5 Ways to Make Employees Feel Truly Appreciated

employees

When your employees truly feel that you appreciate them and value their contribution, they’ll work harder for your organization and be more loyal. You’ll experience increases in productivity and lower turnover that will make your organization a more successful one.

But what can you do to make employees feel more appreciated? You can take the time to get to know them, express your gratitude for their hard work, and make a point of recognizing their achievements and life milestones, like employment anniversaries.

You can also show your employees that you value them as human beings by giving them the flexibility they need to maintain appropriate work-life balance, and by giving them honest, clear feedback geared towards helping them improve their performance.

5 Ways To Appreciate Your Employees Truly

1) Take the Time to Get to Know Them

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Communication is the key to success in any relationship, including the employer-employee relationship. The better you know your employees, the better you’ll be at communicating with them. You’ll get to know their triggers so you check-in when they’re struggling and give them the support they need.

You’ll know when they’re having problems with their home life and need some extra flexibility. And you’ll create an environment in which mutual respect can grow between you and your employees.

Dedicate about one-fifth of your time to getting to know your employees. Eat lunch with them. Go out with them for happy hour drinks on Friday night. Spend some time chatting with everyone every day.

Learn about their families, look at photos of their pets and babies, and share details of your life with them, too. If you can begin to build feelings of friendship between yourself and your employees, they’ll be more loyal.

2) Say Thanks

When it comes to making someone feel appreciated, there’s just no substitute for a simple, old-fashioned expression of gratitude. Say thanks when employees do a good job and say it right away.

Spend some time each week composing thank-you notes for the good work your employees did the previous week, or take the time to call out employees with public thanks at the beginning of meetings.

Build expressions of gratitude into your regular routines, and make sure you express your thanks in a way that feels natural to you – otherwise, your expressions of gratitude may come across as inauthentic.

3) Recognize Achievements and Milestones

3) Recognize Achievements and Milestones

Employees want recognition for their achievements and they want their personal life milestones to be recognized. The former proves that employees’ contributions aren’t going unnoticed, while the latter proves that you see your employees not as mindless office drones, but as real, three-dimensional human beings with lives outside of work – lives that they are entitled to.

Go out of your way to offer employees the recognition they deserve when they do a good job on a project or successfully handle a difficult client. Take the time to acknowledge milestones like marriages, births, deaths, and employee work anniversaries.

Your employees are very aware of how long they’ve been in their jobs, and they want to know that you also know how long they’ve been with you, so don’t let employee work anniversaries slip by without offering some form of employee anniversary recognition.

4) Be Flexible

As previously mentioned, employees do have families and lives outside of the office, and sometimes normal business hours can get in the way of those obligations. That’s why it’s important to be flexible.

Employees will definitely appreciate being given the flexibility to be able to deal when life stuff comes up, whether it’s going to the doctor, dealing with a family emergency, or simply taking a beloved pet to the vet.

Give employees the option to flex their schedules or use paid time off when they need to arrive late or leave early. Don’t make employees feel guilty about using their paid time or flexing their schedules. Encourage them to maintain a good work-life balance by taking time for themselves when they need it.

5) Give Straightforward Feedback

5) Give Straightforward Feedback

Employees definitely want to know what they’re doing well, but they’re also more interested in hearing about their shortcomings than you might think. You should give employees balanced and fair feedback that recognizes their strengths and gently highlights their weaknesses.

Giving feedback that is always only positive keeps everyone comfortable, but growth doesn’t happen in the comfort zone. Furthermore, employees may wonder how much they can trust your feedback if it’s always positive. Employees need to know how they can improve, but they also don’t need to feel like they can’t do anything right.

But don’t rely on the feedback sandwich method, as it can backfire and confuse employees. Separate positive and negative feedback so employees are clear on what they’re doing right and what they need to improve.

When your employees feel truly appreciated, they’ll feel more interested in and committed to their work, and you’ll get better performance. It’s well worth making the extra effort to get to know your employees and support their improvement – your whole organization will benefit as a result.

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