Showing your employees that you value them

On the first Friday in March every year it is ‘Employee Appreciation Day’. In our eyes, employees should be celebrated and shown appreciation every day of the year and it shouldn’t need a special day to commemorate it (much like Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be the only day we show love to our nearest and dearest!).

But just for a moment imagine a job where your work isn’t appreciated, your effort goes unnoticed, and you could be replaced instantly. Not exactly a place you’d want to stay for long. As a leader, this isn’t the type of environment you want to develop or sustain. So how do you show your employees that you value them – not just on Employee Appreciation Day – but everyday?

When you are a people leader, a significant part of your role is about making time for people. This used to be known as ‘leadership by walking about’ but nowadays you don’t have to physically walk about to do it. Use the channels of communication you have available – and don’t ignore the obvious!

Contrary to popular belief, for employees to feel valued, it isn’t all just about money and benefits. It’s about showing you genuinely care about them as an individual.

Here are a few simple ideas to get you started…

  1. Say hello when you see them and get to know their names.
  2. Remember birthdays and work anniversaries.
  3. Write a handwritten note or card to say thank you when they’ve done a great job.
  4. Ask about their holidays – what they have planned, where they have been, etc.
  5. Genuinely be curious about what makes them tick – find out what their interests are outside of work and ask them about it from time to time.

When you show your employees you think about them, they will feel respected and will be more likely to go the extra mile when needed to. This is known in Human Resources as ‘discretionary effort’, i.e., it is at the employee’s discretion as to whether they do it or not.

Leadership is all about people and it is the little things that can make a huge difference. Our work is all about creating organisations where people thrive. They can show up as their true selves, do great work that they enjoy and are motivated by, and ultimately feel a sense of belonging.

If this is an area of your business you need some help with, get in touch. Our expertise is in creating high performing workplace cultures where employees are engaged and feel valued. Because organisations that value their people are the ones that ultimately succeed.

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