Creating a loving workplace all starts at the top, and it requires strategy, planning and deliberate effort. The idea of showing love and affection to your employees can be intimidating. It’s a lot easier to play the stern, invulnerable taskmaster whose only concern is the bottom line. It’s a lot less rewarding, too. Here are nine ideas for opening your heart to the folks who do so much to make your business dreams a reality.
1. Know Their Stories
One of the best ways that you can let someone know that you appreciate and care about them is to take a genuine interest in where they came from, and their story. Getting to know your team individually will not only help you to understand the best ways to communicate and motivate them, but it will also demonstrate that you take a genuine interest in them as part of your team.
2. Acknowledge Individual Contributions
No one wants to feel like their contributions are in vain. Make a deliberate effort to pay attention to the parts that individuals in your team play and how they go the extra mile to add to the success of your business. When people don’t feel that their efforts are being recognized, it’s only a matter of time before they cease to go that extra mile. It’s wonderful to recognize the whole team when productivity is high, but it takes a more concerted effort to dig deeper and see who is really doing the heavy lifting. Make sure those people know they are appreciated.
3. Wine & Dine Them
Just like you will take a client or a new networking partner out to a fine dining experience, taking team members out will make them really feel like the spotlight is on them. Everyone likes to be wined and dined, it makes them feel special and appreciated, and your team members are no different. Take them out to celebrate a specific “win”, or just to applaud their overall performance – it is a great way to show that you care.
It happens in so many companies, yearly evaluations being thrown to the wayside. Feedback is so important, it’s how we grow and evolve in our performance, the last thing businesses should do is “forget” to have conversations with their team members. Furthermore, yearly evaluations are fantastic, but quarterly is even better. Depending on the size of your team, quarterly may not be an feasible option, but the point is that the more frequent you can have those sit downs, the more your cohesive your visions will be, and your team will feel cared about.
5. Make Time for Them
Yes, the days are long and busy, but being present is a huge morale booster for your team. Let them know that you care enough to make time for them, especially the important issues. You want to foster a workplace that values communication, and this is a great way to let them know you care about them – by caring about their concerns or their ideas. This doesn’t mean you have to drop everything to let them come by and chit-chat, it just means that you will make the effort to give them your ear when it is a matter they feel very strongly about.
6. Tell Them You Appreciate Them
It may sound simple and obvious, but maybe that’s the reason it becomes overlooked – tell your team you appreciate them, all the time. You can leave little notes, you can tell them in person – Just make it happen. Never underestimate the power of words!
Make it Happen
However you decide to show your team members that you care, just make sure it happens and happens often. Showing appreciation is the fuel that keeps your team energized and productive! People need recognition and to know that they are valued, so be the source!
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