How to show your employees you value them
Every year, the US celebrates National Employee Appreciation Day (March), and while we don’t have a UK equivalent - at least, not yet - there are things that businesses can do all year round to thank hard-working employees for their services to the company.
This is especially important now, with the twin challenges of the pandemic and the Great Resignation increasing staff turnover in many industries in the UK. Competition for talent among businesses is fierce, and if you can’t make employees feel like their contributions are important, you risk parting ways with them.
Our recruiters at The People Pod are experts at forming strong bonds with candidates, learning about their skills, experiences and ambitions. We know what they are looking for, and how you as an employer can support them, and nurture their loyalty to your business. Here, we’ve explained a few simple and inexpensive ways to recognise your employees’ value to your company.
Listen and Consider
The first thing you can do is the same thing we do: talk to your employees and find out what they want, whether that’s short-term needs or long-term career goals. Then, think about what you can do to make it happen. You won’t always be able to do what everyone wants, but if there’s a general consensus among the employees you speak to, you should think seriously about how you can meet their requests.
This means that you should be willing to try out new ideas. This goes for any company - business moves fast and if you’re unwilling to try things, it’s easy to get left behind. If you think that your company can only succeed by doing the same thing it has always done, you might be limiting its lifespan. If you’re unsure about a new idea, communicate that. If you’re trialling something, explain the pros and cons beforehand, so that if a strategy isn’t viable for your company, employees don’t feel betrayed when it goes away.
Try to be Flexible and Fair
It is also important to be both flexible and fair where possible. For example, if one employee says they would prefer to work from home on Thursdays, or that they’d be happy to work later in exchange for longer lunch breaks and you’re happy to accommodate them, consider factoring that flexibility into wider office policies rather than just changing individual permissions.
If some staff members feel that others are receiving special dispensation, this can encourage them to look elsewhere. Work-life balance and flexibility are high on the priority list for many staff as a result of the pandemic, and this is likely to crop up in conversations with potential candidates and current employees.
Sending thank-you notes is an easy way to recognise and celebrate employee achievements. This is fairly self-explanatory, but many businesses don’t go as far as they could and, though it’s a small gesture, a thank-you note can mean a lot to someone who has been working hard.
Depending on the employee, you might want to thank them in front of the whole team. For others, who don’t want to be put under the spotlight, a simple email can really make a difference to their motivation, loyalty and productivity.
For a more structured way to recognise achievement, an employee of the month scheme can help. We know that many businesses have tried to implement systems like this without success, because it can be difficult to manage. Choosing a winner is usually a team effort shared between the busiest people in the business, so it can be easy to neglect the responsibility.
However, if you’ve let your employee of the month scheme go dormant, or you’ve never tried, consider a system where staff can nominate or vote on the award. This can mean that team members are thanking each other on a much more regular basis, which promotes a healthier workplace culture overall.
A final suggestion is that you should consider thanking employees even when there are no particular achievements you can highlight to represent their success. Sometimes, it’s easy to sideline consistent and reliable work in favour of big achievements, but overlooked employees will feel underappreciated. If you’re not worried about them jumping ship, and you’d like to see them work harder, then you shouldn’t lie and pretend you’re satisfied. But more recognition can be just as important a motivation as more money when an employee is thinking about new opportunities.
Build a great team with help from The People Pod
If your industry is beset by instability and you’re struggling to put together a team that will stay together, The People Pod can help. Follow us, visit our website or call 01204 589 555 to learn more about how we can support your business.