Showing your employees how much they’re valued can also help with staff retention, keeping talent in your business. All in all, it's a win-win for everyone involved.
However, it can be a challenge to show your employees have appreciated they are — especially if some or all of your staff are working remotely. But, with a recent survey suggesting that most office workers will never return to the workplace full-time, employers will need to find ways to adapt to the new normal.
In this article, I'll be sharing four key insights for making your employees feel valued at work, even if they work from home some or all of the time.
Most people would agree that there are plenty of perks to working remotely, but if there is a downside, it's that it can be harder to maintain good communication when you can't talk with staff in person. Without regular contact, employees may start to feel cut off from managers and co-workers, and may even begin to feel disconnected from the company as a whole. This can lead to staff mentally "checking out", reducing motivation and productivity.
Fortunately, there are now so many online video call and messaging tools available that it’s never been easier to communicate with remote staff. Using instant messaging software, such as Slack, can help to recreate that everyday office chatter, while video calls can facilitate weekly or monthly face-to-face meetings between staff and managers, to ensure no one feels neglected. You can even host online work "socials" like pub quizzes or happy hours: to really boost morale, send everyone their favourite drink to enjoy during the call.
When it comes to recognizing your staff for their hard work, a paycheque is just the beginning. In order to make your workforce feel truly valued, you should find ways to tell them exactly what they're doing right, and how it's having a positive impact on the wider business. For example, you could create an employee of the month or week, or set up an online message thread where staff and managers can nominate their co-workers for going above the extra mile.
Staff appreciate recognition much more when it's specific, because it makes your praise feel more genuine, and demonstrates how much their individual contributions are valued. So, instead of just thanking a staff member for good work on one particular project or task, don't be generic: tell them exactly how they went above and beyond and what impressed you. This detailed praise also helps staff gain a clearer understanding of exactly how they can deliver the best standard of work in future.
Naturally, your staff are more than just employees: they're also people with personal lives and obligations outside of their careers. If you can show staff that you understand this by offering flexible working arrangements, they'll feel valued and respected as individuals. That means giving employees a say over how, where, and when they work, as much as you reasonably can.
For example, you could consider implementing a more flexible working day, with flexible start and finish times, if this would be compatible with your business model. Or, you could give staff the chance to accrue additional leave by working overtime. Even something as simple as allowing staff to start a little later or finish early to attend medical appointments can make a big difference. So, think about what flexible policies you might be able to offer your staff.
Everyone loves receiving a gift, and your employees are no exception. While perks such as bonuses, time off, and social events are all great rewards for hard work, sending gifts to your staff on special occasions — like birthdays, Christmas, Easter, or even their work anniversary — will show them just how much they are valued on a personal level.
Corporate gifting has something of a bad rep for being a bit soulless and one-size-fits-all, but it doesn't have to be this way, as long as you take the time to choose meaningful presents. To show your staff that you value them as individuals, make the effort to give personalized gifts: for example, glassware for their favorite drink engraved with their name and a message. This will feel much more thoughtful than just giving everyone the same thing.
To make staff gifting simpler, it can be helpful to ask everyone to fill out a "getting to know you" questionnaire when they first take on the role. This will give you an insight into their likes and dislikes, which can make it much easier to choose appropriate gifts later on.
Showing your staff how much you value them can help retain talent, and will stimulate a positive workplace culture. Try implementing some of the strategies I've shared above, and you'll soon reap the benefits — both in terms of staff satisfaction and performance.