Five Ways To Show Your Employees That They Are Valued
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
Thanksgiving has come and gone for this year, but giving thanks doesn’t need to be contained to just one day. My dad used to say “It’s father’s day every day” when it would come around to that time in June and the idea of Thanksgiving should be no different.
With that in mind, and especially as we enter into the festive season of high stress and excitement, Grow Talk gives you five ways to show your employees you are thankful for them. Don’t worry, these aren’t time specific and can (or rather should) be carried out throughout the year.
1: Employees have lives
Whether you are leading a company of two or two hundred, taking the time to find out a little about your employees will go a long way to making them feel valued. We all lead varying degrees of crazy, busy lives but a few words or a question while the tea or coffee brews can lighten both of your days.
No one is expecting you to have a full-on D&M with each of your employees (you don’t want to be that boss), but a smile and a hello in passing, a ‘how are you?’ or ‘any plans for the weekend?’ can be all it takes.
It’s more than just a cracking song, it’s a culture. In order gain the respect of your employees, you need to respect them in turn. A practice that should be second nature, the importance of respect can often be forgotten.
When reprimanding employees, a quiet and private word demonstrates your respect for them. Tone of voice is often overlooked when talking with employees, but be mindful of it; it may not be what you said but how you said.
3: Honesty is the best policy
No one is calling for you to share all of your company secrets with every member of your team, but being honest with them about the highs and lows in your business will make them feel that they are an important part of it.
In my teacher training, one of the things I feared was a student asking me a question that I didn’t know the answer to. I quickly learned that, due to the wide and wonderful nature of children’s curiosity, this was likely to happen a lot. The best response, I found, was being honest. I would say “I don’t know, but we can find out together.”
4: Perks for perky employees
Rewards; we reward children for good behaviour, honesty and so on; we reward our pets for following commands, not pooing on the carpet and so forth. Doing well deserves recognition and this can come in many forms.
Many employers (and parents) fall into the trap of thinking that rewards need to be bought, and are therefore expensive. Many forget the value of praise. Whether it be public or private, celebrating an employee’s achievements with a few genuine words, a team email or a social media post can give a feel-good factor equal to buying them a gift or giving them a bonus. Rewards could also come in the form of leaving early on a Friday or earning extra holiday days for meeting targets. At times, it may be warranted to reward your whole team; a bring and share lunch, buying in a coffee round, an employee field trip… There are plenty of opportunities to get creative and express your gratitude without breaking your company’s budget.
5: Work is not the be-all and end-all
Your company is important. It’s important to you and it’s important to your employees, but it is not the only important thing in your, and their, life.
If employees feel that you value your company more than you value them and their well-being, they are unlikely to stay with you long.
Ensuring employees take their lunch breaks, stay at home when they’re ill and use up their holiday are all ways that you can show that work-life balance is important to your company. Equally, doing all of these things yourself and leading by example will demonstrate that everyone in the team is entitled to self-care.