Leaders mistakenly believe that to truly engage employees, you need to invest a lot of money. Roberta Matuson shares ideas on low-cost ways leaders can show their employees they are highly valued.
- Have you ever noticed how excited people get when you bring in donuts or pizza after they've worked really hard on a project? They're not excited because they're hungry for free food, they're excited because they're hungry for recognition. It's the small things that get big results in terms of employee engagement, and there are dozens of ways to do that without breaking your budget. Here are some ideas to get you started. Send a handwritten note to each of your people, telling them specifically what you value most about them.
I get it, no one sends handwritten notes these days. Well that's exactly why this is such a great idea. And to make it even better, send the note to their home. Just think of what a wonderful surprise that will be, one they'll share with family and friends, which will give them even more validation. Next, make sure your part-time workers feel like part of the team. As a manager, your goal is to make sure everyone's engaged. Invite part-time workers to participate in company meetings.
And be sure they get an invitation to the holiday party and the summer outing. And if that's not possible, host a small departmental gathering where you control the guest list. And whenever possible, recognize people in front of their teammates and the big boss. This is a great way to show people they're valued. Employee recognition goes a long way towards motivating your team. Even more so when you're able to do it with the CEO in the audience.
Here's something else you can do. Go above and beyond to personally help your people. Supposed you've got an employee whose son is hoping to attend your alma mater. Offer to talk to the student, and if appropriate, write a letter of recommendation. Believe me, as the parent of a high school senior, I can tell you how appreciative that employee will be. Creating new opportunities where your employees can gain exposure is another thing that will cause your people to be more engaged.
For example, it may be tradition that just the sales people attend a particular conference. But what if you also sent one of your marketing people this year? You'd show the employee you value her work, and you'd enable her to come back with even more ideas to market your products. And if the conference is in Florida in the winter, even better. These are all good ideas to help you get your employees more engaged, but the best thing you can do is to make time for your people.
Okay, I've offered you a bunch of ideas that will appeal to some, but maybe not to others. The key is to get to know your people well enough so you can select the items on this list that they'd most appreciate. Remember, there really is no such thing as too much gratitude.
- What motivates and engages today's employees
- The three types of employees
- How managers can engage employees
- Building a magnetic culture
- Creating lifelong connections with employees