How to make your employees feel valued
“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” – Margaret Cousins
It is no longer a mystery that employees are a company’s greatest asset. They are its heart and guts. Valuing employees in the workplace has been proven by numerous studies in creating fantastic results. Employees who feel recognised have increased motivation in the workplace, greater commitment, show greater levels of innovation, and hold themselves accountable for their part of a project. But that leaves many leaders at a loss, searching for ideas and ways to show their appreciation. We are here with a few suggestions to help you.
1. Go above and beyond to personally help them.
It is not enough to simply assist your employees with work issues — a great leader should keep his/ her eyes open for ways to help out with personal problems as well. This may be both the most powerful and most overlooked way to show appreciation and motivate employees in the workplace. By projecting that you actually care about their physical, social, and emotional wellbeing, you’re basically proving that you have a personal interest in their wellbeing, rather than just caring about the results they create. It proves that you consider them as an individual rather than just an organizational asset and this builds loyalty that is hard to break and invaluable in a business relationship.
2. Be real and transparent with them.
If an employee asks for feedback, be honest about it and do not give them a vague and ambiguous one. That does not mean you should be unkind but shielding employees from the truth will do nothing but hurt them as well as your company. Transparency is usually accompanied by a few uncomfortable conversations, but those conversations prove you care enough to deliver the hard truth. As a bonus, that constructive and transparent feedback will also garner better results.
If you are not transparent, then your vagueness and ambiguity will make your employees insecure and allows them to jump to assumptions based on their perceptions. If you prefer to say nothing instead of clear communication, it translates for your employees as ‘they do not like me or my efforts or both.’
3. Relate to them.
You are their leader so do not act like you are above them. If you’ve ever been in a culture where the executives have their own parking spaces and make you carry their luggage when travelling, you know firsthand what it feels like to think your boss doesn’t care about you. When you sense an employee is having a problem, think about what you had gone through and share how or what you did or did not do to overcome the situation. As a leader, employees might place you on a pedestal, bringing yourself to their level by showing own vulnerabilities and imperfections will help them overcome their challenges. Connect to your employees more as a team member instead of a leader. Employees feel more valued and display more motivation in the workplace when they are able to connect and relate to their leaders.
4. Celebrate careers.
Careers are different than job titles. Valuing employees in the workplace means also acknowledging all the experience, insight, and advice they have gained that contributes to their betterment in their current role. Empower your employees to recognize and reward each other, thus encouraging and enabling authentic appreciation. As well as boosting productivity and performance, the frequent feedback and collaboration also work well to strengthen relationships and align efforts.
To boost their morale, celebrate the years of service they gave to you and your organization, and the years of experience they have gained throughout their career. Celebrate the whole person—the value they bring to the organization.
Employees are your competitive advantage, thus, provide them with encouragement, stimulus and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission. In Jim Goodnight’s words “Treat employees like they make a difference and they will.”
ABL Recruitment team