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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.