Employees are often referred to as a company’s most important asset.
Over the last 70 years, business leaders have been surveyed regarding what they thought employees value the most in their job (keep in mind, this includes attitude from years gone by). Consistently, the top three results have been: 1) salary, 2) job security and 3) advancement opportunities.
During that same time period, employees revealed what they value the most, and the results may surprise you. According to employees, they prioritize 1) appreciation for work done, 2) being “in the loop”, and 3) sympathy for personal situations. Job security ranked 4th, salary was 5th and advancement opportunities was 7th.
To your employees, what you think of them, and how you show it, means more to them than their paycheck. Want to increase employee engagement and improve the culture of your workplace? Find ways to affirm the importance of your employees – both as a group and as individuals.
How can you demonstrate that you value your employees?
Be Specific With Praise
Everyone likes to receive verbal recognition for a job well done. A general “Great job!” can be an effective confidence booster. For demonstrating that you value each employee individually, however, you’ll need to get specific.
Commenting on a specific task lets the employee know that you recognize their individual contribution to the company and appreciate their efforts. “Your presentation during the team meeting was excellent, thanks for your hard work!” can instill confidence and encourage the employee to continue working hard.
One of the best ways to show employees that you value them is to establish regular communication avenues. Use technology to your advantage (particularly with millennials) as part of your communication process. I really like “old-fashioned” hand written thank you cards, but understand those aren’t entirely the best option for all situations.
Chat platforms, video conferencing, text messaging or mobile apps can all be used to convey information in a meaningful way. Don’t overlook the power of face-to-face meetings, even a quick “watercooler” meeting can be powerful.
Not every interaction has to be business related, either. Showing an interest in the employee as a person is a powerful way to demonstrate that you value who they are, both personally and professionally.
Include Employees When Sharing the Company Vision
Share with your employees the importance of their work to the overall mission of the organization. Tie their work to corporate goals - this allows them to see the impact their efforts have on the company’s success. Provide opportunities for employees to share in the big wins and be honest about corporate setbacks.
Employees value transparency. Rather than hiding problems or keeping employees out of the loop on upcoming changes, be upfront and honest. A willingness to share information can help to build a stronger relationship between employees and the corporation and demonstrates to employees that the corporate leadership is being transparent.
What you think about your employees matters. Whether you know it or not, it is communicated both verbally and non-verbally on a daily basis. Show your employees that you recognize how essential they are to the success of the company on a regular basis.
Not only will it help them to feel valued, it will increase employee engagement, which can in turn, improve corporate success. Businesses that value their employees generate up to 22 percent more revenue than those that don’t. Want to increase your company’s revenue? Don’t just look for a new sales program – look for ways to appreciate your employees.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.