Understanding Employee Needs for Improved Productivity and Success

Running an office can be stressful. There are so many personalities confined into this single area that it can be a challenge to understand the needs of every employee you bring on. This is as true for brand new employees to those who you have already gotten to know. If you want to get the most out of them, you must understand their needs. 

But it is not impossible to do this. While everyone is different, employee needs can be divided into sections. Regardless of the stage in their career, their age, or their aspirations, you can still uncover their essential needs. 

These are the needs that inspire them to come into work every day. They are the needs that motivate them to do their best. These needs convince them to put their all into every project they are assigned. 

Role Significance

Employees want to know that their role matters, and if you are running an office, everyone should have a purpose. It should be that if you remove one component, the whole enterprise falls apart. 

Ensuring this in your office is a superb way to make everyone feel valued, regardless of their role. Senior members of staff, such as supervisors or office managers, should understand they are there to oversee operations and also offer guidance to new employees. As for these new employees, they should know that without them to deal with the smaller (but no less significant) jobs and projects, the company would not survive. 

Helping everyone understand the vital significance of their role gives them motivation. It makes them feel they are part of something, rather than a spectator watching things progress. 

Manageable Schedules

Attitudes towards work schedules are not the same as they once were. They are different even from just five or ten years ago, and the idea of working 9-5 every day is slowly evaporating. 

Creating a manageable schedule for your employees will benefit them and the business in several ways. For one, you can avoid the risk of burnout and stress from overworking. Another benefit is that it prevents boredom, or even resentment, by feeling they need to stay long after they are required. 

Offering the opportunity for flexitime and the chance to work-from-home will increase productivity and help people manage their time better. In the modern business world, you do not need everyone behind a desk all day long. So if they need to work from home, let them do so.

Progression and Growth

While some employees will see the job as just that, others will want to know the progression opportunities. They will want to know if they are going to be stuck behind the same desk for the rest of their life, or if they can one day move up in the company to take on a more senior role. 

Some may be happy where they are for now, but this could change in the future. They may not even know they want more responsibility. To help them understand this, you can encourage them and give them a push in the right direction. This will challenge them to confront their abilities and ambitions and could lead to them recognizing what they want from their career. 


It never helps anybody to be a passenger at work, and even though it can be understandable for newer employees to witness changes with no input, this is not something that will last forever. 

They want to feel involved in the progress of the company. They want to understand that their opinion matters, and that they can make a contribution. Without giving them this outlet to vent frustrations or explain why new practices are good, they will become dissatisfied in their role, and this will affect their productivity and output.  

You can overcome this by allowing an open forum for them to discuss any concerns where the whole team can provide input. This puts everyone on a level playing field and also prevents gossiping between colleagues, which can lead to a toxic atmosphere. 

Workplace Safety 

Whether your workplace is a construction site, school, or regular office with cubicles as far as the eye can see, safety is a critical component of what your employees need. They need to arrive at work every day feeling safe. They need to leave every day with no worries of returning the next day. 

The first step you can take to ensure this safety is providing adequate safety training, and this is true regardless of the work environment. Teach them where everything is and what to do in case of disaster. You can also run regular drills to keep everyone up to date with procedures. 

It’s also essential to get everyone involved in ensuring the workplace is safe. If someone spots something that could be a hazard, encourage them to take the initiative to fix it, rather than leaving it to somebody else. 


If you’re running a small business, it can be a challenge to loosen the reins and let your employees get on with it themselves. However, this can sap motivation and even cause them to make mistakes as they feel nervous about doing something wrong. 

Trusting your employees is key to continuing your business’ success and maintaining productivity. Employees who feel trusted will work better creatively. They won’t worry about impressing you or doing something you don’t approve of as they will have the confidence to make the right choice. 

This confidence is vital to creating a thriving office atmosphere, and with confidence comes better results. Of course, it won’t always work out, but these issues will be small in comparison. 

A Connection

Most people do not come into work because they want to. They go into work because they want to make a connection. This is why freelancing can be a little dull after a while. You need to get out of the house now and again. 

In most workplace environments, you get the chance to interact with other people, and through this interaction, you can build relationships. They say that work friends are some of the best you’ll ever make, and while not everyone would agree, there is some credence to it. 

Allowing connection at your workplace, whether through a relaxed atmosphere or team building (ugh) exercises will foster these connections. It will make everyone seem more human, which encourages respect and ensures everyone treats one another equally. 

You need to make sure that managers are not only carrying out their role, but that your employees are happy with working under them too. Use anonymous surveys like leadership 360 degree feedback to help determine how your staff are getting on and how they’re feeling working with one another. You may need to implement some team building if people aren’t feeling at ease yet.


What employees also need, especially from you, is consistency. Nobody needs an erratic manager they find impossible to predict. No one likes a manager who favours one employee over the other, regardless of what the reasons might be. 

As a manager, you must be consistent in your actions. Criticize as readily as you praise if it is necessary, but do so to everybody. This prevents resentment and keeps everyone on the same level. 

The best way to achieve this is through communication, but this communication must be the right kind of communication. You cannot spend an afternoon screaming your office door down, but you also shouldn’t be afraid to speak out if an employee is doing something wrong. As it is your business, you know best, so make sure you communicate your expectations. Only then will your employees receive the consistency they need. 

Complete Understanding

People can be complicated, and when running an office, it is challenging to juggle varying personalities and demands. However, by remembering that everyone is there for a reason, whether it’s as simple as supporting themselves or more career-oriented with regards to progression, you can ensure that you can focus on everyone’s individual needs while still maintaining the success of the company and guaranteeing productivity for everyone in the workplace.

Isa Lillo


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