The Right Way to Invest In and Appreciate Employees
Invest In and Appreciate Employees
Invest in and appreciate employees if you believe that your people are your most important resource. You want them to know how much you value them. How will they know? Simply by the way you treat them. Smart people leaders consistently show their appreciation for employees’ commitment to the organization’s goals, for their willingness to put in the extra effort needed to do their job right, and for their loyalty.
The Right Kind of Employee Appreciation
Employees care a great deal about being recognized for superior work. In fact, 87% of hostile employees in our recognition study reported that senior leaders give far too little praise. But praise needs to be done right. Recognition that promotes employee engagement, not sabotages it, should:
- Be Specific
General comments like “Good Job” can fall flat. It is much more effective to say something like, “Congratulations on turning that big prospect into a fully committed customer! I know it took extra-hand holding and perseverance.”
- Be Personal and Genuine
Be sure to include how the employee’s success makes your job easier and moves the team closer to their goals. And remember that, above all, your words need to be sincerely felt. Anything less will undermine trust.
- Be Tailored
When you recognize a team member, realize that all employees are different. Different types of employees place a different value on different forms of recognition. Some forms matter more than others.Some would prefer a more flexible work schedule, a gift card for a night out with their partner, a day at the spa, more autonomy, a chance to meet with an executive, more help with a project, whatever. It is your job to figure out what would be most meaningful to them.
- Be Positive
Don’t mix your messages. If you have a suggestion to make, save it. Otherwise your words of praise will be undercut by your suggestions for improvement.
The Right Kind of Investment
Show that you value your team by investing in their success. Consider these ideas:
- Development Opportunities
Access to training and learning opportunities is an important component to employee engagement. In addition to wanting to be properly trained to do their own job, employees want to be cross-trained to do other jobs and to have consistent opportunities to learn new skills that will help them to be successful.
- Access to Leadership
Provide mentoring relationships or schedule lunch-and-learn sessions with senior leaders and individual contributors. Your goal should be to build relationships to share expertise while helping to build trust in senior leadership across the organization.
- New Resources
One client offers an annual technology credit to allow employees invest in a new tablet, laptop, or other tools for better productivity. What do you offer?
The Bottom Line
When you build a foundation of genuine appreciation with meaningful recognition and investment, your employees will pay you back with increased engagement and motivation to deliver on the mission and goals of the organization. Invest in and appreciate employees. It will pay off.
If you want to learn about research-backed ways to improve employee engagement, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways To Boost Engagement