Valentine’s Day has come and gone, spreading love in its wake, so what better time to show your employees just how much you value and appreciate them?
If you want a happy and productive workforce, you need to give them the recognition they deserve to show that their job is an important, and necessary, asset to the company. Without this, it’s unlikely they’ll become invested in its long-term vision or success.
Employee appreciation is the main ingredient to creating loyalty and effective teamwork, so we’ve come up with a list of key words for you to have in your head when interacting with your team, because “to win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.”
Treat your employees like the individuals they are. Show an interest in their hobbies and personal lives (without being invasive), and you’ll go a long way to making them feel that, to you, they’re not just another cog in the corporate machine.
A big part of making employees feel valued is in giving them the feeling that they add something to the company that no one else can. To effectively convey this, why not try this simple exercise. Next time you’re assigning a new task, instead of simply saying ‘this is what you have to do’, tell them why you think they’d be suitable for this ask. ‘Since you did such a great job with this last week, and since your work is so detailed-orientated, I think you’re the only one for this job’. The more you recognise your employees’ specific contributions to the team, the more irreplaceable they’ll feel.
By giving employees a platform to share their stories, opinions or ideas, you let them know that they’re valued for what they (uniquely) can bring to the table. Give them the opportunity to make important decisions sometimes and they’ll repay you in effort and loyalty.
It’s important to balance out the everyday activities of someone’s role with more challenging assignments, too. When you don’t challenge your workforce, you’re communicating that you don’t really need his or her specific talents. However, when you put your trust in them, you’re validating the work that takes up a large portion of their lives. And if you see it as important, they will too.
There are certain areas of business management which can’t be discussed, but for the most part, keeping your employees informed makes them feel involved, and nurtures an environment of team-accountability and ownership.
A culture of openness shows that you trust and respect your staff, and care about what they have to contribute. This should also translate to when you’re giving feedback. Try not to be unkind, but always be honest and your employees will respect you for it.
Perhaps the best way to show your appreciation for your employees is to give them regular opportunities to stretch themselves. This shows that you care about their development, and not just the development of the company (and your profits).
Challenge is the key to personal development, and this is why you should always be looking for new ways to test your team – whether that’s through training, or developing new projects specifically for their talents.
Giving your employees flexibility is a sure-fire way to show them that you value them as an individual and are willing to bend the rules to accommodate their individual needs. This is a definite way to encourage positive feelings towards your company and your vision.
Does your colleague need to leave slightly earlier to pick up their child? Do they need to come in a bit later on a Thursday because of a course? Allow your team the flexibility they need. Also be willing to send workers home when they’re ill. Sick people in the office are bad for everyone, and forcing people to stick to rigid hours when they’re not feeling too hot is not going to win you any love.
Getting creative with employee perks can go a LONG way, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Surprising your team with dinners and days out can be an effective way to show you care, but small gestures such as encouraging emails can be just as beneficial.
The power of ‘going the extra mile’ should never be underestimated, and can be as simple as remembering someone’s birthday or picking up a co-worker’s favourite pastry on the way into the office every once in a while. Sometimes it’s the littlest things in life that matter the most.