Attention VPs and Senior Managers.
Now that I've been in the working world for 30-odd years (part-time jobs in high school count), I have some advice for those folks who've "managed up" so successfully they've succumbed to the Peter Principle. Fortunately for me, I do know one manager who does not need to read this. But I sure have worked for plenty who sure do.
This is what employees want:
1. respect - you're not better than your employees; do not forget this
2. fair pay - which means, Joe, who's doing the same job as me, is making about the same; not a lot more, not a lot less
3. regular feedback on how we're doing - positive and constructive
4. regular salary increases - if we're doing a good job and if the company can afford it - if you get an increase, then the company can afford it.
5. a safe, comfortable work environment
6. loyalty in return for loyalty
7. trust - I can do my job without your looking over my shoulder
This is what we don't want:
1. insincerity - mantras and mission statements about transparency amid lots of secrecy
2. bullshit assumptions - don't assume you don't need to ask my opinion; don't assume I'm not busy; don't assume I give a crap about career path; don't assume I can take on all of the duties of an employee who was fired by you; don't assume you're smarter than I am because I report to you; don't assume your obsequious toady is telling you the truth about me
3. any illusions on your part that we are working for you for any reason other than for the money
4. any indication that you are forgetting #3
5. expectations of loyalty if you seem to be forgetting #3
All this being said, I'm very happy at work these days. I got a raise this week, and I'm damn pleased. I'm working with a whole bunch of smart, nice, hardworking, fair, decent people, doing work that's interesting. I love MY boss. Plus I sit near a window. And the coffee's great.
Of course, if I win the lottery, I'm outa there.