Making your employees feel important and valued is critical in today’s business world. A happy employee is proven to build a thriving organization. With happiness linked to productivity, it is essential for companies to shift their focus from how much work is being done, to who is doing the work. Having a bulletproof way to connect with employees is vital.
1. Relate to them – Don’t act like you are above them
As a busy employer, it is easy to drown yourself in work and forget about your neighboring employees. Taking a few minutes out of your day to personally dedicate yourself to your workers will boost their happiness and performance levels. There are numerous, effortless gestures to make your employees feel empowered and on your level. Give them a voice, ask for their opinion on a project and most importantly listen when they talk.
2. Care about their personal life
While it may not be practical for a CEO to check in on an employee’s personal life every day, embracing a culture where “the boss” cares about what’s going on outside the office walls will have a tremendous effect on the employee. Creating a contact channel for employees to air out their feelings and concerns will foster a sense of care and relief.
An example of this communication channel is IMI’s AI, Rhonda. Rhonda is an all-encompassing workforce management solution that has the power to gauge the weekly happiness level of each individual employee. Rhonda allows employers to triage low scorers and boost workplace culture.
3. Sweat the small things
Sometimes the smallest actions have the most importance. Remembering small details and showing small gestures of appreciation will go a long way. Send your employees a short email of encouragement, gratitude or thankfulness for their value to the company. By bringing up a small detail from a past conversation with an employee, they will feel listened to and cared for. A simple gesture, such as an “employee of the month” will instill pride and motivation in your workforce.
4. Feed them
Literally. The way to an employee’s heart is through their stomach. Want to improve morale, productivity and create camaraderie? Treat your employees to free food. Not only will your employees appreciate this kind gesture, they will receive the opportunity to bond with their coworkers and morale will be boosted. Who doesn’t love a free lunch?!
5. Help them grow
A good employee is one who wants to continually grow and improve. As an employer, you have a large role to play in this stage. Here are a few tips to boost the confidence and value of your team and company:
-Pair your employees with mentors
-Create a development plan and establish your employees’ goals
-Help them build their networks
-Challenge employees with assignments
-Show employees you trust them
6. Remember their birthdays
No one wants to show up to work on their birthday without any special acknowledgement. An employee birthday is a chance for one person to stand in the limelight and be recognized separately. A personal treat or card is a thoughtful way to recognize an individual and make them feel celebrated. Remembering your employees’ birthdays is a great way to show that you care and value their happiness.
7. Plan company-wide bonding events
Whether it’s an awards ceremony, holiday party or staff BBQ, company events help validate your employees, promote creativity and boost company sentiment. IMI hosts several company-wide events every year, which our employees love and always look forward to.
No matter the size of the company, corporate events should never be undervalued. Hosting these events will directly improve the culture and morale of your company – two things that directly affect productivity.
8. Encourage feedback
It is important to understand how your employees are feeling and to create a culture where honest feedback is applauded. Surveying your employees on a regular basis is a low-cost method to obtain significant information regarding the day-to-day realities of your business. Conducting exit interviews upon an employee leaving can unveil critical information that can now be improved to reduce turnover.
Many employees are afraid to speak up because they are afraid to suffer adverse consequences if they lodge a complaint. Using Rhonda to send a quick text regarding something that an employee is unhappy with is a tactic to encourage fearful employees to come forward and not be penalized for their opinion.
9. Praise in public, criticize in private
Publicly recognizing your team’s work is important. Not only does it have more meaning for the person being praised, it helps the whole team learn something new. Make sure to provide details regarding what the person did, the impact and the context.
Never discipline or provide negative feedback in a group setting. Public criticism can be harsh and is likely to trigger a person’s defense mechanisms. All individual criticism should be done privately in order to be clear and kind.
10. Don’t leave your door open, take it off the hinges
An open-door policy should be inevitable. Leaving your door open signifies honesty, trust, and transparency in your organization. As your employees walk by casually chat with them, ask them about their families, how their weekend went or any hobbies they enjoy. Many employees feel intimated about entering their employer’s office, by encouraging employees to step in your office any chance they get, you remove any threatening barriers and promote open communication.
People love to work for people who care about them. Taking a personal interest in your employees will give them the reason to believe they mean more to you than someone who’s simply making the business money. Experiment with these 10 techniques and your company morale and productivity will surely boost.