How to Make Employees Feel Valued
“Here are a few examples employers can use to help ensure their employees feel valued:
- Recognition. The simple and obvious first answer to making employees feel valued is to provide them with the recognition they deserve. This can come in many forms, but the important thing is that it happens. It can be one-on-one, in a group setting, in the form of raises or bonuses, etc. Recognition can happen in small ways every day, and in bigger ways at less frequent intervals.
- Feedback. Feedback is a counterpart to recognition. Giving employees plenty of positive feedback—far more than negative feedback—can help them know that their work is appreciated. (It can also make them receptive to constructive advice because they know their work is valued and not just criticized.)
- Solicit their opinion and utilize it as often as possible. Ask them not only about the work, but also about the job itself—what’s good and bad about it and how it can be improved.
- Communicate well, and frequently; keep them in the loop on what’s happening at the organization. With a high level of transparency, employees will feel trusted and feel as though they’re an important part of the company. (Keeping secrets does the opposite.)
- Give direct compensation or benefits as a direct thank-you, such as:
- Bonuses or other forms of direct compensation for a job well done
- Gift cards
- Extra comp days or PTO
- Give the benefits they want. Get to know their needs and tailor the workplace benefits to meet their needs when possible.
- Provide ways for other employees to give praise and recognition. Not only can it help the employer see effort they may have overlooked, but it also can help foster better working relationships.
- Show appreciation with small tokens that go a long way, like free food in the workplace.
- Provide public recognition when appropriate, in the form of formal awards or even informal things like social media posts. (This can be done on an individual or team basis, depending on what’s appropriate.)
- Provide work that gives the right level of challenge, showing that you trust their capabilities. Give them increasing levels of responsibility to let them grow and develop.
- Say “thank you”—simple, but effective, and often overlooked. This can be done in a lot of different ways, making it easy to tailor to the individual, group, or situation. For example, a simple verbal thank-you from a manager can be meaningful. It can also be meaningful for a leader to publicly thank an entire team for their efforts. A written note of thanks, perhaps in e-mail copied to someone higher in the organization, can also be an option.
- Celebrate work anniversaries. Employers may not think it matters, but it does, especially milestone anniversaries. It shows the employer cares and is paying attention to how much time the individual has devoted to the organization.
- Invest in their continued development. Find out their career goals, determine what steps are needed to get them there, and make investments as needed to help them progress on that path.”