When it comes to recruiting and hiring, so much of what is important comes from the heart. However, the heart is rarely focused on in the professional world. Most of the time, it's about gain and profit and what employees can do for the company. Choices are made depending on what is logically the best for the company and not always what is best for the employee.
People spend on average 40 hours a week at work. When you are spending that much time with people, wouldn’t you want to make sure they are people you want to be around? Don't you want them to feel your love for them and in return, have them love being at work with you?
Barbara Fredrickson, the author of Love. 2.0, said:
“When people are made to feel cared for, nurtured, and growing, that will serve the organization well. Because those feelings drive commitment and loyalty just like it would in any relationship. If you feel uniquely seen, understood, valued and appreciated, then that will hook you into being committed to that team, leader, and organization. This is how positive emotions work.”
Here are the 5 best ways to show “love” to your existing employees:
1. Get to Know Them as People
Expressing interest in your employee's lives outside of work is a great way to build up your relationship and show that you care. This also comes with the added benefit of getting to know what they need to succeed in the workplace. Think of Undercover Boss and how different things become when they actually take the time to get to know the people that work for them. David Walter, CEO/HR Specialist at Electrician Mentor says,
One of the best ways to make people love their jobs is to take an interest in them both personally and professionally. How do you do that? From a personal standpoint, take an interest in their personal lives (obviously without stepping over any boundaries). Find out if they have kids, ask about their well-being, or inquire about hobbies and interests. Find common ground to talk about totally unrelated to the job.
Once you know the employee on a more personal level, be a person they know they can go to if any questions are had. It is very important to do things that will make a difference in your employees' lives and the best way to do that is to give them the confidence of knowing they have a strong support system at work.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or grand, but even the smallest of gestures to show care and concern can go the longest way. You can begin by asking the question, “Is there anything you need from me?”
2. Be Proactive in Recognizing Talent and Award Accordingly
Recognize it when employees are exceeding their goals and going above and beyond to accomplish their tasks. Recognize their achievements. Shradha Kumari, Human Resource Manager with SurveySensum says,
No employees should have the feeling that their work doesn’t matter. In order to make every employee's work fulfilling, we identify their contributions that help us to drive the company closure in fulfilling our mission. We believe in delivering happiness by making our employees feel worthy of their contribution and dedication towards fulfilling the organization's objectives.
To ensure that our team members are happy, we consistently recognize our employees for their hard work. We plan monthly or quarterly awards for the team members who embody our core values. This boost employee’s morale and spot the hidden rockstar within our teams.
Especially for smaller companies that don’t see returns immediately, it is important to remind your employees that their efforts are not going unnoticed. Giving verbal feedback and words of encouragement is very important in keeping them engaged and hopeful.
People don’t give up on people who show that they care. Taking those few seconds to show appreciation and gratitude will yield to greater, more significant victories to come.
3. Be Transparent With Your Employees
Transparency ultimately shows your employees you have nothing to hide. Being honest and open about the direction of the company will only clear any ambiguity and clear up any concerns your employees may have about job security. Jenna Carson, HR Manager of Music Grotto says,
When a company makes a concerted effort to communicate with its employees, it can lead to better engagement, more confidence in the company, and a workforce who is more motivated to go above and beyond to help the company succeed. If employees are made aware of where the company is at, of any upcoming news or developments or any challenges the business is experiencing, it creates a culture of openness that can have a lot of positive impacts for the business and on employee happiness.
When a workforce feels trusted enough to be ‘let in’ on secrets they are more likely to be loyal to the company, and businesses may even find that opening up their communication and encouraging employees to contribute their ideas and feedback can actually help solve some of the company’s problems, or give leadership ideas for development and progress!
Job security is incredibly important in keeping happy employees, so things like being open about the financials will help your employees feel like they are invested. The more invested your employees feel the more loyal they will be to you.
4. Provide Opportunities for Development and Growth
Don't let employees stagnate doing the same thing every day! Provide them with training and development courses to improve their skills and learn new things. If you do not invest in their personal and professional development, they will look elsewhere for those opportunities.
It can be good to use Career Pathways to align their training and development with the goals of the company. Identify roles that current employees could fill and then provide the resources for them to be trained for that role. Aqsa Tabassam, Human Resource Manager at UpFlip says,
A workplace feels like home when people who are working together want to chase goals and win together as they have a single mission, and that is the company's success. Most importantly, you get constant opportunities for learning and growth. If a leader doesn’t recognize efforts or give growth-producing feedback to employees, they’ll lose hope to be a better version of themselves at your workplace.
For example, if your company needs someone to manage social media, have them take a few courses on Social Media Management and slowly hand tasks over to them as they are ready. Evaluate their progress and give them suggestions until they are comfortable taking on the role entirely.
People would rather stay with the company they know, but with a caveat. Employees usually only leave when they don’t feel they are being valued or compensated fairly. Find out what the market is paying for positions and stay competitive with pay and promotion opportunities because as skill levels increase, the desire to earn more comes alongside that.
The last thing you want is to have invested time training and helping develop the skills of your employees, only to have them find someone that appreciates those skill sets more.
5. Provide Mentoring and Networking Opportunities
Nobody wants to be the coffee fetcher or constantly be reminded of the hierarchy difference in the workplace. A lot of companies are choosing open-work, collaborative spaces where the CEO and management work alongside the employees instead of above them.
Being a mentor to employees and teaching management how to mentor their teams will help cultivate lasting relationships because it allows you to show them your company values as well as demonstrating a company culture of continued learning and growth, which is incredibly important to employees. Create opportunities for people to mentor and network with one another.
This encourages employees to believe that they can grow and have their voices heard, not to mention it gives everyone peace of mind knowing they can access their superiors whenever they need to. It ultimately creates an even playing field and fosters loyalty and trust between employees and management.
There you have it! 5 things you can implement in your workplace to show your employees how much you care for them. For more information on how to improve company culture and employee engagement, set up a demo with one of our specialists today!