10 Key Strategies to Value Employees That Increase Profitability
We all want to feel valued and believe that we are of value to others. All of us can contribute to creating a culture where all participants who work for and with us know that who they are and what they do matters and makes a difference. Appreciation in the workplace can help employees understand how much their peers, their manager, and the organization as a whole, value employees.
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” —Anne M. Mulcahy
Individuals who feel valued contribute more, do better work, are more engaged, are loyal and passionate about their work and have positive interactions with the people they work with. As a result, companies that embrace the notion of actively valuing their people receive a huge pay-off. A study from the Jackson Organization, a survey research consultancy, found that “companies that effectively appreciate employee value enjoy a return on equity & assets more than triple that experienced by firms that don’t.”
Individuals who feel valued contribute more, do better work, are more engaged, are loyal and passionate about their work and have positive interactions with the people they work with.
A 2014 study from Boston Consulting Groupsurveyed over 200,000 people around the world researching what employees care about at work. BCG found that the #1 factor for employee happiness on the job is being appreciated for their work. Another study by Glassdoor found that more than 80 percent of employees say they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. When workers receive gratitude for their work, turnover rates decline dramatically. More than half of those surveyed said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss. Peter Burke, the Co-Founder and President of Best Companies Group, conducts the Best Places to Work surveys in 23 states and 4 countries. He stated that, “study after study shows a connection between contented employees and a thriving bottom line.”
How do we create a culture where we value employees?
1. Appreciate Them
Notice your employees doing things that add value to the organization. It could be their upbeat, positive attitude or their hard work. Perhaps it’s the effort and thought they put into a project. It could be their creative thinking or ideas. Let them know you appreciate who they are and what they do. Keep in mind that different people like to be appreciated differently. (concept from Paul White and Gary Chapman’s, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace). Some like hearing the words of appreciation or seeing them written in a note; some feel valued when you choose to spend time together; others like receiving gifts; some like to be offered help and support; and others like a pat on the back. Calibrate your expression of appreciation to the recipient’s particular style. Sincerity is key.
2. Offer Clarity
Enroll employees in the mission, vision, and values of the organization. Make sure employees clearly understand the expectations of their job responsibilities and the purpose behind the projects they are working on. It’s tough to do a great job when you’re not sure what’s expected of you and the goal beyond the task. It’s challenging for employees to feel that they matter when no one has taken the time to clarify the job. Make sure that employees know the part they play in achieving the organization’s goals. Help them understand that all tasks contribute to the success of the whole. Custodians, counter clerks, phone receptionists all play a crucial role in the success of a company. It is important that they understand how and why.
3. Be Interested – Show That You Care
Employees bring more than their physical presence to work; they bring their life history, their personal life, and their stories and experiences. Ask them about themselves. Connecting with them will help you gain an understanding of their past, their present, and their goals for the future. It will help them know that you value employees for the whole person they are.
4. Openly Communicate
According to a recent survey of 1,000 full-time employees across the US conducted by 15Five, 81% of those surveyed would rather work for a company that values open communication than one that offers great perks. We feel valued when we’re engaged in conversations that impact the organization.
Someone whose ideas are considered is more likely to want to keep contributing as an integral part of the team.
5. Seek opinions
Ask for your employee’s feedback, ideas, and opinions. Someone whose ideas are considered is more likely to want to keep contributing as an integral part of the team.
6. Help them grow
Learn your employees’ strengths and aspirations. When you help your employees grow – through offering connections, support, teaching skills, mentoring, new opportunities – you empower them. Make sure you are utilizing each employee’s strengths. It will bring out the best in them and in turn be of benefit to the organization. People who help us along the way are long remembered and treasured. We work hard for these people. We value employees and are loyal to them.
7. Trust Them
Give them the freedom to own their own projects. It is empowering to feel a sense of pride when we do good work and take personal ownership of results.
8. Be Accountable
Follow through on the commitments you make. Being accountable is a way of showing respect. It’s a way of saying the other person is important to you. Being accountable also means that if you had to break a commitment, you own it and make amends. It is a way of building trust and letting another person know you value employees.
Being accountable is a way of showing respect.
9. Welcome New Employees
Getting new employees off on the right foot is important to their success in the organization. Offering a warm welcome is a great first step and sets the stage. Setting new employees up for success includes acclimating them to the culture and providing an understanding for the overall vision including how their role fits into the bigger picture.
10. Be Authentic
When those around us are genuine and authentic, we tend to be freer to be ourselves. When honesty and genuineness are the norm, we are more creative and open and, as a result, do our best work.
And when we are valued, we gain confidence, feel good, and eagerly contribute.
When we are valued, we gain confidence, feel good, and eagerly contribute. Our reaction to our work environment impacts our attitude and how we feel about ourselves. The good feeling we get from knowing that we are valued gets passed on to other people in our lives. Create a culture where employees feel valued. The pay-off for you, the organization, and for your employees is huge.
What would you add to the list to create a culture in which we value employees?