With Labor Day falling on a Sunday this year, you can use the succeeding work week to show your co-workers that you value the hard work they’re putting into the company. Motivating your employees boosts morale and overall productivity across the board, since workers who feel they are valued are often more creative, diligent, and more likely to turn in their best work come deadline. Plus, they’re less likely to pass their resignation letters—something every manager dreads seeing in his or her inbox.
Here are 7 easy techniques every manager should use to show genuine employee appreciation. Remember, the key word here is genuine. You must really believe in your workers’ worth.
Give Them Some Paid Time Off
The fact that there’s no long weekend shouldn’t stop you from giving deserving employees a break from work! Allow early time off or work from home options in lieu of a government-ordered Labor Day break.
Be a Mentor
It’s easy to make demands. It’s more difficult to guide. This is especially important in times of high stress, or when expectations aren’t being met. Rather than doubling down on the pressure, you can also use a softer approach by providing mentorship, doling out praise, and subtly encouraging—rather than directly ordering—your colleagues. Take it from a PR professional’s point of view: This blog post details the benefits employees rack up when they have proper mentorship.
Sponsor Their Continuing Development
Be on the lookout for short workshops that you can send valued team members to that will help them acquire skills to perform their job better. By giving them the opportunity to these one-day courses, you show to them that you don’t just think of them as cogs in the machine, but as persons with potential.
Inquire After Their Personal Life
It’s impossible to be friends with everyone in your team. (In fact, it’s not even ideal.) But don’t restrict your relations with them to “just work.” Part of being a great manager is to be able to interact with your employees on a personal and professional level. Devote some time each day to ask about their hobbies, outside projects, or family.
Assign Them More Responsibilities
This might seem counter-intuitive, but sometimes, assigning your employees more work will make them love their job even more. By empowering your team members with important tasks, you show that you trust their skills and capabilities.
Treat Them to Lunch
The way to a person’s heart is through his stomach—a truism that doesn’t just work on spouses, but on unmotivated employees as well. Sitting down with the team to a pizza delivery lunch is not just a great way to build goodwill, but to work on rapport as well.
Speaking of rapport, it’s important that you foster a culture of trust among your employees by projecting an aura of openness. At meetings, for example, you can involve them in the process by explaining your decisions and giving them an opportunity to speak out. Of course, you can’t reveal everything about your company—nor should you want to—but it’s important that your employees feel that they have a leader who’s on their side.