Employees who feel appreciated typically stay longer with the company and engage with their tasks instead of leaning out the door; that’s no surprise. And it’s no surprise that high engagement and long tenures boost the company bottom line. But appreciation brings a host of additional benefits as well, some more subtle than others. And all these benefits translate directly into returns for the company.
Appreciated employees are healthier and take fewer sick days, they’re happier and get along better with teammates, they’re more loyal to the company and its brand—even after they leave. In addition, they’re often willing to work longer hours for lower pay. So how can you cultivate this feeling in your teams? Here are a few places to start.
Thank people constantly.
Most people never get tired of being thanked. And as a manager, thanking your employees takes nothing out of you. In fact, this constant habit can help you grow and become a better leader by constantly pushing you to remind yourself—aloud—of your employees’ value. Thank every day. You’ll be less likely to take your teams for granted, and they’ll know it and see it on a regular basis.
Some employees are shy and shun the spotlight, so this method won’t work for them. But for the rest, trumpet their accomplishments to a wide audience. Brag for them, so they don’t have to do it themselves. Share their victories publicly, offer awards, and pat them on the back in front of others. Hold both formal and informal awards ceremonies on a regular basis. Consider sending out a newsletter each month where these accomplishments appear in writing.
Host events that your employees will enjoy.
Employees feel appreciated when you treat them like valued human beings, not just valued workers. To make that happen, consider treating them to off-site happy hours, afternoon outings, free occasional lunches or even fun evening get-togethers a few times a year at non-work restaurants and venues. A little sparkle and a nice meal can go a long way toward expressing gratitude.
Listen when they turn to you.
Employees who sit at your desk for a chat session aren’t always just there to chat. When we speak to a boss or manager, we often work hard to avoid complaining, asking foolish questions or reaching out for help. So, we veil these efforts in other types of conversation. If you’re on the manager’s side of the table, read between the lines and listen carefully to what your employees are really saying when they talk. Then clarify what you think you hear and take action.
For more on how to keep your employees happy and committed, turn to the management experts at Extension.