What Exactly Do Employees Need?

What Exactly Do Employees Need? The one question managers should be asking more often

Your approach to management says a great deal about you as a leader.
The best managers view themselves as servants to the long-term development of their teams. To that end, while your team will be delegated tasks based on your strategic directives, you should constantly be asking how you can better “serve” them as a manager. The simple question, “What do you need from me?” demonstrates to your employees that you are invested in their ability to succeed in your role.
Asking “What do you need?” has a secondary benefit as well, as it empowers your team members to think more proactively about what they need to complete a task or progress in their role. It takes the onus off of you as the manager and makes them more accountable for their own success.
Here’s how to put it into action:

  • When you assign a task to an employee, provide the context needed, such as the project’s relationship to broader, more strategic goals. Give them a clear deadline, and set expectations for what success looks like.
  • Now, step back and listen. Does the employee understand the mission? Are they missing any critical pieces of information?

Finally, ask, “What do you need from me?” Encourage them to view you not only as a manager but as a resource and coach, guiding them to eventual success.