Kevin is a 40-something Systems Administrator in a technology company that has a start-up vibe. He joined this medium-sized employer nearly 6 months ago and is already disillusioned with the 'culture' that management seems to rave about. Kevin knows he is a valuable contributor to his team but rarely has meaningful feedback sessions with his manager. All of the company's game rooms, social events and free donuts will not make up for the feeling that his hard work is going unnoticed.
I admit that I overuse "authentic" when I try to describe what employees are looking for in leadership today. People managers need to understand how to lead, develop and recognize employees in ways that are genuine and carry impact.
You don't need to be Jim Rohn in order to grasp the importance of work in people's lives. Although I would agree with those that say everyone is responsible for their own happiness, managers do themselves a favor when they cultivate a culture wherein members enjoy the work and feel as though they are respected because the results they produce matter.
Before your company throws blackboard paint on a wall to encourage humor and crosstalk, or has a costume contest to poke fun at a colleague's personality traits, or hires that Friday margarita truck for the staff, consider if management has checked the box for telling people that their work is valued.
Everyone appreciates that, trust me.