Your financial assets are important to you, your security, and your future, so you keep a watchful eye on your investments. You carefully develop financial plans and strategies, forecast and analyze potential growth, and even enlist the help of financial experts to ensure you manage your money effectively. You manage your financial assets carefully, because you know what they’re worth.
You understand the value and importance of your financial investments. But, are you managing your company’s greatest assets – your people – as well as you manage your finances?
Every employee, no matter their role, whether directly or indirectly, has the ability to significantly impact productivity, retention, customer satisfaction, growth, and your business’ bottom line. But, increasingly heavy workloads, rising stress levels, and lower wages have left many employees feeling undervalued at work. The Society of Human Resource Management recently reported that according to a survey released by HCL Technologies, a global offshore IT services company, U.S. workers said that while rank-and-file employees bear the greatest responsibility for ensuring the quality of their company’s products and customer service, company leaders value them least over management and customers.
It’s important that every employee – from the bottom to the top – feel valued and appreciated for the work they do. And making sure your employees know they’re valued is worth every effort. After all, a company’s largest investment is typically its employees. So, if you’re worried your employees are feeling undervalued at work here are a few key areas worth looking into.
Employees and the Organization’s Objectives
Employee satisfaction no longer rests solely on the ability to work in a stable and secure environment. Employees need to feel they have a purpose. It’s important for both the employee and the employer to have a clear understanding of how their roles contribute to the overall objectives of the organization. Make sure each member understands the integral part they play in achieving company goals and find ways to measure those contributions to the company’s values. Provide useful feedback to help them grow and develop in their current job role and beyond.
Find ways to empower your employees. Offer training. Create an environment of autonomy and creativity. Seek out their input on different projects and decisions. Get their involvement at the ground level on developing new company policies and procedures. The more involved an employee feels at your company, the more committed they’ll be to helping the company grow. Most importantly, they’ll feel and be more indispensable.
The Importance of Being Earnest
An important part of knowing your contribution matters is the acknowledgement you get from your peers and your leaders. A 2010 survey conducted by talent management software company Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. found that apart from compensation and benefits, feeling appreciated motivates employees and makes them more likely to stay with an organization. And, in a survey by leading coaching experts White Water Strategies, nearly two thirds of respondents feel under valued by not hearing the words “thank you,” while 72% said it was important that senior staff thank them personally.
Two little words can go a long way in making your employees feel valued at work. So, take time every day to demonstrate your appreciation for the work they do in authentic, sincere, and personal ways. Be sure to acknowledge accomplishments as a group and individually. And, don’t hesitate to give public praise to an employee when it’s due. Never underestimate what a little earnest appreciation can do for employee engagement and satisfaction.
Planning for the Future
Just like you keep a watchful eye on your financials, developing plans and sound investments to get you where you want to go, it’s important to do the same with your employees. Look for areas of potential growth and set goals to attain them. Develop career paths for every employee. If compensation is an issue, determine a strategy to increase wages and continually review compensation levels in your local industry to make sure you keep up with the competition to retain the top-talent you’ve invested in.
Consider using an anonymous company survey each year to keep an eye on the needs, attitudes, and overall satisfaction of your workforce to gauge employee perceptions – like whether or not they feel the work they do is valued – and make adjustments when necessary. The more effort you put into employee satisfaction the more your employees will know that when you say people are your top priority, you mean it.
When you invest in your employees, you invest in the future of your company. If you want to grow your business, increase productivity, customer satisfaction, and your bottom line, you have to look to your employees for help. So, take time to make sure your employees know you value their contributions every day for an engaged and satisfied workforce that’s worth every penny.