Does it feel like Office Space is your reality?
Is staff going through the motions, feeling invisible and unappreciated? Many, perhaps hating their jobs? Something needs to change, and it's quite simple: People need to feel valued.
There is an idea called the “depreciation mindset" which is when people feel weak, powerless, and unappreciated which causes problems for organizations, like decreased productivity and higher employee turnover.
An employee’s depreciation mindset is caused by factors like:
- Feeling unappreciated or overlooked by supervisors.
- Feeling that their work/life balance is out of control.
- Recognition and bonuses being given to people known to be “favorites”.
- Being micro-managed and not trusted to make reasonable decisions.
- Being criticized for their weaknesses or mistakes rather than appreciated for their strengths.
Having a boss who expresses genuine gratitude can combat a depreciation mindset, boost morale and build a positive environment for staff and supervisors.
Showing appreciation to your employees for their loyalty and hard work is actually pretty easy. Contrary to what many bosses think, acknowledgment doesn't have to be monetary. In fact, smaller personal gestures often mean much more to employees.
- Acknowledge your staff. Smile and say hello when you see them. Call them by name. In every interaction, be respectful. Try to make them feel good about themselves. Showing that you care will mean more to them than you know.
- Sing their praises. Whether they’ve just landed a big account, stepped up to help in a pinch, or they fixed the broken copy machine, find something to praise your staff for. Let them know that you pay attention, and that you value what they do. From assitants to directors, everyone appreciates genuine kudos.
- Listen attentively. When you have a conversation focus, even if it is just a brief moment in the hallway. If they have a concern or suggestion, hear them out, and assure them that you will address it. Then do it. Being truly heard makes a big difference in staff engagement.
- Be thoughtful. Write quick, personal thank you notes letting staff know what they are doing right. It can be a card or an email, taking the time to contact them directly will make a big impression and make them feel special. And if you want to really up your game, give them a little gift. Do they love coffee? A Starbucks gift card is an inexpensive way to say thanks for a job well done.