
  • Create opportunities for employees to contribute to the vision, such as brainstorming sessions or strategy meetings.
  • Implement recognition programs that highlight not only achievements but also efforts aligned with the company's vision.


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4. support and Development

Building a thriving and successful workplace requires prioritizing the development of employees. One highly effective tool to achieve this is through providing constructive feedback to employees. This feedback helps employees identify their strengths and the areas they need to work on to improve their performance.

By investing in employee development, such as through training and mentorship programs, the organization demonstrates its commitment to helping employees grow and progress in their careers. When employees feel supported and valued in this way, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated, leading to higher levels of productivity and better outcomes for the organization as a whole.

To effectively support and develop your team:

  • Develop personalized growth plans for employees, including clear milestones and objectives.
  • Encourage cross-functional training and experiences to broaden skillsets and perspectives.
  • Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, where seeking knowledge and self-improvement is valued and supported.

5. adaptibility and problem solving

In today's fast-paced and constantly evolving business landscape, the ability to adapt to new situations and effectively solve problems is crucial for any manager who wants to succeed. Being able to embrace change and navigate challenges effectively inspires confidence in one's team and helps to build a culture that values resilience and flexibility.

A manager who leads by example in problem-solving demonstrates not only their own ability to overcome obstacles but also shows their team how to approach challenges with a similar mindset. This kind of leadership helps to foster a work environment that is creative, innovative, and focused on finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

To foster adaptability and problem-solving:

  • Encourage innovative thinking and creative solutions to challenges.
  • Lead by example, maintaining open communication and collaboration during times of
    change and uncertainty.

Putting it Into Practice

Gallup says,

"Leadership can often be equal parts high confidence and self-esteem and worrying if you're doing it right while continually searching for answers."

Understanding the characteristics that employees look for in their leaders is a crucial step in becoming an effective manager. However, it is important to note that these qualities should not be artificial or faked. Instead, they should stem from a sincere desire to create a thriving workplace where everyone can flourish.

Incorporating these qualities into your management style is not a one-time task but rather a continual process of growth and adaptation. To be a successful manager, you should regularly assess your management style and seek feedback from your team. By doing this, you can identify areas where you need to improve and adjust your approach accordingly.

In addition to seeking feedback, it is also beneficial to utilize tools and resources that can assist you in refining your management skills. Leadership training programs, management workshops, and other resources can help you develop the skills you need to be an effective leader.

Finally, it is essential to adopt a growth mindset. This involves recognizing that both successes and challenges are opportunities for learning and improvement. By embracing a growth mindset, you can develop the resilience and adaptability needed to thrive as a manager. Being aware of the qualities that employees desire in their managers is a step toward becoming an effective leader. However, it's important to note that these traits should not be forced or faked. Instead, they should come from a genuine desire to create a thriving workplace for all.


How Companies Can Develop Managers for a Thriving Workplace

Companies can support managers in leading thriving workplaces by taking proactive steps:

  • Start by assessing the existing corporate culture and determining the management skills that need to be developed or refined. Offering targeted leadership training that is aligned with the company's goals and values is crucial. Beyond formal training, providing opportunities for managers to learn through experience—such as leading cross-functional projects or participating in job rotations—can be extremely beneficial.

  • To assist managers in developing leadership skills, companies can turn to their Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs). EAPs can offer resources and workshops on leadership topics, conflict resolution, stress management, and effective communication skills. They also often provide confidential counseling services, helping managers navigate personal and professional challenges that may affect their ability to lead effectively.

  • Mentorship or coaching programs can facilitate one-on-one support for managers, creating an environment where they can receive personalized advice and insights from more experienced leaders. This relationship also provides a safe space for managers to discuss issues and experiment with new strategies in a supportive setting.

A Thriving Workplace Benefits Everyone

The positive ripple effects of a thriving workplace are substantial, impacting not just the individual employees but the organization as a whole and even extending to the customer experience. A culture that supports growth, satisfaction, and well-being benefits everyone involved.

7 Positive Effects on the Organization

1. Employee satisfaction

When employees are happy and fulfilled in their work environment, they are more likely to report higher job satisfaction, which often translates into increased loyalty and lower turnover rates.

2. Productivity Boost

A thriving workplace tends to see higher productivity as employees are more engaged, motivated, and focused on delivering their best work.

3. innovation and creativity

Such environments foster a culture of innovation where employees feel safe and encouraged to express creative solutions and ideas.

4. enhanced company reputation

Companies known for their positive work culture attract talent, thus not only making recruitment easier but also boosting their image in the eyes of customers and potential business partners.

5. employee health and well-being

A supportive atmosphere contributes to the physical and mental health of employees, reducing absenteeism and healthcare costs.

6. customer satisfaction

Satisfied and engaged employees are more likely to provide better customer service, leading to an improved customer experience and higher levels of customer loyalty.

7. financial performance

The culmination of a motivated workforce, higher productivity, and innovation often results in better financial performance and growth for the organization.

The call to action for managers and organizations is clear: prioritize the qualities employees desire, integrate them into your daily practices, and continuously strive to improve. In doing so, you will not only enhance the well-being and productivity of your team but also contribute significantly to the overall growth and success of your organization.


Employees Need From Thjeir Managers


When you partner with Ulliance, our Life Advisor Consultants are always just a phone call away to teach ways to enhance your work/life balance and increase your happiness. The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program can help employees and employers come closer to a state of total well-being.

Investing in the right EAP or Wellness Program to support your employees will help them and help you.  Visit https://ulliance.com/ or call 866-648-8326.

The Ulliance Employee Assistance Program can address the
following issues:

• Stress about work or job performance
• Crisis in the workplace
• Conflict resolution at work or in one’s personal life
• Marital or relationship problems
• Child or elder care concerns
• Financial worries
• Mental health problems
• Alcohol/substance abuse
• Grief
• Interpersonal conflicts
• AND MORE!

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References:

Effective Leadership: How to Be a Better Leader; Gallup https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/356072/how-to-be-better-leader.aspx

Leadership Effectiveness: How to Be a Better Leader; Gallup
https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/356072/how-to-be-better-leader.aspx

What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team; Charles Duhigg; The New York Times Magazine
www.nytimes.com/2016/02/28/magazine/what-google-learned-from-its-quest-to-build-the-perfect-team.html

The Psychology Behind the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO); Emily Laurence; Forbes
https://hbr.org/2022/09/what-makes-a-great-leader