This is not the sort of atmosphere you want to foster as a manager—at least not if you want your workers to stay. As a result, one of your most important obligations is to ensure that your workers feel genuinely respected, letting them know that without them, your business, department, and, frankly, you, will be in worse shape.
Numerous studies have shown that valuing workers at work produces excellent results. Employees that feel respected have higher levels of motivation, engagement, and creativity in the workplace. Many leaders, however, are looking for new ideas and ways to express their gratitude.
But how do you do it on a daily basis, particularly if you don’t have the authority or resources of a senior executive? So, here are a couple of suggestions.
- Enable opportunities for development.
Show your appreciation for your coworkers by being a true advocate for their growth. Build a mindset of a mentoring network as a leader. Become the individual who removes roadblocks, unlocks doors, and assists others in reaching their full potential. They will feel respected and remember you long after they see you care for their continued development and opportunity, even if it means they will rise out of your department.
2. Communicate often and clearly.
Most of us consider work satisfaction to be a phrase describing a person’s attitude toward the tasks they perform. However, research suggests that the majority of people who leave their jobs do so out of a “lack of recognition,” rather than boredom, dissatisfaction, or a desire to try something different. Your employees can make assumptions about how you value their efforts if you don’t communicate. And you saying nothing isn’t usually interpreted as “good work” in their minds. In reality, it usually translates as “they aren’t fond of me.”
3. Encourage your employees to do their best.
Encouragement is essential for organizational motivation to occur. Employees often feel appreciated when their effort (all the sweat and hard work that goes into producing results) is recognized and promoted. Become an employee’s cheerleader. Before achieving a goal, it is often necessary to expend a great deal of energy. Along the way, the effort should be commended.
4. Make everyday conversations intentional.
The belief that “everything is replaceable” is also rooted in both employees and managers. However, I’ve discovered that knowing that workers contribute something to the business that no one else can is a major part of feeling respected. Consider how you handle daily meetings with your staff to communicate this effectively. When giving someone a new assignment, for example, go beyond the basics and emphasize why you appreciate their work: “Last week, you did a fantastic job creating the website. We have a new client who seems to be very picky, and I believe you’re the only candidate for the job because of your meticulous work.”
5. Put them to the test.
Every work entails certain less-than-pleasant tasks. But it’s also vital to mix in some demanding tasks with the grunt work. When you just offer him or her routine tasks, you’re implying that you don’t need his or her unique abilities. When you give a difficult task to an employee and trust him or her to complete it, you’re saying, “I know you’re capable of this, and I trust you to do a fantastic job.”
6. Careers should be celebrated.
Job titles are not the same as careers. In the workplace, valuing workers means valuing all of their expertise, knowledge, and guidance that helps them be their best in their current position and benefits the team. Celebrate their years of service to you and the years of experience they’ve accumulated over the course of their career. Celebrate the whole person: the value they add to the business, the value their personality adds to the team, and the value their knowledge adds to the world.
7. Recognize them for who they are.
It’s a good idea to do something for the whole team to raise morale, such as catering lunch or getting in donuts. However, if you’re trying to express your gratitude for a specific person, it’s easy to get lost in these forms of group celebrations. Your top salesperson and newbie intern have both been rewarded with the same thing: a slice of pizza in one fell swoop. Specific workers should be singled out and rewarded based on their achievements—and with something that the majority of the team won’t necessarily receive.
8. Make room in your schedule for them.
You know how it feels like you have a to-do list and a 30-minute block on your calendar and then an employee shows up. Do you allow the person to ask their question or share their story, or do you tell him it’s not the right time? As a leader, how you react in that situation determines you.
Your facial gestures, body language, and vocabulary will have an effect on whether or not your workers feel valued by you, as well as their desire to return when they have another query. Give a time slot where you can talk later in the day, even though you can’t meet right away. Remember, as a people leader, this “distraction” is your team. Proactively communicating with team members, preferably in person, will lead to more positive interactions. As you walk through the halls, prepare some questions to engage them.
Check out my related post: How to manage employees who don’t get along?