While good pay and benefits remain important for employee recruitment and retention, they are no longer enough on their own. Increasingly, employees also want to feel valued at work. Valuing your employees leads to stronger loyalty, improved motivation, and ultimately better productivity while reducing turnover. But how can you show your appreciation? Here are a few tips to help ensure that your employees feel valued.
Focus on the Positive
Simple behaviorism talks about the effects of positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishments. But without getting too clinical, it boils down to this: People tend to feel more valued when positive behaviors are rewarded. Sometimes you will have to correct negative behaviors but try to reward the good twice as often as you punish the bad.
Make sure to reward efforts, not just achievements. Sometimes an individual or a team will work extremely hard on a project that falls short for reasons outside their control. You can go through a debriefing session on what went wrong and how to correct it next time, but this shouldn’t replace genuine appreciation for their time and effort.
Ask for Feedback
Your employees are your eyes and ears on the front lines. They have a perspective that isn’t possible to achieve from the boardroom. Soliciting constant feedback will help you understand which initiatives are working well and overdue for a change. It will also help your employees feel valued because you recognize that they have something useful to contribute.
Communicate often across a variety of channels. Let workers know when something major is happening with the company or in their individual department. Share the rough times and the good times, and be as clear as possible on what will happen next. Not only will this minimize watercooler gossip and rumors, but it will show your employees that you value them enough to confide in them.
Create Growth Opportunities
One of the best ways to show that you value your employees is to give them a long-term pathway to career growth. Help them chart a career within your organization, including providing the support they need to get there. This might take the form of tuition reimbursement, mentorship and job shadowing, or in-office skills training. And remember that each worker is an individual on a customized path.
Celebrate career milestones, from years of service to promotions or even lateral transfers. Show your appreciation for all their contributions and your excitement for their future. When someone retires, throw a big party and invite everyone in their department.
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