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Meditation rooms. Nap pods. Free massages and haircuts. Concierge services. In its early days, Silicon Valley made headlines when it offered unusual perks to employees and, since then, many companies have tried to copy the approach. But, while these perks may help convince you to apply for a job, are they really enough to keep employees engaged? What can—and should—employees be able to reasonably expect from their employers?


Respect is something that many preach, but what does it look like in actuality? When employers truly respect their employees (and their contributions), they temper their behaviors and their language accordingly. A supervisor who is respectful will understand that, by and large, most employees truly are trying their hardest to perform well, and they will treat those employees accordingly. When there is a problem with an employee, supervisors who behave respectfully will consider how best to discuss the issue with the employee. They will set the stage for a productive two-way conversation, make inquiries based on curiosity, remain even-keeled in language and tone, use examples and stay focused on behavior, rather than a personal attack.

Skill Set and Job Duties Alignment

Employees should be able to reasonably expect that their job will make use of their knowledge and skill set. It’s in an employee’s best interest to find a position that utilizes their credentials and skills. However, in some cases, employees take a position that evolves over time; at some point, the job duties may no longer fit their skill set. This sets the stage for a drop in job satisfaction. Either the employee is frustrated at doing work that is too simplistic for them or they feel like they’re treading water trying to keep up with responsibilities that are too demanding.

Professional Development Opportunities

Another reasonable expectation that employees may have is the opportunity to grow as professionals. Out of college, employees generally enter the workforce with the understanding that they first will need to work an entry-level job. However, if there are no opportunities for professional development and upward growth, employees feel as though their careers have gone stagnant. It’s entirely reasonable to expect that an employer who cares about the growth of both employees and the company will provide opportunities for career development and professional skill acquisition. Invest in your people. The investment will be returned in engagement, loyalty, growth and business results.

Diversity and Inclusion

Organizations are required to adhere to federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination and harassment in the workplace—from hiring to firing. However, many employees expect their organizations to go the extra mile to ensure that the company is one in which all feel welcome and included. 


Not all companies are out to change the world, but they should all have an overall purpose. It’s quite reasonable for employees to expect that their organizations have a positive mission that the employees can engage in and feel proud of.

With guidance from a Crosworks career strategist, an individual can move forward in the work world with greater clarity and focus. Consider requesting a career assessment to evaluate and define your unique path. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. If you are an organization interested in developing your people, check out the proven Maximize Your Talent program by Crosworks.

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