Ever since Maslow revealed his Hierarchy of Needs nearly 80 years ago, we’ve come to understand that a sense of belonging is something we can’t live without. We all need to feel connection and belonging, to be valued and heard. This need is especially significant in our work life. Employees have always wanted to feel understood and valued, and now they feel much more confident expressing their desires and deal breakers in the workplace.
When employees feel valued, their sense of self-worth and self-esteem grows. Higher levels of self-worth and self-esteem are key drivers in building loyalty, boosting morale, inspiring engagement and increasing productivity.
As detailed in Brene’s Brown’s bestseller, Dare to Lead, demonstrating to your employees how much they mean to your organization and consistently showing appreciation can cultivate a culture of belonging, where employees can be seen, heard and valued.
In this blog, we explore the benefits of making sure your employees feel valued and heard, share how to give your people positive workplace experiences, and provide ways to ensure your employees know how much you appreciate them.
What Does it Mean to Feel Valued at Work?
In their qualitative study, Feeling Valued at Work, White and Mackenzie-Davey defined feeling valued as a “positive response arising from confirmation of an individual’s possession of qualities on which worth or desirability depends.”
Think about it. Isn’t this something we all want at work? When someone recognizes that our personal qualities or something we’ve done has helped the organization, we feel valued. When we feel that the policies, structures, leadership behaviors, and ethics in the workplace are fair and just, we feel valued.
Why Is It Important to Make Employees Feel Valued?
A survey from the American Psychological Association found that feeling valued at work was linked to better physical and mental health, as well as higher levels of engagement, satisfaction, and motivation. All these things lead to a healthy and productive relationship between employer and employee.
What Are the Benefits of Showing Your Employees You Value and Appreciate Them?
We know making sure our people feel valued in the work they do is important and can ultimately improve the culture of a workplace, and boost individual and team performance, which will help an organization reach its goals. Here are a few of the many benefits your company can realize from delighting your people and making sure they feel valued:
When you demonstrate that you value your people and their contributions, and take time to get to know them, team and company morale typically increases. People who feel you are listening to them feel more connected to the organization and are motivated to contribute to the overall success of the company.
Trust in leadership and company vision
Employees who know you value their input, feedback, and ideas have more confidence and trust in managers, leadership, and the organization. People-centric companies that create a culture of transparency and foster inclusivity and trust have employees who thrive because they feel safe to express what they want and need to do their best work. Organizations that create a culture of transparency and trust through open communication have employees who thrive because they feel safe to express what they want and need to do their best work.
Reduced turnover and increased retention rates
When you consistently demonstrate that you value your employees, they will have higher job satisfaction, be happier and are less likely to look for other employment opportunities. This leads to increased retention rates and lower turnover. Employees also feel more confident referring people in their network for posted job openings.
When employees know you appreciate and value their work, they are more willing to work hard and give discretionary effort. They will meet and often exceed their goals and be more invested in the company’s accomplishments.
Improved brand reputation
Being known as a company that values employees will help you attract qualified job candidates and possibly new customers. We are all more apt to work for, or do business with, an organization that has a strong reputation as a great place to work.
How Can Managers Make Employees Feel Valued?
How do you ensure your employees feel heard and valued? This is a responsibility for both managers and leaders. A great place to start is by providing meaningful employee experiences.
Those [companies] that are thriving focus on employee experience, a “healthy organization,” and an ever-increasing focus on mission, purpose, brand, and employee growth. So, all the things we do in HR to build healthy organizations and expand our recruitment footprint will be needed.
HR Predictions for 2022 – Josh Bersin
Here are nine ways you can delight your employees with positive experiences:
1. Provide meaningful work
Make sure your people understand how their job relates to the overall strategy and goals of the company as well as how instrumental their contributions are to its success.
2. Prioritize a work-life integration
Empower your people to find the blend that’s right for them through flexible hours, remote work opportunities, benefits that help juggle their responsibilities, encouraging use of PTO, rewards for healthy habits, and wellness days that promote health and wellbeing.
3. Start an employee recognition program
Recognize the achievements and hard work your people have done to ensure they feel valued for their efforts. Begin by asking your people what type of recognition they desire most.
4. Celebrate work milestones
Celebrating career achievements and accomplishments related to professional growth is important. A new opportunity or achievement such as landing a promotion, skills development, or weekly wins such as finishing a difficult project or landing a new client are a few of the many reasons to celebrate! These celebrations will engage and motivate your people.
5. Offer learning and development opportunities
Encourage your people to stay and grow within your organization. Give them opportunities to learn new things and develop new skills that will take them further within the company.
6. Hire internally
Some of the best candidates can come from within your organization. Hiring internally sends the message that you value the current team and gives your people opportunities for growth and development. This decreases the odds of employees seeking opportunities outside of the company.
7. Make time for the team
Build trust and rapport with your people by taking time with them. Get to know them on a personal level, understand what their goals are and what they want to accomplish in their careers. This will make them feel heard and valued as a person and not feel like they’re just another number.
8. Host company events to show appreciation
Events are a good way to celebrate your people and show them you care. Company events provide an opportunity for people to make new connections, build stronger relationships, be celebrated, and celebrate others. Team building experiences, volunteering together in the community, attending a concert, or having a fitness challenge are a few ideas you may consider. Think about giving your team company swag as another way to show appreciation. We’ve curated a list of the most creative ideas here. Whatever you do, give your people an experience they’ll never forget.
9. Check the pulse of your organization
Asking your employees for feedback is a great way to show them you value their ideas and input and gives them a sense of purpose that promotes a good company culture. Providing a safe environment to share feedback, then acknowledging and taking action is important. The methods and tools you use should align with your culture.
Final Thoughts on How to Make Employees Feel Appreciated and Valued at Work
As you can see, there are significant benefits to having happy employees that feel valued and have a sense of belonging. Delight your people by creating meaningful experiences they’ll never forget. In the long run, both your employees and the organization will benefit greatly. Not sure where to start? We’re here to help.
At Centricity, we’re dedicated to helping businesses elevate their workplace experiences through employee engagement programs that foster deeper connections, enhance performance, and improve the employee experience. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our organizational platform that elevates the workforce experience with CentricityOne.