Employees are precious assets that shouldn’t be taken for granted. If you find that your employees are regularly disengaged and dissatisfied, then it may be time to change your management approach or style.
5 Ways to Show You Care
From a business management perspective, it’s easy to view employees as line items on a balance sheet. An employee costs X amount and produces Y amount in value. And though this is certainly one way of viewing things, remember that people are more than human capital. Without people, your business loses its personality and competitive advantage.
While it won’t show up in a neat line on a profit and loss statement, an investment in showing your employees that you care will yield significant benefits for your company over many years and decades. Here’s how you make it happen:
1. Gather Feedback and Listen
Employees understand their role and realize they don’t call the shots. However, they’d like to know that their opinions are valued. One way you can make employees feel respected and dignified is to gather feedback on a fairly regular basis. This can be done in the form of anonymous surveys, one-on-one interviews, group meetings, email, or just about any format you want.
In addition to gathering feedback, show your employees that you’re listening to their ideas and taking them to heart. Communicate back and forth on ideas and let them know that they’re heard. And when you do end up implementing employee feedback, recognize the employee for their contributions.
2. Invest in Employee Development
Show your employees you care about them by investing in employee development. Not only should you address job-specific requirements (such as industry certifications), but it’s also wise to invest in them as people. Developing soft skills, for example, is a nice way to help them grow.
As Mandel explains, “Shoring up the soft skills of your existing workforce can help increase engagement, improve moral, and achieve growth faster. It can even boost retention of your top talent. LinkedIn reports that 94% of employees say they’d stay in a job longer if a company invested in their development.”
3. Give Incentives
While a pat on the back is better than nothing, employees will feel more special if you provide incentives for hard work and recognition for achievements.
Cash bonuses are always nice, but they may not be the most effective. Instead of doling out money for achievements, consider offering things like paid time off, casual dress days, trophies/plaques, and catered lunches. These incentives are more impressionable and leave a lasting impact.
4. Allow More Freedoms
In almost every situation, an employee feels more cared for when they have greater freedoms. The problem is that most managers aren’t very willing to provide these freedoms – particularly when it comes to scheduling.
“Many managers still insist on the 9-5 for one reason only – control. They lack the trust to relinquish control over employees’ schedules,” entrepreneur Shelley Prevost says. “If you mandate desk time between 9 and 5 in order to see your employees working, may I suggest that you 1) haven’t hired the right people, or 2) might have some controlling tendencies.”
Among other things, you should consider offering flexible scheduling. Your employees will feel more cared for and, likely, become more productive in their roles. It’s a win-win situation.
5. Become More Transparent
There are certain bits of information that belong in the C-suite, but stop creating so much separation between upper-level management and the employees who are out on the front lines. All this secrecy does is create a divide where employees feel unimportant and neglected. (Even worse, they may feel as if they’re being lied to.)
Transparency is integral to a healthy and functioning business. Find ways to tear down barriers and be more open with your employees. In return, they’ll give you greater loyalty and respect.
Make Employees a Bigger Priority
No matter which lens you’re looking through, employees are valuable assets to your company. And if you want to keep them engaged and satisfied in their roles, you have to show them that you care about more than revenues and profit margins.
By investing in them as people and humanizing your leadership strategy, you’ll enjoy superior results.