Not everyone finds their childhood dream job right off the bat, but many people still lead fulfilled working lives. Those who find meaning and fulfilment in the eight or nine hours a day they spend with you will typically have greater job satisfaction and stick around for longer. Not only will it benefit your organisation on a financial level by reducing absence and boosting engagement, but it’ll also increase the chances of your employees living happy lives. And it will save you time dealing with issues like industrial action and employees working to rule.

That’s why, if you’re interested in building a productive company culture that people want to work in, making employees feel valued is perhaps a manager’s most important job. Here are 15 ways to do it.

1. Connect people across the company

Employees often feel disconnected from their colleagues – especially in times of organisational growth. This comes from a lack of understanding and appreciation of what each other does — both are needed but people don’t always know why and how.

Perry Timms — Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of People and Transformational HR, offers some advice on how to make employees feel valued when they're scattered across different departments.

“Talk about the real people and their stories. Share openly and without agendas. Letting people see, understand and appreciate their colleagues is a great way to build happier atmospheres. Create learning partnerships if you wish to connect team members from multiple disciplines. Let them discover what they both need to work on, and allow them to do it together despite distance.”

2. Get creative with your perks

Some 66% of employees consider benefits as a good way to show appreciation for their loyalty. While dental cover and parking spaces have utilitarian value, organisations are also realising the power of creative benefits in making employees feel valued.

The companies that excel in this space — Google, John Lewis, Virgin — are famed for their deep understanding of their people, something that fuels standout employee incentives, which range from bi-weekly massages to encouraging napping hours.

3. Create opportunities for new experiences

Be attentive to your employees’ interests. If someone is keen to learn more about another department or area of your business, make a note to accommodate their curiosity by opening up an opportunity for them to get involved.

This could mean anything from lunch with the CEO to an event that encourages them to take a position within a field they have shown interest in.

Valuing employees in this way can mutually benefit your business too, as it encourages your teams to have a growth mindset and think about how they can develop within your organisation.

4. Modernise the workspace

Physical environments have a profound impact on human behaviour and morale. This idea is neatly illustrated by the Broken Windows Theory, which links negativity within a community to sequential occurrences of negativity.

Great companies don’t need extravagant offices (after all, Dyson hoovers, Hewlett-Packard computers and Instant Noodles were all invented in sheds) — the theory challenges employers to think of the wider workplace experience, to ask themselves whether their physical environment reflects how they value their team members. Does the workspace mobilise teams and facilitate company-paid continuing education, for example?

5. Catch up with remote workers

Remote working is now more prevalent than ever. The chances are that your organisation works with freelancers or long-term contractors of some kind. Whether they visit your workplace on occasion or are permanently remote, showing them appreciation will help to maintain a positive working relationship.

In fact, Perry Timms says: “Who do these people download to? Share ideas with? Celebrate successful ventures with? People could partner up with their colleagues and use remote chat and video links to have regular sharing sessions. Zoom and Skype are great tools for connecting people as physically as possible. I’d also use something like monthly or quarterly get-togethers, where the discussion isn’t about business performance or strategies, but shared learning, ideas and human connection.”

6. Reward team members individually

Our Tackling the UK’s Disengagement Problem report found that 6 in 10 employees would be more influenced to remain at their current companies is they received a personalised benefits package. There will inevitably be a degree of diversity in your organisation — be it age, religion or personality — so a reward that works for one employee won’t necessarily do it for another.

Benefits packages can vary hugely. Google, for example, offers its employees bi-weekly massages, while learning allowances are popular among many organisations. Whatever the programme, knowing your employees well enough to tailor rewards will have a greater impact at less cost.

7. Relax working hours

Encourage a better work-life balance and allow your employees to take a long weekend if they want to.

A recent ONS study found that 50% of the UK workforce would happily lose a day’s pay if they could take a three-day weekend. It doesn’t have to be a regular occurrence — the fact it’s a one-off will make it all the more impactful.

Furthermore, a four-day workweek can increase job satisfaction and make your employees feel less stressed.

8. Encourage employee appreciation

Empowering your employees to recognise and reward each other promotes authentic appreciation. As well as boosting productivity and performance, frequent feedback and collaboration strengthen relationships and align efforts.

Use a platform that makes peer-to-peer recognition available to the whole team, so everyone can share the love — reward points can be sent for just about anything, from successful tea runs to project milestones.

9. Involve your teams in organisational goals

A recent study of ours found that just 41% of UK employees feel aligned with their organisations’ goals. On the surface this is disheartening, but the silver lining is that only 13% said they didn’t want to become more aligned.

If a leader can connect their employees with a common goal, they lay the foundations for dedicated and loyal teams. Goal alignment also strengthens leadership and creates flexibility — with a mobilised team working towards shared objectives, businesses can execute strategy faster and with more agility.

10. Promote genuine transparency

Regular one-to-one catch-ups only guarantee the box-ticking kind of transparency. Genuine transparency is less common, and might even at first feel counter-intuitive. If an employee asks a question about their performance, for example, answering directly might be difficult.

But truthful transparency demands a degree of emotional intelligence on the manager’s part. They must neither be blunt nor shield their employee from the truth. It might cause a few uncomfortable conversations at first, but it’ll demonstrate that you value and trust them enough to tell them the truth.

Promoting candid dialogue will encourage employees to repay the favour — these are the feedback loops that help businesses grow.

11. Celebrate work anniversaries

Employees feel appreciated when their organisation takes the time to shine a spotlight on personal events, such as work anniversaries.

It doesn't matter if a person has been at your firm for one year or 10, making a company-wide announcement about their anniversary will make them feel special and demonstrates you value their loyalty.

When businesses think of innovative ways to make their employees feel valued on a personal level they not only attract quality talent but also increase their retention rates.

12. Introduce weekly or monthly socials

Employee appreciation takes many forms and organisations often forget that it's important to bring their teams together in a social environment.

Hosting company events, such as summer parties, or even introducing a happy hour every Friday are great ways for your teams to put names to faces and promote tight working relationships.

Taking the time to put on events where the focus is simply on socialising is an effective way to make employees feel valued, especially if your business has a lot of remote workers who don't have the opportunity to meet their colleagues often.

Find out how Perkbox can help you create culture of recognition and reward

Show your employees you care with a global benefits and rewards platform

We understand that creating a sense of togetherness is one of the most effective ways of showing appreciation, so we’ve created a platform that will make employee recognition and reward a permanent feature of your company culture.

With Perkbox you get everything you need to truly embed a culture of recognition and reward in your workplace. From an easy-to-use app, people can appreciate each other on the go, at home, or in the office. Not to mention managers can attach reward points with each recognition they send.


13. Financially support career goals

Showing your employees you're serious about financially contributing to their professional development, demonstrates you're willing to take on the risk of investing in them and consequently value their presence in your business.

Furthermore, people will find their work more meaningful when they know they're receiving the training and tools they need to further their career goals.

Additionally, when business leaders prioritise career progression they can hire internal candidates who want to take on more challenging assignments in senior roles, which saves both time and money on external recruitment.

Providing money for courses, or investing in tuition reimbursement schemes are all ways of showing employees you see them as human beings with their own dreams and career aspirations.

14. Emphasise positive feedback

Frequently recognising your employees for their accomplishments results in increased job satisfaction and a healthier company culture. That said, we're all sometimes guilty of finding faults easier than praising great work, which is why employee recognition programs are so important.

Lots of businesses have many ideas on how to make employees feel valued, however, sometimes the simplest gestures, such as thank you notes can brighten someone's day. Moreover, when employees receive a small gift for showing initiative, for example, it'll encourage similar behaviours across your business as it reinforces what values are important to your organisation.

However, it's important to keep in mind rewards will only increase employee satisfaction when they're personal. After all, giving someone a voucher they have no intention of spending, suggests you don't know them very well and may harm their employee experience.

15. Make appreciation part of your internal brand

Employee appreciation is a significant contributor to employee experience, and when you get it right your employees will speak highly of your business to their families and friends.

Holding polls and hosting town halls are invaluable in gathering employee feedback, and you can learn a lot about what makes your people feel appreciated. For example, your teams could reveal they value gestures of pubic gratitude, such as employee of the month announcements, or other awards that highlight when someone has gone above and beyond in their role.

Introducing regular opportunities for recognition and reward, or developing your current perks and benefits, will lay the foundations of a strong internal brand, which will help you grow a happy and healthy working environment for years to come.

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