Written by Katy Goshtasbi
Posted on: August 27, 2018
I remember the days when I was in my last legal job in-house at a large company. It was all so painful. My boss used to like to lead through intimidation and fear. And yes, my boss did this to everyone- even me, a person who had been practicing law at that point for almost a decade. Talk about not making employees feel valued.
I recall when she first hired me. She closed the door to her office and pointed out that I was not allowed to work from home. Ever. I remember thinking to myself, “I live across the street from the office. Why would I want to work from home?” Later, I found out that she liked to “work” from home regularly, which meant she was getting manicures and massages. No wonder she assumed the worst of me.
This way of leading didn’t stop with me. She treated everyone who reported to me (and thus, reported to her) the same way, too. We were a bunch of unhappy employees. As I look back upon my experiences at that job, I see all the things that could have been done differently, but wasn’t. Here are just three things to do to make employees feel valued. When we feel valued as employees, then we will naturally want to work harder for you.
1. We are human! Treat us that way – If ever there was an easy way to make employees feel valued, it’s to treat all of us like humans. Seems simple enough, right? Simple is not always easy. I have so many C-level clients who have tons of trouble stopping and seeing their employees as humans. Why? We are all busy and on the run. Plus, we don’t make allowances for people to learn and grow and err- which is all human. I promise you, once you stop and make time to see everyone as human, the world will change, as will your employee productivity.
2. Slow down – No one knows better than me what a fast pace we have to keep in corporate America these days. I also see this pace fail everyday to advance the corporate mission. Even if you slow down a tenth of your current pace, I guarantee a better version of yourself will materialize. In this way, you can be seen by your employees as a well-put together leader who values them enough to see them.
3. Build in appreciation time – when no one knows they are appreciated and doing work well, how can they be better at their job? I recommend to all my clients that they build in a regular and structured form of appreciation time for their employees. This is the time and place where employees are encouraged to thank one another for anything and everything- big or small. It allows other employees to be seen and heard. Plus, the act of showing gratitude raises everyone’s’ mood and drive to keep doing well.
So stop and consider:
– How often do you stop and see your staff as humans and support them to succeed, while acknowledging with kindness their weaknesses?
– What kind of pace are you keeping at work? Is it serving you well? How do you know?
– What ways do you have to appreciate your staff and allow them to appreciate each other?
Often times, the simplest actions are the hardest. So while my tips above may seem easy, finding the right way of implementing the tips can be hard. I’m always here to support you.
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