Plenty of things make us feel valued: A text from a friend to hype you up before a big meeting. A thank-you note from your niece for her birthday present. The barista at your local coffee shop giving you a free drink just because!
When we feel valued, we feel good. It’s an affirmation that we are recognized and give us a sense of belonging. And that’s what we want our employees to feel when they step into the office.
The question is, how can you make sure employees feel valued? How can companies make sure their employees feel a sense of belonging and importance? Because doing so has a positive impact on their overall job satisfaction.
Let's explore five ways you can help your employees feel valued in the workplace.
The Importance of Making Employees Feel Valued
One of the top three reasons professionals left their last job was because they didn't feel valued at work, according to a study by McKinsey. This is a leak in an organization's talent pipeline that’s simple to address. And not only does making people feel appreciated help keep them on your team, it can boost the contributions they make at work. When employees are valued, they:
- Can drivea threefold increase in engagement with your organization's culture.
- Reduce employee turnover by50%.
- Increase job performance by56%.
- Increaseemployee engagement x4.
- Report75% fewer sick days.
That's some pretty impressive benefits unlocked by showing your employees you value their work and time.
Five Ideas to Recognize Valued Employees
- Call Out Contributions — Big or Small
It's no surprise that when employees receive gratitude from managers, it increases employee productivity. And it makes sense: when you receive recognition from your manager, you're more likely to be motivated and strive harder than if no acknowledgment was given.
Recognition shouldn't be saved just for reaching quarterly goals (although it’s always welcome then too). Managers can keep an eye out for gratitude opportunities during daily interactions, from recognizing an idea shared in a meeting, to praising strong teamwork on projects, to complimenting employees on their organizational skills. A little "thank you," or "well done," or maybe even a fun little "You are the most talented marketer in the world" lets employees know their contributions are appreciated.
- Offer Flexibility
A flexible work environment communicates that you care about employees’ wellbeing and trust them to manage their workload. Providing this autonomy helps you meet the desires of the modern workforce, where people want to be viewed as humans, not just workers, and be valued on an emotional level.
There are several ways you can support employees with flexible work. For example, you can profive flexible hours for employees to work when they’re most productive. This allows employees to take ownership of their time and accommodate appointments and personal commitments. Or if your company is office-based, consider having a hybrid set-up, with options for employees to work from home so they can capture both the benefits of remote-work and in-person collaboration.
- Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
Employee wellbeing (or lack thereof) has a major impact on how workers view their employer. As our 2020 State of Work-Life Wellness Report revealed, 76% of workers would consider leaving a company that doesn’t focus on employee wellbeing.
Health initiatives and wellness programs are a great way to show employees that their physical and mental wellness is a top priority for the company. Companies can implementworkplace wellness initiatives like access to mental health supports, reward programs, flexible work hours, and wellbeing programs. These changes can make a huge difference for employees — seven out of ten workers whose managers engage with and support a company’s wellbeing initiatives say their organization helps employees develop a healthy lifestyle.
- Provide Feedback
Honest feedback from their managers can contribute to employees feeling valued. They see feedback — both positive and constructive — as a significant part of feeling appreciated, Harvard Business Review found. This is because constructive feedback shows employees their managers care about their professional development.
Consider setting up regular one-on-one meetings with employees. These are opportunities to work together on areas of improvement in a constructive and supportive environment. Another option is to evaluate progress once a quarter with employees. This offers an opportunity to provide feedback and mentor employees with skills that progress their career goals.
- Honor Their Expertise
Employees have invested years of effort into honing their skills and knowledge. When managers ask them for input and factor those thoughts into the decision-making process, it shows their expertise has value and their opinion is respected. The simple gesture of professional inclusion increases feelings of appreciation by 40% and employee engagement by 59%. It helps foster an environment where teams feel empowered to offer creative solutions and ideas, and know their thoughts matter.
Consider scheduling regular meetings with employees to hear their thoughts, feedback about management practices. These meetings will help you understand areas that can improve employee wellbeing in the long run.
Building a Culture of Appreciation
Workplace culture plays a major role in how employees feel when they log off at the end of the week. In the end, what makes people feel valued is the sum of all the interactions and policies that constitute their employee experience. Every interaction with a manager, coworker, and policy plays a big role in employees feeling valued.
Your benefits package is another key element of this puzzle. About three out of four employees whose benefits were updated say their performance improved, according to Paychex, and wellness programs are a high-demand benefit — 78% of workers believe their wellbeing is just as important as their salary.
Show your employees their long-term mental and physical wellbeing is valued with a wellness program. Talk to aGympass wellbeing specialist today to hear how we can help!
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The Gympass Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.