As a business owner, it is important to learn how to make employees feel valued because they are the oil that drives the engine of your business.
No doubt, you have heard the phrase that “customers are king” so many times, and it is not far from the truth.
However, you need to understand that your employees are just as important as your customers, if not more important.
Let’s help you put it in proper perspective for better understanding.
Suppose you run a restaurant where people come in and eat the choicest foods.
You have invested so many resources in marketing and have been able to win over many customers.
One day, you have received reservations from almost all your customers with the promise of coming down to the restaurant.
Interestingly, many of these customers come from far away places to have a taste of delicacies.
However, on this fateful day, all your employees decide not to show up at work.
From the security personnel to the chefs, the waiters, and even the cleaners.
You will most likely agree with us that the stage is set for a calamitous business day.
Just how much can you do without the services of your employees at this time.
Not so much, obviously.
So you get the point? It is possible to have the best of customers and many of them but still fail at business without dedicated employees.
Hence, you must consider making your employees feel valued, as this would benefit you the most.
Read on to discover the necessary steps you should take to make your employees feel valued.
To Start With, Who Are Employees?
As a business owner, you are very familiar with who an employee is.
So there is no need for a long introduction on that.
Basically, an employee is an individual, be it a male or a female, who you hire or employ to perform a particular task or occupy certain roles in your establishment or organization.
This is done in exchange for a payment, which can either be a wage or a salary, depending on the nature or scope of the job.
Additionally, depending on their job roles and your company’s structure, you might hire a full-time or part-time employee.
You can also bring them on board to work for you on a long-term basis or to take care of a short-term project and leave.
All these are stated in terms of service or agreement with the employee during the hiring process.
Moreso, someone considered an employee of an organization is guided under the company’s code of conduct.
Also, he/she equally enjoys some benefits that are open to employees of an organization, such as; vacations/leaves, insurance benefits, staff loans, pension e.t.c.
Simply put, when you have someone who performs certain duties for you, and you pay him/her for that, with a contractual agreement, he/she can be considered as an employee of your company.
What It Means to Feel Valued
Before we dive into the steps you as an employer can take to make your employee feel valued, it is good we define what value means and how one feels valued.
Something is said to have value or be valuable if that thing is held with high regard and recognition.
Such a thing is said to be good, beneficial, important, worthwhile, and desirable.
Most times, this value comes from certain qualities or attributes that the person or thing exhibits.
Without a doubt, for someone or something to be considered valuable, they must offer certain advantages and benefits.
It is the opposite of valueless, which would mean that something or someone does not have an appreciable benefit or importance.
As such, they are not held in high regard or given due respect and admiration.
Therefore, when we speak of someone feeling valued, we believe that the person feels he/she is appreciated for his/her beautiful qualities.
Also, they don’t doubt their worth or importance to an organization they work with or represent.
They are always confident that they are relevant and appreciated for all they do.
When you value people, they do not need a third party to assure them of this, as they feel it every time.
Of course, this is revealed in how you deal with them and the steps you take to show them they are valued or valuable.
The Importance Of Making Employees Feel Valued
When you, as an employer, make your employees feel valued in the workplace, you are doing your business a whole lot of good.
This is especially important when those employees have proved beyond reasonable doubt that they are valuable.
If you ensure you constantly make your employees feel valued, you will get the following benefits:
You Won’t Lose Your Best Hands
While lots of job applicants saturate the business market, it is also true that getting quality hands is not always easy.
Hence you wouldn’t want to joke with employees with a proven history and track record of excellent performance.
If you lose such employees, it might be difficult, if not impossible, to replace them.
Experience has shown that making your employees feel valued is a very effective way to retain them.
You Spend Less On Recruiting New Employees
Need we mention that one of the negative results of losing employees is that you need to spend in replacing them.
So, before you think it is easy to replace an employee who leaves, think about the cost.
No jokes, hiring new staff can really get very expensive and significantly impact your company finances.
However, when you valued your employees, you increase the chances of keeping them and reduce the cost of hiring recruits.
It Increases Employee Engagement
Another benefit that comes from making your employees feel valued is that it increases engagement.
In other words, it makes them more passionate about their jobs and committed to giving their best to the organization.
After all, they know that their efforts do not go unnoticed, and they are appreciated for all they do.
Therefore, they will naturally want to do more.
It Keeps Employees Happy
By now, you should already know that keeping your employees happy is one essential thing you can do as an employer.
In fact, numerous benefits come from having happy employees.
But then, how do you achieve this happiness in your workplace?
One way to do this is by making your employees feel valued.
When you do this, they come to work every day with a big smile on their face, ready to contribute their best yet again for the day.
This is because they are valuable to the organization, and they know it.
It Motivates Your Employees And Increases Morale
Just imagine you are expected to work on something every day, for which you know that your inputs are not appreciated.
Tell me, how motivated can you be to keep doing that work?
Not very motivated, you might agree.
No doubt, your morale will be low.
On the other hand, if you know you are valued for your work, it increases your motivation and morale.
Even when you are not asked to perform certain tasks, you are willing to step in and try.
This is because you know that you will get due commendation and appreciation for what you can achieve.
Well, as a business owner, this is what you get when you make your employees feel valued.
Communication Is Easier And More Open
Few things are as frustrating as calling a meeting of employees, and you have people sitting around the table refusing to make contributions.
Sometimes, it might be because they do not know what to say.
However, have you also considered the possibility that some of your employees don’t communicate freely because they don’t feel valued?
Honestly, if you will not acknowledge my suggestions or work on what I recommend, what is the point in trying?
Indeed, when you make your employees feel valued, you give them a platform to express themselves more freely.
It Earns You Respect And Admiration, And A Good Reputation
You can be sure that employees who feel valued and appreciated do not hide their excitement.
When you work on making your employees feel valued, you increase their respect for you.
They tell others about your fine spirit, and it wins you a good reputation in your industry and beyond.
More Customers And Business Growth
Does making employees feel valued really have the potential to get you more customers and grow your business?
We bet you it does.
Valued employees, as noted earlier, are happy employees.
In turn, happy employees rub their happiness and satisfaction on your customers.
Before long, you will notice your customer retention rate increases, and you get many referrals to your business.
This is because you have more people spreading good reviews about your business, and it will only make it grow.
How To Make Employees Feel Valued – Qualities and Attributes That Make Employees Valuable
While we stress the importance of making your employees feel valued, the truth remains that you cannot and shouldn’t deceive them in this area.
That means that you cannot make an employee who isn’t valuable to your organization feel valued.
If you do, you are only causing more harm for your business than good.
Given that, there are certain qualities or attributes you should look out for in your employees that are pointers to their value.
Only when you notice these and many others can you decide they add value to your business and make them feel that.
Take a look at some of these qualities:
They Are Proactive
Valuable employees are not sluggish and waiting to be told what to do before they do it.
In other words, you do not think for them.
If you employ staff and you have to tell him/her what to do at all times before they do it, then you are better off doing those things yourself.
One fine quality that makes employees valuable to any establishment is their proactiveness.
Getting things done because of prompt and active thinking without waiting to be told.
They Are Problem Solvers
Another quality that makes employees valuable to a business establishment is their ability to solve problems when they occur.
There’ll always be problems, challenges, and mistakes in business.
If you have individuals on your team that grab the bull by the horn and look for solutions at all times and usually get it, they are for keeps.
These don’t grumble or complain about difficulties, but they are at the forefront of getting it sorted.
They Help Others Get Better
Valuable employees are not just satisfied with being the best of the bunch.
They are also not interested in being better than everyone or being the only expert in certain fields.
No, but they always go out of their way to help others get better.
When they learn new skills, they are very eager to teach them to others.
They understand that unity is important in achieving the company’s common goals, and they are working to promote this.
They Are Dependable And Reliable
Do you have particular employees in your organization who you can task with certain responsibilities and sleep easy, knowing they will not disappoint?
This is an indicator of value right there.
It shows that you can always depend on them, and as such, you can count them as valuable to your company.
They Contribute To A Peaceful Work Atmosphere
It might surprise you to know that an employee’s only notable contribution to your workplace is keeping the atmosphere fun and lively, but they are valuable.
It goes without saying that a peaceful and fun work environment contributes to workplace productivity and good interpersonal relationships.
Hence, when you have employees who make this possible, they deserve to be valued.
You might even find out that in this area, your janitor might be more valuable than your general manager.
They Help You Get More Customers
Who would disagree that anything or anyone who helps you increase your customer base is doing your business a lot of good?
If you have employees experienced at converting leads through active marketing or referrals, hold them close.
They have offered their value to your firm and should be treated as valuable.
They Are Multitalented and Multiskilled
Another valuable quality you can find in an employee is being multitalented or having multiple skills.
With how the business world keeps evolving daily, you need people who can learn and develop multiple skills on the job.
An employee who is skilled in many areas and has diverse areas of expertise is an asset and comes off as valuable.
So how do you appreciate valuable employees by making them feel valued?
How To Make Employees Feel Valued
Once you’ve identified the employees on your team who are valuable to the company, the next thing is to let them know this.
Remember the benefits that come from making your employees feel valued, as outlined at the onset.
These benefits should spur you into action in taking the necessary steps toward making your employees feel valued.
See some practical things you can do:
Look Out For The Good In Your Employees
It can be difficult to find valuable employees; talk more about making them feel valued if you do not see them as good people.
Seeing the good in others is actually a deliberate course of action.
You would need to train yourself to focus not just on the negative traits of your employees but also on their positive sides.
Only when you do this can you start seeing which ones are valuable and making them feel appreciated and valued.
Offer Sincere Heartfelt Commendations
Has one of your employees reached or surpassed his/her targets and set goals?
Or did he/she provided needed assistance in resolving a challenging situation or conflict?
Offer your sincere commendations for the efforts of the employees.
This is one way you show you value them, and they also feel it.
Welcome Input And Contributions From Your Employees
You can show your employees that they are valued by asking them for their input and welcoming it.
You do not want to be the boss who is an island of knowledge and has the solution to everything.
Even when you think you know the right course of action in a particular situation, let your employees share their own views.
Creating a platform where everyone can contribute and feel their contributions count will make your employees feel valued.
Apologize To Them If You Have To Break Agreements/Policies
A good example of a company’s agreements that many employers break with reckless abandon is time for payment of salaries.
Some employers feel that since they call the shots and make the rules, they can break or bend them at will.
You do not show you value your employees when you do this.
If, for any reason, you need to delay in payment of salaries on the due date, communicate this with your employees and apologize for it.
This would make them feel that they are not just objects you use at will, but you value them as humans and part of your business establishment.
Give Them Opportunities To Grow
To make your employees feel valued, you must do more than use them to get your work done.
You must show them that you are concerned about their personal growth and development.
You can do this by arranging training for them and being a mentor to them.
Likewise, you can help direct them on their career path while offering valuable tips that would be of help.
You should also not stand in the way when they request time and opportunities to go on programs that improve their skills and qualifications.
If you do this, you show your employees that you value them and you are not for your own selfish interests.
Show Personal Interest In Them And Their Wellbeing
Your relationship with your employees should be more than a formal employer-employee relationship.
You as an employer must show personal interest in the well-being of your employee.
This would involve you offering them warm greetings every morning, asking about their welfare and that of their family.
You also want to be observant of changes in your employees’ emotions, know when they are not fine, and offer needed support.
This kindness on your part will surely make your employees feel valued.
Don’t Overwork Your Employees- Afford them Breaks
Sorry to disappoint you, but your employees are not machines.
They are humans and can suffer burnout and exhaustion.
This is why you need to offer them opportunities to take a break from time to time.
Let them spend quality time with their family and friends, away from the rigors of working.
When you do this, you leave your employees without a doubt that you care about them and value them.
Offer Words Of Appreciation
Oftentimes, your employees want to hear expressions of appreciation from you to feel valued.
So, be generous with your appreciative words, using every opportunity you get to let them know how much you value them.
When offering appreciation, try to be specific so they do not feel flattered.
Let them know particular things they’ve done to merit your appreciation.
This will make them feel valued and propel them to want to do better.
Give Them Mentorship Roles/ Delegate Assignments To Them
Suppose you employ new staff in your organization.
The temptation is usually there to want to handle the training and orientation of this new staff yourself.
But then, look around you.
Do you have an employee who has been of service to you for many years with a proven history of dedication and efficiency?
This is an opportunity for you to show this employee just how much you value him/her.
Delegating some of these roles to them and even making them mentors to recruit shows they are valuable.
Don’t Spare The Rod – Make Your Feedback Balanced
A verse in the holy books says that ‘It is he who the father loves that he disciplines.
No doubt, discipline is also a way to make an employee feel valued.
Therefore, as you offer commendations and words of appreciation, do not forget to give reprimands when needed.
When you notice areas where employees are not doing fine, call their attention to them.
However, the goal is not to downgrade them or kill their morale but to let them make improvements and get better.
Hence, endeavor to correct your employees when necessary.
They might not receive it favorably at first.
However, they will understand that it is a sign of love and will feel valued over time.
Wrapping It Up On How To Make Your Employees Feel Valued
It is not a myth but rather a proven fact backed up by overwhelming evidence.
Making your employees feel valued can have tremendous and outstanding positive effects on your business.
Not only does it improve their productivity, but it speaks well of you as the employer and drives more sales to your business.
Therefore, do not throw the nuggets considered so far on making your employees feel valued.
Make conscious efforts to apply these steps and see the benefits of valuing your employees for all they do.