As companies prepare to resume more typical activities after the pandemic, workers are fighting. After all, the past year and a half has proven that a lot of jobs can be done remotely, with greater flexibility and without sacrificing productivity or quality. So when employers pressure staff to forgo these benefits, they are naturally resistant.
Of course, combat is not just about flexibility or independence. Instead, it highlights a bigger problem; employees don’t always feel appreciated, and when employers fail to meet this need for recognition, workers are naturally disturbed.
Assessment: what it looks like and why it matters
To say that employees want to be liked by companies is, in itself, a vague statement: does it mean that they want their manager to say thank you more often, that they want money, or something else?
The fact is that show appreciation for your employees can take many different forms, and different people will respond to different approaches. Whichever path you choose, however, the crux of the matter is corporate culture.
Companies with a strong culture of employee appreciation tend to be united by a stronger sense of loyalty and a sense that everyone shares a common goal than those that treat employees as must-have. It takes time to get to a place where showing appreciation is a pervasive and normal part of your operation, however, and not just seen as a one-time inducement.
Connect with your staff
Before launching an employee appreciation initiative, one of the most important things you can do is to ask employees what makes them feel valued. One mistake some employers and managers make when trying to thank or acknowledge employees is picking a thing or two to do that doesn’t resonate with employees. This can be a problem, especially with more public forms of appreciation. Some employees want to be congratulated in private, others in public, and some prefer material forms of appreciation, even if it is something as simple as a small gift card.
Highlight the main milestones
Whatever forms of employee appreciation you choose to use within your business, it’s important to have some degree of organization underlying how and why you recognize your staff. This means that in addition to highlighting major accomplishments such as successful projects or remarkable efforts, you recognize career benchmarks like years of service with your business.
In an age when people change workplaces more frequently than in the past, longevity should be honored during people’s tenure, not just at times like retirement.
Part of creating a positive company culture around employee engagement issues is including people at all levels and in all parts of the business, as this fosters loyalty and inclusion. This means including freelancers, IT staff, and the maintenance team along with your core staff.
You may find that when you start doing this, you have an easier time retaining freelancers, who often change companies because they don’t get paid regularly or offer them advancement opportunities within the company. organization or in terms of mission difficulty and remuneration.
Encourage parallel acts
It’s important that employee recognition is a top-down business, with management praising and recognizing the work of those they supervise, but it’s not the only form of recognition that matters. In fact, focusing on a top-down model is often insufficient when it comes to transforming company culture because managers don’t see much of what is happening on a daily basis.
Therefore, as part of your efforts, it is important to encourage team members to praise their peers in a modest way, such as leaving them a note or sending a quick email. Some teams have internal bulletin boards to recognize accomplishments or create their own traditions around employee accomplishments.
There is no one right way to recognize employees for their contributions to your organization, but businesses tend to deteriorate when recognition and appreciation are not part of your standards. As employees return to the office – or even if they stay at home – it is more important than ever that leadership puts recognition on the agenda and cultivates conditions of loyalty and community throughout the company. business.