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How to Make Employees Feel Valued

Published March 13, 2024 (last updated on June 10, 2024) | Adam Wyatt - Copywriter and Content Creator

Showing appreciation to an employee so they feel valued

Creating a workplace where employees feel valued and appreciated is essential for any organisation aiming to boost morale, enhance productivity and retain top talent. Feeling valued at work contributes significantly to employee satisfaction and loyalty. Here are practical ways to show appreciation to your staff and ensure they feel recognised.  

Benefits of making employees valued 

Let’s look at some of the key benefits of recognising and rewarding employees.   

Higher engagement  

Research shows that valued employees are more likely to be engaged than those who don’t feel appreciated. According to research by Gallup, “Employees who strongly agree that recognition is an important part of their organisation’s culture are 3.8 times as likely to be engaged and about half as likely to experience frequent burnout than those who do not.” Put simply, engaged employees are more likely to work harder and deliver better results for the business.   

Increased productivity  

Employees who feel valued and recognised are more productive. According to one study, 18.2% of an employee’s productivity can be attributed to job satisfaction. This highlights the direct link between valuing employees and operational efficiency.  

Enhanced job satisfaction 

Research indicates that feeling appreciated at work is a key driver of job satisfaction. Satisfied employees are more likely to take pride in their work and remain loyal to their employer, reducing turnover rates and recruitment costs. In fact, Gallup found that those who do not feel recognised are twice as likely to consider quitting in the next 12 months.   

Improved employee well-being 

Feeling valued has a significant impact on employee well-being, including mental health. When employees feel appreciated for their contributions, they can experience a range of benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, an enhanced feeling of belonging, a sense of purpose and meaning in their work, and even improved sleep and physical health. Happy, healthy employees are more likely to remain loyal to an organisation and show dedication to their work.  

Boosting company profits 

There's a clear correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. Happy employees are more likely to go the extra mile, leading to better customer experiences.  

Research by The Harvard Business Review and Glassdoor found that “each one-star improvement in a company’s Glassdoor rating corresponds to a 1.3-point out of 100 improvement in customer satisfaction scores.”  

Retain top talent  

Employee turnover can be a significant financial cost. Replacing a departing worker can cost anywhere from six to nine months of their salary. By prioritising employee appreciation, companies can dramatically reduce turnover. A Gallup/Workhuman survey found that appreciated employees are 56% less likely to seek new jobs. Investing in employee appreciation is a strategic move that strengthens your workforce and your bottom line.  

Fostering innovation 

Employees who feel appreciated are more likely to share their ideas and innovations. Recognition validates employees' efforts, giving them the confidence to experiment and take risks – essential ingredients for innovation. Appreciated employees are more likely to share their knowledge and expertise with colleagues, fostering a cross-pollination of ideas that fuels innovation.  

How to make employees feel valued in your business 

The benefits of employee recognition are clear. Let's look at some of the best ways to make your people feel valued.  

Acknowledge their hard work 

Feeling undervalued at work can drain enthusiasm and lead to burnout. Luckily, a simple "thank you" can be a powerful antidote.  

  • Personal appreciation: One US survey showed that 75% of employees believe their motivation and morale would significantly improve if managers simply acknowledged their hard work more frequently, personally and sincerely. Recognition for their efforts makes employees feel seen and appreciated. 

  • Public recognition: Celebrate successes and milestones publicly. Whether in team meetings, on company social media, or through internal newsletters, public acknowledgment boosts morale and shows that their contributions are valued by the entire organisation. 

Provide opportunities for growth 

Professional development is key to employee satisfaction. Conduct regular performance reviews and offer opportunities for your employees to grow professionally. This could be through training, courses or workshops to help them advance in their careers. Employees feel valued when their employer invests in their future.  

Ensure fair compensation 

Competitive salaries and benefits are vital to attracting and retaining the best people: Regularly review and adjust compensation packages to ensure they are competitive and fair. Offering your team perks such as material rewards, additional entitlements or bonuses for outstanding performance shows appreciation for their dedication and hard work.  

Create a supportive environment 

A workplace where employees feel valued goes beyond simply acknowledging their contributions. It's about nurturing a supportive environment that promotes well-being, growth, and engagement. 

  • Encourage feedback: Develop a culture where feedback is encouraged and valued. Listening to and acting on employee feedback demonstrates you value their opinions and are committed to making improvements based on their suggestions. 

  • Better work-life balance: Promote a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible working arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours. Recognising the importance of personal time shows you value their well-being. 

Tailor your appreciation 

Understand what motivates your employees individually and tailor rewards and incentives accordingly. This could range from a day off to recognition in front of peers, depending on what they value most.  

Build a culture of appreciation 

Regular one-on-one meetings allow managers to connect with employees, provide support and recognise their contributions frequently. This ongoing dialogue ensures employees feel supported and valued throughout their tenure. It also offers an opportunity for employees to privately raise any concerns or issues  

Delivering appreciation that resonates 

Saying "thank you" is a great start, but effective recognition goes beyond a single phrase. Here are some key considerations to ensure your recognition efforts truly resonate with employees: 

  • Personalise it: A generic "good job" might be nice, but a specific mention of the employee's contribution and its impact shows you genuinely care. Tailor your recognition to the individual and their preferences. 

  • Consider the source: Recognition can come from various sources, and each carries its own weight. Public recognition from a manager holds value, but a heartfelt thank you from a colleague can be equally meaningful. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition programs to foster a supportive team environment. 

  • Timing is key: Don't let a good deed go unnoticed. Deliver recognition as close to the accomplishment as possible to solidify the connection between the action and the appreciation. 

  • Match the recognition to the achievement: A small win might deserve a verbal shout-out, while a major accomplishment could warrant a public award or a bonus. Tailor the recognition to the significance of the achievement. 

  • Be specific: Vague praise can feel insincere. Highlight the specific actions or qualities you appreciate. "Thanks for taking the initiative on that project and finding such a creative solution" is more impactful than a simple "well done." 

The power of appreciation: cultivating a thriving workplace 

Investing in employee appreciation isn't just about boosting morale; it's a strategic investment in the success of your entire organisation.  By having a culture of recognition and support, you can unlock a wealth of benefits, from increased productivity and innovation to lower turnover and higher customer satisfaction.  

Ready to transform your workplace? 

Peninsula, a leader in HR and WHS advice and support, can help. We offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to empower small to medium-sized New Zealand businesses to create a positive and productive work environment.    

Contact Peninsula today to learn more about how we can help you build a workplace where employees feel valued and empowered to do their best work. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of making employees feel valued?
  • Increased productivity and engagement: Studies show valued employees are more likely to go the extra mile and deliver better results. 
  • Reduced turnover: Appreciated employees are less likely to leave for another job, saving companies significant time and resources.
  • Enhanced innovation and creativity: Recognition fosters a safe space for employees to experiment and share ideas, leading to breakthroughs. 
  • Improved customer satisfaction: Happy employees provide better customer service, which can result in higher customer retention. 
How often should I recognise employees?

There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but aiming for regular recognition, both formal and informal, is key.

What are some creative ways to recognise employees beyond just raises or bonuses?
  • Offer flexible work arrangements or additional paid time off.
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and learning.
  • Publicly acknowledge achievements in team meetings or company newsletters.
  • Recognise important milestones like work anniversaries.
  • Organise social events or team-building activities.
  • Offer personalised rewards based on individual preferences.
What if I can't afford expensive perks?
  • The most important thing is sincerity. A handwritten note or a public shout-out can be just as meaningful as a fancy gift.
  • Focus on well-being. Offer healthy snacks or organise fitness challenges to demonstrate your commitment to employee health.
  • Empower employees. Give them more ownership over their projects and decision-making processes.
How can I measure employee sentiment?

Conduct regular employee surveys (anonymous is best). Hold interviews to understand employee needs and concerns. Track metrics like turnover rates and employee engagement scores. 

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