Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Ellie Chapman. Her opinions are her own.
A weekly event might seem like a great idea to give your employees some motivation and something to look forward to. And while Pizza Fridays is an effective idea, taking care of them requires much more than this. If you want them to feel appreciated, you should be caring for your team far more frequently than once in the week.
Your employee retention depends on many factors and salary is just one piece of the puzzle. Employees want to feel appreciated and valued. If you want to be a great leader to them and push them to achieve the company’s goals, you must give them reasons to. Here are 9 ways to show your employees that you care.
1. Have a reward system
Rewards push people forward and bring them the motivation they need to get things done. Don’t forget that. As you reward customers with discounts to keep them coming back to your brand, you should also reward your employees to keep them working for it.
Rewards don’t necessarily have to be grand to have this effect. It can be anything from a massage gift card to a Christmas bonus. It’s all about the little things – acknowledging when they hit a goal or do well on projects, and rewarding them with something in return.
Use your creativity to keep them interested and happy.
2. Promote a healthy workplace
A healthy employee is a happy employee. To keep everyone in the office energized and healthy, make an effort to promote exercise and healthy habits. Introduce a wellness program, have healthy food options in meetings and as snacks, give them some time to exercise, etc.
Infographic source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/238550111494123738/
3. Increase vacation time
Don’t do this with everyone and all at the same time, or you’ll end up overwhelming them with work once they come back. Reward your employees as their reach your goals. Incremental vacation days are a great idea, and one that your employees will surely appreciate.
Even one day off can make all the difference. When you feel like your employees have done a lot and need a break, offer them a day off to make them feel like you acknowledge their dedication and hard work.
4. Provide developmental support
No one wants employees who don’t know how to do their job. To give your company a higher chance to strive and your employees the knowledge to get things done easily, offer training opportunities and mentoring.
An employee who feels like there is no job they can do at your company will eventually leave your company. Since you probably recognized their talent and potential when hiring them, you probably want to avoid this.
5. Say thank you
Employees don’t become unhappy for no reason. When they do, the reason is often to do with money, but you’d be surprised to know how many of them quit because of other things. If an employee feels like he or she is not appreciated, they lose motivation. If you don’t acknowledge their work, they won’t feel the need to impress you or do hard work any longer.
It’s two simple words that should be said often to those who work hard to reach your company’s goals. Whenever you see that an employee is making an effort and providing an important contribution for your company, provide recognition for their work. Whether it is public or private, a job well done deserves a thank you.
6. Listen to them
It is never too late to converse with your employees. You can set up meetings or chat during work breaks. And the talk does not have to be limited to the work or the employees’ performance. Make time to talk with your employees and get to know them. Ask about their hopes and dreams, and the goals they have within the company and outside of it. This will help you guide them in the right direction, recognize their potential, and basically, help them.
Feedback is an important part of leadership.
When you spend time listening to the employees, you can follow through, or at least show them that you are interested. Both sides can benefit from this. Your employees will feel acknowledged and valued, and you’ll understand what they know and expect from the workplace.
7. Provide opportunities
Without opportunities, your employees can hardly strive in the workplace. Find as many opportunities as possible for all your employees. Make a contest and train them to do new things. Basically, you should make their work a pleasure, an interesting experience rather than just doing the same thing every day, over and over again.
Set up new projects and chances that help employees demonstrate their abilities to you. Help them grow by providing training opportunities such as tickets to conferences and free classes. They’ll appreciate your effort and the chance to grow, and use what they’ve learned to make the company better. It is a win-win.
8. Show trust
Employees want to feel valued, but also want to be trusted. It is a compliment and a prerequisite for good work. If you don’t trust your employees to do their job or doubt their intentions, they’ll know it. You will end up tracking their every step, judging them for the smallest mistakes, and simply show your worries on daily basis. When someone does it, you lose motivation to keep going.
Give your employees some flexibility, a spot at the decision-making table. This does not mean that you should treat them as equal, but every once in a while, let them take on challenges and tasks on their own. Allow them to take on a project from start to finish without having to go over every little detail with you. When they have no restraints, it will be much more motivating for them to show their qualities to you.
Also, communicate with them to learn what they plan to do it and what they think about their tasks. If an employee feels safe to speak to you, they will tell you when they have too much on their plate. In such cases, your best shot at getting tasks done is to delegate their work and help employees prioritize their tasks.
9. Keep your doors open
Being a leader is not a simple thing. It is often overwhelming and mostly time-consuming, so it is no wonder that you have little time to actually spend with the employees. Even if you know that your employees need to communicate with you or want to make them feel acknowledged by being present, obligations can often prevent you from doing so.
You might not be able to oversee everything and help them in every step, but you should definitely keep an open door. When an employee needs you, he or she has to know that your door is always open for help and questions. Without an open door, they are more likely to make mistakes.
Your door should literally be open to entice employees to come in whenever they need you. If your door is visually closed, they’d have to get to it, knock, wait for your response, and never be sure if you are actually available. An open door demonstrates availability and promotes confidence, so try leaving your door open whenever possible.
These tips will help you become a better leader and make your employees happy. A happy employee is a productive employee, so your task as a leader is exactly that – to keep your employees happy.