Showing staff they are valued – What you say

March 19th, 2010

How do you show staff they are valued? In good times and bad, people need to know they are valued.

What can you do to motivate staff and maintain morale, when times are particularly tough? Many businesses have cut back on salaries and bonuses, conferences and away days and now you have a number of staff who may be feeling …. well what?

Grateful for the job? Biding their time till things get better? Unsure? Nervous?

Maybe a few are excited at the prospect of making things better, but the likelihood is they are few and far between. So, they are working hard and you need to show them you value them. I have had this discussion with many people and, to say the least, we often start with the “it’s common sense – but not common practice”.

Firstly, how often do you say “Thank you”?

Saying “Thank you” – sincerely, individually and regularly. Don’t wait until there is a problem to discuss to say “usually everything’s fine” – tell them it’s fine / good / great. To do this well, you have to pay attention to all the things all the people are doing on a day-to-day basis. Whether it is part of their “day job” or something extra – if it’s been done well, then say so.

As a bonus, dealing with the problems and issues become easier, when it is within this context. If your staff know that you tell them when things are going well and only deal with the negative to help them develop and ensure things are dealt with quickly and professionally, it will be much easier to take – and much easier to deliver. You never know, it might help them tell you what makes you a good boss / manager … and what you can do to be even better!

Secondly, keep them informed

Tell them the truth, the whole truth, including the problems and the possibilities. Many people are unsure of their position at work – the grapevines and gossip corners are busy and people are worried. Tell them, honestly, what the position is in your organisation – what is going as expected (however good or bad that is) and what is short of target or even ahead.

Then, you may be able to ask for their help in moving forwards together and dealing with the difficulties. Getting your staff to help develop and deliver the solutions is just as important, if not more so, in a small organisation as a large one.

And, if you’ve done all the creative things you can think of, whatever those might be, and things are still difficult – tell them. If you try and pretend things are better than they are, you are letting them down and making the next round of conversations even more difficult.

Rocket science? Definitely not
Common sense? Yes, probably
Common practice? Unfortunately not

Contact Sue if you’d like to discuss ways of motivating your staff and developing their skills.

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