Five ways to make your employees feel supported
It’s no secret that employees who feel supported in their career goals and appreciated by their supervisors tend to be more engaged and productive in the workplace.
Recognizing your employees’ contributions and successes should be a top priority. You’ll build trust, boost morale, deepen connections, reduce turnover, and more. Here are five ways to make it happen.
1) Pay them well
A competitive market wage does more than make your employees feel supported – it literally supports them. A generous compensation package shows that you value your employees as you should, and is essential to attracting and keeping the best talent. In addition to a fair base rate of pay, you should offer:
- Vacation and holiday pay
- Bonuses, incentives, and regular raises
- Retirement contribution matches
- Health and life insurance
- Wellness programs
- Reimbursement for transportation and parking costs
A strong compensation package will keep employees happy, and loyal to the company.
2) Actively encourage work-life balance
Employees feel unhappy and stressed out when they feel like they don’t have the time or flexibility to deal with things in their own lives, because they’re always working. They’ll be more relaxed, rested, and productive if they’re able to balance the needs of their home life with those of their professional life, and take plenty of time for themselves, too.
Offer your employees generous time off packages. They can use paid time off to take vacations, deal with family emergencies, or celebrate the holidays.
You can do more to promote a healthy work-life balance. Give employees the option to flex their schedules, or work remotely some or all of the time. Set a good example yourself by leaving the office on time at night and taking your mandated coffee and meal breaks. Make sure employees take their breaks, too. A brief rest can do wonders for productivity.
3) Celebrate achievements and anniversaries
Employees definitely want their accomplishments on the job recognized. A celebration doesn’t have to be elaborate to be effective. It can be as simple as writing a personalized note congratulating an employee for their success on a project, for example, or a catered lunch for the whole office because quarterly sales goals were met. You should celebrate things like:
- The launch of a new product or service
- The procurement of a new client
- The arrival of a new team member
- High customer satisfaction ratings.
It’s important to celebrate employee life milestones, too. Things like employee anniversary recognition are important, too. A thoughtful card thanking an employee for their years of service on the anniversary of their first day shows employees that you value them as individuals.
Celebrating life milestones like births and marriages, or offering condolences and appropriate time off in the case of deaths, acknowledges your employees’ humanity and builds trust and respect.
4) Offer opportunities
Investing in your workers with professional development and advancement opportunities does more than show them you value them – it also gets you better employees! Give them professional development classes, whether you put them together in-house or get them access to online courses, tuition reimbursement, or conference attendance.
Put together a mentorship program to help less experienced employees get career guidance – more experienced employees will enjoy showing off what they know, too. Set up interdepartmental cross-training to help employees broaden their skill sets.
Each employee should have a clearly defined career path laid out ahead of him or her. Employees who feel like they’re in a dead end or stagnant position are going to look elsewhere for jobs with more opportunities for growth or advancement. The longer an employee goes without a promotion, the more likely they are to look for greener pastures.
5) Reward good performance
An employee’s compensation should grow in alignment with his or her skills and performance. As employees get better at their jobs and gain more skills, you should give them more money in the form of raises or performance bonuses.
Another great reward for good performance is additional days off. Giving merit-based rather than length-of-employment based raises is a good way to keep employee morale high and avoid rewarding employees who might not perform as well.
Employees who feel supported and valued are simply better employees – that’s a fact. Your organization simply couldn’t operate without the contributions and hard work of your staff, so give them the recognition they need to perform at their best. You’ll get happier, more productive, more loyal employees out of it, and everyone will benefit in the end.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez