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5 Ways to Make Employees Feel Valued (and Why Acknowledgment Matters)

acknowledgement

Here’s something that many people want more of in their jobs: acknowledgment. It’s part of human nature to need to feel like we matter and make a difference. Think about it. When someone gives you a “nice job!” does that make you want to slouch in a corner and check your email, or get at it and do even greater work?

two white humanoid animated figures, with one whispering ‘you are the best’ to the other

Showing appreciation—whether you’re a leader or a coworker—gives team members the boost they need to get inspired, stay engaged, and be productive over time. If you fall into the camp of the under-acknowledged, try this: Take control of your situation and be the appreciator, finding frequent ways to recognize your team. This is the first step to creating a more positive work environment for everyone!

You never know, you could motivate others to follow suit. But in the end, making people feel good about the work they’re doing has a boomerang effect—it feels good to the giver too.

Here are five team recognition ideas to make employees feel valued:

  1.  Verbalize your appreciation.

    Team member appreciation is key. Acknowledge work well done on a regular basis. Comments can range from the specific like, “The way you handled that client meeting was so smart,” to the general, “I appreciate the great work you do.” You’d be surprised how many teammates or bosses don’t give high-fives. If you’re not used to giving kudos, start small (“nice job!”) and then build up. It’s the kind of practice that makes everyone feel better.

  2. Listen.

    Listening is the language of love, social scientists tell us. When we’re at work we don’t want to get gooey, but here’s the truth: When someone listens to you – whether it’s an idea you’re sharing or a project challenge you’re working through, it feels supportive to have someone all in, witnessing what you’re going through. So put away your cell phone, don’t check your computer screen for emails, and just be there for your co-worker. Without the distractions, who knows, you might make some ingenious project breakthroughs together!

  3. Ask co-workers about their lives.

    When you ask team members basic questions about their family and hobbies, this shows interest in the whole person. And, like listening, it’s a language of caring, which makes people feel like they matter. This can affect performance and motivation in simple but positive ways. An easy place to start is on Monday morning with, “How was your weekend?” It’s an unobtrusive question that shows interest and lets the receiver decide on the content they share.

  4. Provide opportunity.

    If you’re leading a team, offer training, education, or work challenges that stretch team members to learn and grow. If you’re not the mentor type, make sure everyone has access to the resources or people they need to keep developing skills and nurture a career trajectory they’re excited about. Be an advocate for everyone doing their best work in a job they love.

  5. Say “thank you” to your team members.

    It’s a little phrase that goes a long way. Make it a habit to communicate your simple appreciation to a team member each day.

If you found these team member recognition ideas helpful, here are even more ways to build camaraderie and boost morale while you continue to make employees feel appreciated! Already have a strong, productive team? It’s time to see if LiquidPlanner planning intelligence can make it even more so!

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