Appreciate Your Employees Today!

small dog with large bone
As Kevin walked out of the office for the last time, he felt an unexpected mix of emotions. At least eight peers and managers had just spent the last hour telling him how much they appreciated him, and assuring him how much he’d be missed. For the first time in months, Kevin felt truly valued—now that he’d completed his two-week notice and excitedly accepted another job across town.

It’s human nature to take each other for granted. When you’re paying employees a fair wage, it’s even easier to expect them to keep plugging away without a lot of hoopla from you, their manager. But as the market for knowledge workers becomes increasingly competitive, you may decide to make employee appreciation a part of your everyday attitude.

On May 4, 2012, Amtec conducted an informal survey regarding candidate career status. Out of 1,855 respondents, 25% said they were in between jobs, 36% said they were happy where they were currently working, and 39% answered that they were looking for their next career move. That means that over 1 in 3 of those respondents is either passively or actively looking! While this was not a scientific survey, if you imagine that 1 in every 3 of your workers may be about to jump ship, employee appreciation becomes less of a platitude and more of an imperative. Your encouraging word or appreciative email carry the weight that tips the uncertain scale in your organization’s favor.

As I write this, I can overhear our CEO on the phone with our president, discussing a possible company-wide go-karting adventure. You can already imagine the buzz that will pass through our staff when they announce this! But valuing your employees really doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. That same CEO wrote an email to the staff this morning praising our marketing team’s fledgling efforts in social media. After reading the subsequent encouraging emails from several coworkers, I couldn’t wait to write another post!

If you’re short on ideas for how to appreciate your employees, think about what would make you feel valued if you were in their shoes. Can you praise your employee for persevering and conquering in an area of particular struggle? Has he or she achieved an objective that required specific skills and character? Is there one unique trait about him or her that you can highlight and compliment? Or, if your norm is to rush down the hallway with your ear to your cellphone, just making eye contact and acknowledging employees by name as you pass can make an affirming statement.

The truth is, at least some of your best employees may be on the fence. So take the challenge. Go beyond the norm and appreciate your staff today. If you do, there’s a good chance that, tomorrow, they’ll appreciate you!

By Marcianne Kuethen ©Amtec 5/29/2012

For specific non-monetary tips on appreciating your employees, see our recent post here.

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