Strategies to Make Employees Feel Appreciated 

Nowadays, high employee turnover rates represent one of the biggest challenges for companies. This is exactly what the 2019 Moorepay report found: two-thirds of companies are struggling to retain workers. Given the high overall cost of losing employees – ranging from new hiring processes and employee onboarding to lost productivity and disruptions to team cohesion – companies must take action to understand and combat this issue.

Thankfully, the answer to tackling high turnovers may not be far off: making employees feel valued and appreciated. Research indicates not only the importance of workforce appreciation to employees, but that for most feeling valued and recognised is in fact a requisite factor in staying at a company, with one study by Office Team finding that 2/3 workers would leave if they felt unappreciated. Instead, recognising the achievements of employees successfully can lead to mutually beneficial outcomes for workers and the company, namely increased employee motivation and higher productivity.

Research indicates companies may be overestimating how valued their employees feel. For instance, the Moorepay report found that there was a “value gap”:  only 15% of employers believe that workers do not feel valued. However, 27% of employees stated they did not feel appreciated. Feelings of underappreciation among the workforce may therefore be going unnoticed.

In light of this, HRs and managers should take stock of the situation in their own company, in terms of how appreciated the workforce currently feels and the ways in which they would like their work to be recognised, and take action if needed. HR leaders can solicit honest feedback by initiating a consultation, either informally or through surveys. They may then wish to consider implementing some of the following strategies, according to the specified needs and preferences of their workforce.

Human Resources can play a role in establishing a culture of appreciation by leading by example, such as congratulating individuals and teams on achievements, either privately or publicly, depending on company dynamics. HR and leaders should encourage workers to make their colleagues feel valued and appreciated in turn. Once established, a culture of appreciation may be self-reinforcing, as when one feels valued, there is a higher chance of showing appreciation for colleagues. Making this small effort to express appreciation on an informal basis can aid a company’s success by fostering stronger workforce relationships and improving communication within teams. Indeed, the performance benefits of colleague recognition can be seen in a 2018 study by Perry E. Geue (Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA, USA), which showed that teams perform better when workers think co-workers appreciate them.

Managers may also be well positioned to lead the way when it comes to making employees feel valued as they are closer to the workforce and can really impact them. Some strategies they can use to do so are to provide regular and constructive feedback. Employees must know how and where they need to improve, as this gives them the chance to grow and enhance performance.

Appreciation should be specific, explicit and authentic. This allows other people to understand exactly where they have been successful.

Finally, businesses can consider investing in recognition programmes for employees. These can include giving awards/prizes for their good work and efforts, marking milestones in length of time an employee has worked at the company, and conducting appraisals for raises and promotions. Celebrating workers’ birthdays, offering activities outside of work and offering health and wellness programmes to employees could also be used in conjunction. This is an effective way of showing appreciation to all members of the workforce.

Ultimately, in consideration of the fundamental importance of appreciation to employees and the multitude of benefits in getting this right, now is the time for companies to invest the time and effort in ensuring they are making their employees feel valued.

References:

  1. DO YOUR EMPLOYEES FEEL VALUED?, September 2019, Business Leader.
  2. The Little Things That Make Employees Feel Appreciated, January 2020, Harvard Business Review.
  3. The Secret To Productivity And Positivity: Show Your Appreciation, February 2019, Forbes.