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  • Vanessa Barajas, MPH

How To Show Your Team You Care And Appreciate Them

Employee engagement is directly linked to an organization's success. Showing employees that you care is not just good for their morale and job satisfaction, but it can also lead to higher productivity, reduced turnover, and a more positive workplace culture. They are also more likely to go above and beyond because they feel connected to their work. 94% of employees who feel cared for say they feel personally engaged in their work, compared to 43% of those who don’t feel care.


Here are some ways to show your team you care and appreciate them:


Ask for more feedback

Asking for employee feedback can help improve communication within the organization and allows employees to voice their opinions and concerns. When employees feel that their views and ideas are valued, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work. It can also help create a more positive work environment and improve employee satisfaction.


Consistent and timely employee feedback can provide valuable insights and perspectives that enable leaders to make more informed decisions and business outcomes. Feedback also helps leaders identify problems or opportunities they may not have been aware of before they become bigger problems.


Regular opportunities for employees to give feedback can help build trust and foster better relationships between leaders and employees. It shows that leaders are open to hearing different viewpoints and are willing to work together to find solutions.


Conduct 1-on-1s

1-on-1 meetings help employees feel valued because they provide an opportunity for employees to have dedicated time to discuss their work, life, and career development with their manager. These meetings allow employees to feel seen and heard and can help to build trust and strengthen the relationship between the manager and employee.


During 1-on-1 meetings, employees can share their thoughts and ideas, ask for feedback and support, and discuss any concerns or challenges they face. When employees feel that you are genuinely interested in their well-being and development, it can help them feel valued and appreciated.


"Managers should focus on making sure the meetings take place, creating space for genuine conversation, asking good questions, offering support, and helping team members get what they need to thrive in both their short-term performance and their long-term growth." - Harvard Business Review

1-on-1 meetings also allow managers to show their appreciation for their employees by recognizing their contributions and achievements, and by providing support and resources to help them grow and succeed in their roles. By making 1-on-1 meetings a regular part of their interactions with employees, managers can demonstrate their commitment to supporting and valuing their team members.


Boost employee recognition

Employee recognition can make employees feel more valued by acknowledging and celebrating their contributions, hard work, and achievements. There’s a big difference between yelling a thank-you on your way out the door versus sitting down with someone to describe the things you value about their work and its positive effect on the team. When employees feel cared for and that their efforts are being recognized and appreciated, it can boost their motivation, engagement, and satisfaction with their work.


Employee recognition can take many forms, such as verbal praise, written feedback, awards or bonuses, and public acknowledgment. Leaders need to recognize employees in a way that is meaningful and authentic, as this can help to build trust and strengthen the relationship between the leader and the employee. This might be different from employee to employee, but it is up to you as a leader to determine what is best for who.


Make it a habit

Simply taking a few minutes to tell your employee specifically what you value about their contributions can have a tremendous impact. Try to build it into your regular routines, perhaps by spending the first 15 minutes of your week writing a personal thank-you note or starting your team meetings with shout-outs briefly acknowledging accomplishments of individual team members. The range of options are almost limitless. You could even give food or gift cards as tangible expressions of their appreciation. The idea isn’t to create an automatic system for thanking employees, however; it’s more about giving yourself permission to express your appreciation in a way that feels natural to you.


A helpful tip to consider if you haven’t been focused on showing your team appreciation, is to not overcompensate for it. They may see your efforts as insincere. Instead, let them know that you’re working on developing your gratitude skills as a leader. Take time to ask how they’d like to be recognized. Some may enjoy being thanked publicly, while others shiver at the thought of it. The key is to know your employees’ individual preferences.


Overall, employee recognition, feedback, and the relationship with each team member, are all essential in enabling employees to feel cared for.

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