According to the Internet, today is International Employee Appreciation Day. So cheers to all of us!
We have all seen dozens of articles, blog posts and twitter rants on the disengaged, unmotivated workforce. We know the hard truth: 70% of U.S. workers are disengaged. We also know that happy employees lead to hefty profits. But it’s not always about money, it’s about creating great places to work.
Sadly, we often spend more time at work than we with our families, friends and loved ones.
So, let’s take today to celebrate the workforce.
Here are three ways to make your employees feel appreciated, happy and passionate about coming to work:
- Heavily invest in training and development. Organizations that value and invest in developing employees’ skills and talents enjoy a significant competitive advantage; and, according to industry research, they are three times more likely to retain those people. Employees and managers must equally participate in creating realistic development plans that align to professional goals. Mapping those goals to the organization’s overall business goals is a great way to demonstrate the employee’s individual value and impact on the business. This won’t work unless employees take ownership and pride in their plan. Managers must not only hold employees accountable for meet goals and timelines, but be available to openly discuss their progress and hurdles. It’s a two way street and conversation is everything.
- Acknowledge a job well done! People pull themselves out of bed each morning and go into work for more than just a paycheck. Studies have shown that employee satisfaction, not compensation, is the primary reason employees stay or leave their jobs. Research states, 39% of employees feel underappreciated at work, and of those people identified, 77% report they would work harder if they felt better recognized. People want a greater sense of purpose, they want to know their contributions and efforts are valued and critical to the success of the organization. Letting employees know how their contributions are impacting the company inspires loyalty and fosters a culture in which employees feel responsible, empowered, and valued. Acknowledging a job well done goes a long way, don’t forget that. It is one of the most effective ways to make employees feel appreciated (more here about how employers usually make workers feel valued.)
- Prioritize coaching and mentoring opportunities. – Mentoring, whether by a manager, a senior peer or an assigned colleague, is critical to creating happy employees and an engaged workforce. Team up employees with experienced individuals or mentors that can help them set goals and guide them along the way. Open up the lines of communication. It’s not just about organizational goals, it’s about personal career goals. Organizations with coaching and mentoring programs are far more desirable to job seekers than those without. Mentoring and coaching programs demonstrate your investment in the long-term professional development and success of individual contributors.
BONUS TIP – Random Acts of Kindness. Whether it’s free lunches, acknowledgement for going above and beyond expectations, or giving people a free afternoon off, random acts of kindness go a long way.
Think about your management style and your organization and figure out what works best for you.
Don’t forget what today (and everyday) is all about! Cheers and Happy International Employee Appreciation Day!