After a couple weeks of hearing several of my clients use the word “undervalued” in regards to how they felt their leaders view them, I felt compelled to write a blog about adding value to your people. If you want your organization to be known for truly valuing people over just making money, I have several tips for how to practically do that:

  1. Honor and encourage your people. Put your radar up and notice their contributions. Give awards and recognition freely in meetings and one-to-one’s, and play it up bigger than you usually do. Give them a regular dose of positive contact in staff meetings, in one-to-one’s, with personal notes/emails, by celebrating “crunch time” successes, and with little morale-boosters.
  2. Be hard on the issue, but soft on the person when you must confront someone for below-the-line behaviors. Seek solutions to remediate them with their long-term development in mind.
  3. Be as generous as possible, whether that be taking another step in your employee benefits package or through community involvement with team volunteerism or donations.
  4. Advocate for your team. Speak only good things of others while not in their presence, and believe that they will make the right choices. Don’t give up on people; have a second-chance mentality. Have positive comments always on the tip of your tongue, ready to share about your direct reports in passing.  Introduce people lavishly.
  5. Walk beside them. Learn what’s going on with your team outside of work by being a safe place for them to share with you. Cultivate a family atmosphere by organizing cards/meals for those grieving a loss or out with an illness. Schedule socials simply to build relationships.
  6. Set new staff up for success. Get them a mentor (if not you) and the necessary training to hit the ground running. Meet their tangible needs to do their job from the start.
  7. Share information; don’t clutch it. Give staff a heads-up especially if it will impact their job/lives, or it’s a question they will be fielding from customers or their team. Keep vision-casting so everyone knows where the organization is going. People want to be heard–get input and feedback for decisions; you must let them have their SAY, but not necessarily their WAY. Apologize when you mess up.
  8. Utilize people in their area of talent and passion, lighting up their strengths. Let them run with good ideas, and support them in their pursuit.
  9. Respect their time. Only hold meetings that need to be held, and only invite people that need to be there. Start/finish on time. And remember that people have private lives outside of work; be sensitive and flexible with their schedules.

These positive actions that brighten employees’ days make a big difference with retaining quality talent and keep everyone Growing Forward.

Check out my podcast The Tri-Cities Influencer on Facebook or at www.paulcasey.org for leadership and self-leadership interviews with local leaders.

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