A large percentage of modern businesses actively participate in the “check-box culture.” They create procedures and policies and cross them off a list to demonstrate to their staff and the public that they care about their well-being. This culture dehumanizes its employees by emphasizing productivity above their well-being. No one ever checks to see whether the programs are really effective, leaving workers to wonder if they’re just another number.
Workers in the modern economy have good reason to be skeptical, so they keep their eyes peeled for employers that care about them as individuals. In the coming decade, employer branding will determine whether businesses succeed. A company’s ‘employer brand’ is its image in the eyes of potential employees, current workers, and anybody else with an interest in the company’s success.
It’s the word you provide to your staff and the impression others get of your company. Those that take this seriously will have more success than their competitors in attracting and retaining great talent. In fact, studies have shown that employees are more loyal to their employers if they believe they’re valued by the organization.
Companies can’t just do one thing to make their employees feel appreciated and then consider the task complete. It’s similar to getting married. You can’t treat your partner poorly six days a week and then surprise them with a kind gesture on the seventh. When it comes to showing appreciation for employees, a company’s culture is the language it uses, and its programs are the platform from which it shouts its message.
Here are a few gestures that will go a long way toward reassuring your staff that they’re appreciated.
Don’t Forget The Dates
One of the most effective ways to make employees feel appreciated is to recognize special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones in their lives. It’s amazing how much a simple ‘Happy Birthday’ and a sincere handshake can mean to someone. Those who have had their birthdays forgotten know all too well how forgetting significant events can make people feel invisible and unimportant.
Recognize the milestones of service anniversaries for your dedicated staff. You can show your appreciation by giving them unique work anniversary gifts that are sure to make them smile.
Spend Some Time in Reflection
Each direct employee should have a quick check-in with their supervisor first thing in the morning. A simple ‘Hey, how are you?’ can go a long way toward doing just that. Employees appreciate when their managers take the time to get to know them, even if it does eat into their workday.
To further illustrate the need of checking in with employees in order to make them feel appreciated, depression and anxiety alone account for a yearly loss of 12 billion working days. People with serious mental health issues are also often excluded from the workforce, despite the fact that employment is crucial to their rehabilitation.
Offer Employees Flexibility When Possible
Although it might be difficult to alter regular work hours, offering little leeway will go a long way toward making workers feel appreciated. Giving parents and caregivers the option to shift their lunch break so they can watch their child’s soccer game, or giving workers the option to arrive at the office an hour later so they can squeeze in a spin class can do wonders for morale.
The ability to work remotely, or at least to create a hybrid workplace that works well for your team, is a must in today’s business environment. Employees would want to feel that their employers value them as individuals outside of the workplace. The ability to take time off for personal matters shows workers that their employer cares about them as individuals.
Invest in the Growth of Your Staff
People are more devoted to their jobs and content with their lives when they believe their employers care about their personal and professional growth. It’s important for managers to get to know their employees on a personal level so they can better understand their motivations and values at work.
Employees are sometimes required to work overtime or on the weekend. Companies should compensate workers for the time they lose in these situations. Businesses should compensate their employees for any unpaid overtime, regardless of whether or not the worker consented to it. Companies should provide employees that go above and above with some kind of award or perk if monetary compensation isn’t an option.
Leaders that show appreciation for their staff create an environment where workers are more likely to collaborate well and remain in their positions. Showing appreciation to your staff doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. You can start by regularly recognizing and rewarding them for the outstanding efforts they make on a daily basis.