Work is... well, it's work. It can be fun, stimulating, and rewarding in so many ways but for most, the job is something they have to do and not necessarily something they want to do. As a leader, hopefully you're aware of the sacrifices your employees make to keep your business running well. But with over 50% of Americans reporting that they are unhappy at their jobs and only 53% saying they feel appreciated, are you doing everything you can to show your employees how much they matter?
Maybe every day should be employee appreciation day - a day to make sure your team feels rewarded. If employee appreciation is a once a year event at your company, you will fail.
Look, it's not a secret. The job market is tough right now. Employees report poor compensation, a lack of growth potential - and yes, bad management. Short-term thinking has led to short-sighted decisions and employees have been the victims. In an increasingly impersonal world, employees feel disregarded and disrespected.
Winning with employees today starts with treating them like individuals, not automatons. Recognize the unique skill set each employee has by matching them with projects where they can really shine. The worst thing that can happen to an incredible and dedicated employee? Feeling like their skills are under-used, and that "anyone" could do their job.
Employee appreciation means more than just understanding their skills, however... You need to understand them as well. You likely have notes to help you remember certain things about your clients' hobbies, personalities, family members, and birthdays - shouldn't you be doing the same for your employees?
Show that you care by proving to your employees you know they have a life outside of the office. Ask about their kids, share local events related to their hobbies, and take them out to lunch if you know they're going through a tough time.
You also need to treat your employees like you trust them - if you do, they will prove themselves trustworthy. If you're a "clock watcher," chances are your employees will become clock watchers too - they'll be out the door as soon as they can because YOU'VE established that time served is what you care about. If, on the other hand, you focus on results, employees will as well and they'll invest whatever time & effort are needed to shine.
Everyone wants to work harder for a company that celebrates Employee Appreciation Day 365 days a year. This shows in morale and, as you know, good morale is contagious and self-reinforcing. For more tips on how to lead your team effectively and with a genuine personal connection, check out our website and blog.
Your company wouldn't exist without your employees.
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