February is both Heart Month and the month of love. It’s a good time to assure your employees know you care for them and value their efforts.
Appreciated employees are productive. Everyone likes to feel they’re cared for by the people they work with and for. If you consistently motivate and encourage your employees, you’ll have employees who consistently deliver what you ask for.
Think about the people you truly rely upon. It’s likely they check on you and make themselves available when you need them. You should do the same for your employees.
That doesn’t mean you should give them your home phone number and encourage them to call you at all hours. But you should ensure employees can approach you as needed during the workday. This could mean blocking aside time as “open door” hours or simply being out among them and approachable.
Simply put, employees should feel they can approach you about work concerns without being turned away or dismissed. Time is a precious commodity, so if you give time to your employees, it speaks volumes about your appreciation for them.
Work as hard – if not harder than they do. If you’ve ever had a project where the person in charge waltzes around and makes demands without actually pitching in, you understand why some employees feel unappreciated.
It’s impossible to claim you care about your employees if you don’t put forth effort to lighten their load. You should understand firsthand what your employees have to do.
The advantage to working alongside your employees is you know them better and you’re vastly more accessible than if you lock yourself away in an office. Your employees will feel more appreciated.
Reward them frequently and generously. If your budget allows it, bonuses and prizes are effective ways to show your appreciation for your employees.
But such rewards don’t always have to be tangible monetary items. Sometimes recognition, public praise, promotions and extra privileges are enough to make employees feel appreciated.
If someone consistently works hard and exceeds expectations, they should be rewarded. As an employer, you want to assure they don’t revert to minimal effort because they weren’t rewarded for their extra contributions.
Consider Their Needs
Consider their needs and wants. When you make decisions that impact your employees, you can’t think solely about the bottom line. They won’t feel appreciated. And while you can’t always ignore the practical side of your business, some decisions profoundly impact how invested your employees feel in their jobs.
Suppose an employee asks you for a shift off to watch their child in a school play. It’s a busy shift and the employee couldn’t find someone else to take the shift. Your reply will result in one of these outcomes:
- The employee goes to the play, the shift is chaotic and other employees suffer.
- The employee misses the play and develops profound resentment about your workplace.
- You roll up your sleeves and cover for the employee to make the shift manageable.
The third option not only lets the employee have an important moment with their child, it also demonstrates your willingness to be part of the team. It’s one of the best ways to show employees you care about them.