“Despite the fact that they’re paid in another way, everybody has to really feel appreciated.” – Roger Staubach
In today’s workplace, many employees have one main requirement that’s higher on their lists than compensation; they want to be appreciated. They would like appreciation from their managers, supervisors, business owners, and perhaps even their customers.
What does it mean to feel appreciated at work?
It can be lonely at the top, and owners and management can occasionally feel worn out, fatigued, and overwhelmed. They also crave appreciation! It may be tough to show appreciation to others on your team if you do not feel respected as an owner, CEO, or manager. You want your employees to recognize the sacrifices you make to manage the business as you provide them with job security and flexible lifestyle options. At the same time, you hope your customers recognize and appreciate the excellent customer service they receive. It’s a vicious cycle.
In not-for-profit organizations for example, the front-line staff, especially the Executive Director, desire recognition. But the volunteer board members, who regularly put in excruciating hours, want the staff to recognize THEM. Sometimes, both sides end up feeling disregarded and misunderstood. What is supposed to be a win-win situation may end up being everything but.
Why is it important to make your people feel valued?
There may not be a one-size-fits-all strategy for ensuring that everyone (including the “boss”) feels valued; however, there are many benefits to feeling appreciated. Here are a few of them:
- Feeling appreciated at work can help enhance productivity.
- If you receive praise for your efforts, you will likely feel more productive in your position and be able to do more.
- You will cultivate a sense of belonging, which boosts your mood as well as the morale of your company.
- Feeling appreciated will help motivate you to achieve your own goals while boosting your confidence and that of your employees and customers.
How can managers help their staff feel appreciated?
Several years ago, Karen, the CEO of Mind Your Own Business, was on a “recognition team” at a previous job. As a gesture of gratitude to the workers, this team decided to bring donuts to work every Friday. She was surprised by the overwhelming number of folks who were offended because they were on a diet or couldn’t eat a donut for some other reason and felt excluded from the “appreciation.” Next, they tried including more people by ordering pizza for lunch. Once again, there was pushback; not everyone ate pizza, or they didn’t like the toppings, hated cheese, were lactose intolerant, or had scheduled that Friday off as a vacation day and missed “being appreciated.” It’s impossible to please everyone all the time. They eventually gave up, and the whole recognition team approach fizzled.
So, how can you make sure that your staff members feel valued and heard? Leaders and managers are both accountable for this. Giving employees meaningful experiences is a terrific place to start. Here are some ideas to consider:
#1. Create and manage a recognition program that is open to all staff.
Recognize your staff’s accomplishments and hard work to ensure they feel appreciated for their efforts. Begin by asking your people what kind of recognition they most want.
#2. Celebrate work achievements.
Celebrating professional development and career accomplishments is key. A new opportunity or achievement, such as a promotion or new skill development, or recognizing weekly wins, such as finishing a challenging project or getting a new client, are just a few of the many reasons to celebrate! These events will energize and motivate your people.
#3. Provide opportunities for learning, development, and growth.
Encourage your staff to stay and thrive inside your company. Allow them to learn new things and build new talents that will help them advance.
#4. Set aside time for your team.
Spending time with your people will help you build trust and connections with them. Seek to understand their ambitions and what they want to achieve in their jobs by getting to know them on a personal level. This will help them feel heard and respected as individuals.
#5. Show your appreciation by hosting company events.
Events are a great opportunity to show your people how much you appreciate them. Company events also allow staff to network, strengthen relationships, be recognized, and recognize others. Consider giving your team company swag as an additional way to show your appreciation.
#6. Keep a finger on the pulse of your organization.
Asking for feedback from your staff is a fantastic way to demonstrate that you value their thoughts and contributions, and it gives them a feeling of purpose, which builds a positive business culture. It is critical to provide a safe atmosphere for feedback, then acknowledge and act on it. Your approaches and tools should be consistent with your culture.
Over to you
As you can see, there are numerous advantages to having happy employees who feel appreciated and have a sense of belonging. Create significant moments that your people will never forget. Both your staff and the company will gain immensely in the long term!
Written by: Jennifer Hanford, MYOB Blogger