Employers that fail to show their employees they appreciate their effort run the risk of losing them to a competitor. How can we say this so boldly? The labor market has changed. Candidates have more power in the work world today because our unemployment rates remain at record lows. Employees have opportunities today that didn’t exist a decade ago, so employers that fail to create a positive work environment may be more likely to lose good workers to another job.
There is one thing employers can do to keep their best employees; it’s the simple process of making their workers feel that their work matters.
Why Employees Want to Feel Valued
What is the one thing an employer can do to increase worker productivity by 50%? Studies show the simple act of thanking employees for their good work can improve their on-the-job efforts. CBS News showed that we aren’t doing a very good job at making our employees feel valued; 51% of our nation’s 100-million full-time workers say they are disengaged at work. That means these workers end up producing the bare minimum and that costs employers big money in lost productivity.
The lesson to all of us is that employers clearly need to spend more time going back to the basics to thank employees for their hard work – frequently. Employees can hurt your business as much as they can help it, and chances are that workers that don’t feel valued are more likely to do some damage in either the short or long-term. So, how can employers improve their efforts to value their employees? Here are some suggestions to consider:
- Employee recognition is an obvious answer. Recognizing employees for their effort publicly will make other employees work harder to achieve their own recognition. You can present an employee with a plaque or a gift card, a bonus or even just public praise. But no matter how you do it, do it frequently and make it a regular part of your culture. You can also encourage this behavior within departments and have employees create peer-to-peer recognition programs to spread more goodwill across the organization.
- Provide open, honest feedback and communication. Encouraging employees means being their coach, not their punisher, so make sure you provide positive, constructive criticism when necessary while also praising what they did well.
- Ask for feedback from employees and listen to it. Part of feeling valued is that employees know that their opinions matter. Creating a feedback loop between managers and employees and managers and the company owners is a good way to create a positive work environment where everyone feels they have value. Keeping secrets has the opposite effect and will create employee mistrust and corporate backlash. Instead, keep everyone in the loop.
- Challenge employees to improve their skills by offering the training they need and a clear path up the career ladder. When employees are engaged they want to be challenged by a difficult job, and your feedback that their efforts are important they will work hard to succeed.
It’s easier to get caught up in production and forget to praise employees and show them they matter. But taking the time to do this will increase overall productivity and create more engaged employees for the long haul.
To learn more, contact IES Custom Staffing today.