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Sep 4, 2018

As a manager, leader, lead, co-worker, etc., you want to make your team feel appreciated and valued. There are so many reasons for this, and it goes beyond the obvious reasons like wanting your team to produce. For people to do their best job, we all need to feel confident and encouraged.

How can you accomplish this regardless of your role on the team? There are multiple ways you can empower people. Much of the aim is to create values that support your team’s success, and you’re a big part of that. The best part of these actions is that it’s free and won’t take up too much of your time. All you need to do is develop and maintain awesome communication with your team. After all, your team is about building relationships which in return can be attractive to those you are trying to attract.

I genuinely believe that this is what each of us wants and even need in our day. To help meet these goals of great work and feeling valued, I came up with some tips that I have been using to improve my relationships at work.

Leave a Special Something on Someone’s Desk

Sometimes a ‘small gesture’ of kind words can mean a lot, such as leaving a note, a $5 Starbucks card, a cool photo, etc. This isn’t only a pleasant surprise, but it shows you value them without just saying a word. Of course, you can add a note like “great job!” or a simple “Thank you, for being an awesome co-worker!” or “Have a great day!” and place it on their desk can. This action may look small, but it will have a notable impact on creating a sense of value and can really make someone’s day.

Safe Environment

I listen to TedTalks, and Simon Sinek’s TedTalk “why good leaders make you feel safe” really affected the way I think about my team, so I hope you take a moment and listen to it. Simon is speaking to leaders, however, I believe we all can learn from this fantastic talk. The prevailing thought is we each need to feel safe, value and deep trust. As the world moves forward, our quality of life is becoming more and more critical to our teams and companies, so it only makes sense for them to reflect those needs as well. When you provide a safe environment, it will give everyone a greater feeling of appreciation, and you will earn a broad sense of trust and strength within your team. This is powerful, and I wish that more people would lead like this. This action could be a great tool to enhance all relationships, both personal and professional.

Spend Time with Each Other

Sure, people appreciate a simple “thank you,” or a coffee gift card. However, I believe people feel the most valued when the time is spent with them or the entire team. For example, taking the team out for lunch or karaoke can be more than enough to motivate the team and help each team member feel appreciated and valued. Honestly, it also can be as easy as sitting down with them and discussing in depth their thoughts on how to improve processes, tools, and relationships. By doing this, it shows you care what they think and how they are essential to make things happen.

P.D.A (Public Displays of Appreciation)

By showing an individual team member or entire team some well deserved PDA (Public Displays of Appreciation), we can boost their confidence, happiness, and quality of life. There has been a lot of discussions within our staffing communities/companies, and presentations on this topic; that sometimes providing an appreciation and more importantly acknowledgment in a public arena can have a significant impact and surge of happiness towards an individuals or teams spirit. Some simple ways that can be meaningful include-writing a kudos email to your entire org (when appropriate) or publicly recognize someone or something achieved at a team meeting. When your team is doing great work, it’s important to acknowledge them. This shows that you are invested, and you value their work.

Investing in People

Investing in your team shows that you value and care for them first while showing that they are a part of the company’s success. Some great ways to reflect this investment could be sending them to an industry conference like SourceCon, or paying for certifications that could enhance their career, not just with regards to their current role, but for their future opportunities, reflecting an investment in their growth. This kind of investment shows that you see them individually and you care for their future as well. Of course, you want to keep this growth internal, so share with them how you want to see them take on more responsibilities and provide them the road map to their success within that role and how it can impact the company’s success. Showing that you are invested in the team can often be very rewarding for the company, the individual and believe it or not, you!

Be Kind and Intentional with Conversations

Providing adequate and supportive communication can have a significant influence on making employees feel valued and building relationships with your team. When you communicate or meet with your team, make sure they are being heard, and let them know that when it comes to the company’s success, that they have a seat at the table.

I personally think this should be done in everyday conversations and can be an effective way for you to build strong, trusted relationships. I challenge you to go beyond the average norm, try highlighting their values. For example, “You did an awesome job on that project, here’s a new project that I think you’ll be perfect for.” Remember, the more you recognize your team’s contributions to the success of the company, the more irreplaceable they’ll feel and become amazing contributors.

I think we can see how making your team feel valued doesn’t have to be challenging, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, start small and build from there. It’s the little things that count. Let’s face it, leading anything is always challenging; especially as the company grows and you never know what your team is thinking, but there are ways to give yourself and your team a competitive edge through being human. Providing the above gestures will help you build trustworthy relationships, improve team confidence, and ultimately make your team feel valued.

It’s important to recognize that each team member is a unique individual, no matter their level (entry level to a manager to director to CEO). We all have different reasons why we get up every morning and come to work, and not everyone needs the same actions to feel valued. The acts of kindness on a professional/personal level are rewarding and will make your relationships stronger and more meaningful. If you have built your team on trust, values, etc. you’re team will see the value and will recognize and appreciate your actions.

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