Researching undervalued employees like this makes employee recognition a critical element of business success. But it can be easy to let appreciation slip, resulting in low morale and high turnover.
“More companies are finding that recognition, appreciation, and human workplace practices improve overall employee experience and fuel business performance.” Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2018
What are the tell-tale signs that your organisation has undervalued employees? What is the impact on your business? And what steps can you take to boost appreciation? Read on to find out.
How to Tell Whether Your Business Appreciates its Employees
There’s so much to do when you’re running a business: finances, marketing, HR; and then there’s the day job. Which can leave little time for the nice fluffy stuff like appreciating your team.
Except recognising people’s effort isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s an essential aspect of engaging employees, driving performance and delivering your business goals.
Failing to appreciate your staff is a behaviour that can easily fly under the radar. So, here are five behaviours to look out for that mean your leaders don’t value your staff:
- You haven’t got their back – when a customer or colleague points the finger, employees want to know their manager will be there to support them. Leaders who immediately look for fault and seek to apportion blame lose trust from their teams. Making them less likely to go the extra mile for their boss and the business in the future.
- Employees’ strengths aren’t played to – people often have unique talents beyond the job description, like strong organisational skills or an ability to speak a foreign language. Managers who fail to comprehend the full potential of their team are doing the business a disservice by missing out on opportunities. This short-sightedness also leaves employees frustrated because they know they aren’t adding best value.
- Nobody asks for employees’ opinions – do senior people interrupt colleagues during meetings? Are less senior staff even consulted about decisions? Failing to get fresh insight from team members is a missed chance to grow and expand your knowledge. Neglect this and employees will feel ignored and disrespected, which isn’t good for engagement.
- Feedback is unheard of – employees want feedback so they can grow and improve. Leaders who withhold this lose out on an opportunity to build trust and show they value the relationship and their employees’ career. Deliver on this front and you’ll gain loyalty from your staff. Fail to do so and their heads will be turned by your competitors.
- You don’t trust them to manage their work – micromanaging employees signals that you don’t have confidence in their ability to perform. Employees either become extremely frustrated or they begin to doubt themselves leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Either way, engagement and performance dips and employees’ chances to develop or grow are stifled.
If these behaviours are allowed to continue for any period of time, frustration and disengagement will soon turn people’s head and they’ll begin to look for new jobs. Leading to two other major challenges for your business too:
- Retention Risk
Losing your best people isn’t a smart move in a highly competitive recruitment market. With unemployment at 4.1% – the lowest in 18 years – retention is currently a major issue for businesses.
Empty seats mean more recruitment which means more time and more money. And with the advent of online platforms like Glassdoor, you could be facing employer branding problems too as employees publicly advertise their reasons for leaving. Which will give your business a bad reputation and make it even harder to hire the right people.
How to Not Have Undervalued Employees
Showing your appreciation is simple and it doesn’t need to cost a penny. Start by identifying when people have gone above and beyond and thank them for their efforts. Or congratulate your team at the end of a busy week or for delivering a project successfully.
Many firms operate formal recognition schemes where employees can provide peer-to-peer recognition and managers can give rewards or gifts.
Other firms choose to get to know each member of their team via company-paid socials so they can build relationships and appreciate the potential each person has to offer.
The long and short of this article is that if you fail to value your employees, you’re failing to value your organisation. If any of this rings true for your business, it’s time to start identifying and celebrating success. It will pay dividends all round.