It’s one of the most critical and elusive components of a successful team – employee validation. Managers attend entire training courses to figure out how to show employees the recognition they need to feel like they’re making a difference, and with good reason. Not feeling like you contribute to a team or that your wins are celebrated is one of the key reasons why employees jump ship.
It’s not just about keeping your top performers happy, it’s about creating the conditions that nurture newer employees, giving them time they need to develop into assets into the company. We’ve rounded up a few things managers can start doing today that will help them make their employees feel more valued. If you’re looking to start building a culture that makes a real contribution to your ability to building stronger, better teams, read on.
Recognition that they offer something unique
This goes beyond the usual learning their partner’s name and their birthday – recognising the uniqueness of your employees should shape not only your causal conversations but your professional interactions. It’s about a deeper understanding of your team than separating them into ‘good workers’ and ‘bad workers’.
Take the time to closely analyse how they work and what they accomplish, and give them work that feeds into this. Who in your team is a master presenter? Who’s got the eye for detail that will please even the fussiest client? Who can turn around an entire project on the tightest deadline? Explicit verbal recognition of these skills when distributing work can encourage workers to achieve more and stay longer.
Who in your team is there to support a family? Who is there to become the best at their craft they can be? Who is there because they love helping clients? While it’s tempting to look at the employee-work relationship as purely transactional, it’s important to remember that your team members chose to be here for a reason. Discovering that reason can help you tailor your managerial style for each employee, getting more out of them and building a stronger relationship.
Knowing when to reward the group and when to reward the individual
Bringing in pizza or a box of doughnuts as a reward for a job well done is a pretty standard ‘cool boss’ manoeuvre, and while it’s an easy way to put smiles on faces, it’s also important to remember what a flat, uniform gesture it is. Think of it this way – your top gun and your newest, untested hire are both getting the same reward and neither feels particularly appreciated on an individual level.
It’s important to do this without playing favourites, but look for small ways you can recognise individual victories on a personal level. Whether it’s letting them go home an hour early or giving them a small gift, letting someone know that they achieved something by themselves and it was noticed can make all the difference.
If you’re looking for a way to champion your workers and make them feel valued, consider how implementing the Achievers employee engagement platform could help your business. Get in touch