This time of year, the concept of gratitude is everywhere.
From holiday thank-you gifts from clients and suppliers to the consumer messaging we’re all inundated with. Business leaders may strive to share in that spirit with end-of-year bonuses, companywide parties, and more. However, a one-off demonstration of gratitude may not be enough to communicate an authentic commitment to recognizing the value of all employees—particularly in today’s climate.
It stands to reason that, when employees feel that their employer appreciates their work and values their contributions to the organization, they’re more satisfied and even driven on the job. But that reality has never been more critical for modern business leaders, in this environment of record low unemployment and evolved employee expectations. The numbers tell the tale: According to recent research from Workhuman, when employees feel valued, they are four times as likely to be engaged and five times as likely to feel connected to the culture of their company. Importantly for today’s leaders, those who feel their efforts are recognized are five times as likely to want to stay at their organization—meaning less turnover, lower costs, and a brighter path forward for the entire business.
To make your gratitude strategy last all year long, here are a few areas of focus:
A robust recognition program is a clear indicator to employees that their work is being noticed and making a measurable impact on the business. And it’s a strategy worth the investment. Research published last year in Harvard Business Review, for example, workers who received simple notes of appreciation said they felt more supported, recognized, and valued than before, and also improved in areas including well-being, motivation, and even absenteeism.
From offerings like pet insurance to childcare subsidies, employers are pulling out all the stops to win the war for talent. With a well-designed benefits strategy that aligns with the particular needs of your workforce, you can both communicate to current employees the impact of their value to the organization while also working to attract today’s top talent. Ensure benefits offerings are tailored to the unique needs of your employee population—think, office subsidies for remote workers or travel assistance for commuters—and communicated in a way that ties the design to the employer’s appreciation for the workforce.
In the same vein, benefits design is just one area where employees should have a voice—if you want them to feel appreciated. From annual engagement surveys to frequent pulse check-ins, ensure your HR team understands employee sentiment and, just as importantly, takes action to adapt policies and strategies to meet those needs.