As employment seems to be changing post-pandemic and new trends like “quiet-quitting” are starting to emerge, many are beginning to wonder what can be done or if changes need to be made in the workplace.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed by these changes or trends, it’s important that we take time to focus on the heart of the matter and of our organizations: our employees.
Ultimately, everything we do stems from our employees. The work they do, their feelings and their experiences influence the direction of our company – from the vision down to the bottom line. Making sure our employees feel valued and supported is crucial to the success of our teams and of our organizations as a whole.
Here are five ways to start making the workplace a more positive experience for employees.
1. Be relational. Showing your employees they matter starts in the little things, like showing you see them as individuals. Be intentional about getting to know who your employees are beyond the workplace.
Take them out to coffee, organize group lunches or plan team outings to help get to know your team better. Check in with your employees regularly and ask what you can do to support them. Showing your employees you value them as individuals by taking steps to get to know them will help them feel seen and help you better connect with your team.
2. Ask for feedback. Get into the habit of regularly asking employees their thoughts. Take time during meetings to ask what you can improve, regularly check in in-person or send out anonymous surveys. Demonstrating that you value your employees’ thoughts is a great way to help them feel involved and have a stake in the operations and success of the organization.
3. Listen. It’s important that as you ask for employee feedback, you actively listen and make changes where you can. Be intentional about implementing their suggestions and take steps to address problems as they arise. It’s crucial that your employees feel like their thoughts are not only wanted, but actively valued and heard. Showing your employees that their voice matters and can make a difference is crucial to helping them feel seen by you and the organization.
4. Show appreciation. In the midst of change or in the mundaneness of normal operations, it can be easy to forget to thank your employees for their hard work. Your team may start to feel like their work isn’t appreciated or noticed. They may even start to feel like they are only acknowledged when something goes wrong.
Practice recognizing employees for their efforts on projects, thanking them for their attention to detail or just showing appreciation for their daily efforts. Show your gratitude tangibly by writing out your thanks, buying them lunch, giving extra time off or offering bonuses. Verbalizing your praise can go a long way to help employees feel seen and valued in your organization.
5. Offer opportunities for growth. It can be easy for employees to feel stagnant or undervalued. Being intentional about helping them further their careers is a great way to help them feel cared for as individuals. Regularly consider your employees for advancement, offer them advanced training opportunities or give them time off to attend work retreats or seminars. Showing your employees you care about their career growth is a great way to help them improve their skills and feel appreciated.
Creating a space where your employees feel valued, seen and cared for takes time. Start small by taking deliberate steps each day to check in and show your appreciation. Once your employees see that you care for them and want to help them succeed, they will feel more invested in your company and trust you to lead them and your organization well.