5 ways to make your employees happy in the new world of work
It’s no surprise: people like to be recognized. When you feel neglected, taken for granted, or invisible at work, you certainly don’t feel happy. In fact, the only thing that might make you happy in these situations is fantasizing about getting off the ship. If you don’t want to take my word for it, there is plenty of research to support the value of recognition and appreciation in the workplace.
Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics, and colleagues conducted a study in which participants who received minimal recognition were more productive and showed greater persistence in a repetitive task than those who did not. received no recognition.
In Glassdoor’s Employee Appreciation Survey, 53% of respondents said that greater appreciation from their boss would help them stay longer at work. Appreciation is at the heart of human beings: we need validation of our efforts, which are an extension of who we are.
The reverse is also true. A lack of recognition has been linked to significant negative effects on employee engagement. Research by OC Tanner Learning Group found that 79% of employees indicated that lack of appreciation was a factor in their decisions to find employment elsewhere. Another recent survey, this one by PromoLeaf, found that 33% of workers who don’t feel appreciated are actively looking for a new job. With the major resignation making retention a particular problem, recognition has taken on a new urgency.
When employee happiness increases, engagement and productivity follow suit, and being validated is key. Oprah, the queen of recognition and empathy, put it this way during a launching speech at Harvard: to be validated.
Unfortunately, recognizing your staff and showing your appreciation seems daunting now that we are in the new world of work – the distributed environment where only a few, if any, of your employees are co-located with you. Being able to poke your head around someone’s office and say, “I appreciate your always positive attitude. It really makes our meetings more productive, ”is often impossible.
However, this type of recognition is more important than ever because “at a distance” has become ubiquitous. Despite the perceived obstacles, the solution is not as difficult as one might think. A study by Workhuman found that 53.9% of respondents said that a simple ‘thank you’ could ease the pressure on performance while working remotely. So how can you significantly generate this performance booster and pressure reducer, in today’s isolating work environment?
Here are some simple habits to develop to make sure you exude appreciation – and instill joy – for those around you, regardless of what time zone they are in:
1. Listen. One of the most impactful things you can do for your staff is also one of the easiest – listen. Stop multitasking, look directly at the person (or your camera on the screen), and really listen to them. Show them that you are giving them your full attention and make an effort to discern what is not said as well. Listening is one of the most important communication skills there is, but we rarely focus on mastering it.
2. Get to know them. To be truly authentic and to make your recognition more meaningful, make an effort to get to know your people, to really know them. Take the time to talk to them about their life, their passions, their values and their aspirations. When you truly understand who they are and what is important to them, your expressions of appreciation will be more appropriate and powerful.
3. Tell them why you like them. Be specific, proactive and spontaneous. Don’t wait for them to complete a task or complete a project. It will positively affect how your team members think about themselves and your relationship with them. Right now, take the time to think about each member of your team. What trait or characteristic do you admire or appreciate about them?
4. Register. There is a quote I use all the time that is often attributed to Teddy Roosevelt: “People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care. It’s such a good reminder. Find out from the people you work with. Asking “How are you? And really wanting to know the answer will show them that you care.
5. Help them get to know each other. If you are leading a team, creating a culture of recognition will help amplify the powerful benefits. This means that you have to create opportunities for them to get to know each other and to showcase their unique personal brand. Training programs that create interaction between team members and help them discover unique traits in themselves and in others (such as emotional intelligence, personal branding, or presentation skills ) are a great way for them to be able to connect and ultimately recognize themselves. authentically.
These days, it’s easy to feel like an anonymous pile of pixels at work. But your team is made up of people, not pixels. Focus on recognizing each other’s attributes, accomplishments, unique contributions, and worth, and your team will start to feel human (and happy) again.
William Arruda is a keynote speaker, author, co-founder of CareerBlast.TV and creator of the LinkedIn Profile Type Indicator (LPTI) which measures the liking and credibility of your LinkedIn profile.