I was chatting with a friend who has been unhappy at work for quite a while and, as we were chatting, I realized that most of his unhappiness came down to not feeling respected at work. In this post I want to focus on how managers, supervisors, company owners, etc. can show respect to employees. Why? Because when you show respect, your employees are more likely to have healthier job satisfaction. They are more likely to talk about your company in a positive way, rather than complain about how bad their job is (which will impact your employer brand).
Really, there are hard costs associated with not helping your team members have better job satisfaction. As I’ve written about previously in the Snowfly blog, this can impact employee retention, employer brand, and productivity, each of which have costs associated with them (if you are looking for more on this, start here). So let’s benefit from better employee retention (reducing turnover and training costs), a strong employer brand (saving money on your hiring initiatives), and higher productivity (which has obvious profit benefits)… here are some ideas:
Show Respect to Employees through Better Communication
Your team wants to know what is going on. They want to know what’s happening in the market and industry, and how your organization is positioning itself to be competitive (and a safe career bet). They want to know how they can be involved in your best strategies, and how to help your organization be successful.
Better communication means you talk to your team regularly, in various ways. You have valuable one-on-ones that are meaningful and productive. Leaders use emails and newsletters to keep the team abreast of what’s going on. When you have challenges, share them (as appropriate) with the team. When your team knows their ideas are valued, they’ll bring their best ideas to you to help solve problems.
Snowfly has various communication tools to help you do this. Perhaps the most powerful is the in-app experience where a manager can put news, information, etc. right in front of your team… all in one place, with a standardized message. If you need help with communicating to your team, reach out to us and we’d be happy to chat about how we are doing this with our clients.
Show Respect to Employees by Asking Questions
One of the best ways to know how your team is doing, something I call “taking their temperature,” is to ask them. Again, the one-on-one is an excellent place to do this. One of the Snowfly tools to ask questions is the highly customizable survey system. While our surveys are very flexible, they are not cookie cutter. This allows you to ask a variety of questions and keep your pulse on employee sentiment. One word of caution, though: When you ask questions, or more specifically, when you ask for advice, you have to take it seriously. The more you ask and ignore, the less you’ll get.
I’ve been in this situation before. I’ve been asked for ideas and input only to never hear anything after I share what I think are pretty cool ideas. That only happened a few times before I just stopped sharing. One of the best ways you can show respect to employees is to (a) ask their opinion, (b) recognize it (perhaps with a sincere “thank you”), and (c) actually do something with their opinions. Of course, not every idea is a good idea, but you can thank them for thinking about bigger problems, and trying to improve things at work. But can you imagine how they’d feel if they knew you really wanted to know what they thought?
Show Respect to Employees with Rewards
When Snowfly, the company, was started many years ago, one of the key offerings was helping companies figure out rewards programs that had an impact on productivity. That is, instead of wasting money on rewards programs that didn’t work, were confusing, or rewarded short-term behavior (at the risk of almost begging for bad long-term behavior), we helped organizations reward their employees in a way that was highly beneficial to the organization.
Employees felt well-rewarded, and incentivized to do things that would help execute on the organization’s strategy and vision. It really was a win-win-win (the organization wins, the employee wins, and the customers win). We have learned much since those early days, and have added a significant amount of smart technology, and continue to help create these win-win-win scenarios that really show respect to employees.
Show Respect to Employees with Recognition
Another hallmark of the Snowfly solution is to recognize the good your team does. You might recognize results or simply efforts. Whatever good you recognize will be appreciated. You might find that some employees will have never had their work or efforts recognized before. Just getting recognition can change their whole outlook on their job, their boss, and how valuable they feel in your organization.
There are various ways to meaningfully recognize employees… it can be manager recognition or peer recognition. It can be one-on-one (privately), or for all to see. This is one of the easiest, most cost effective ways to show respect to employees and make them feel valued. We’d love to show you how we are helping our customers create a culture of employee recognition.
Show Respect to Employees through Coaching
Not many things you do for your employees will show respect like investing in them. Whether that is buying them courses, enrolling them in classes, or some other continuing education perk, they will feel like a million bucks knowing that you see enough potential in them to invest in them. In addition to those ideas, when you help an employee with coaching, they’ll know you want them to stay around, and are interested in their performance.
One of Snowfly’s newer tools is a coaching suite. This feature is simple to use but powerful when executed correctly. It can help improve morale and excitement. It can build buy-in as your team knows you will be patient as they grow, and you’ll help them grow.
Again, reach out to us to learn more about the coaching suite. Whether this is used as part of an employee performance improvement plan (PIP) or as a mentoring tool, or a path to leadership for an individual contributor, you want to show respect to employees through coaching.
Show Respect and Reap Benefits
If any of this sounds interesting, reach out to us. We’ll share what we’ve learned. We’d love to learn what your challenges are and see if what we have to offer can help you take employee respect to a whole new level.