Given the current circumstances, making employees feel valued is more important than ever.

As an employer, it's crucial you look after your employees, after all employees who feel appreciated and valued at work perform better and prove more productive – leading to job satisfaction with increased loyalty, and lower staff turnover.

Therefore, investing in employee appreciation is a crucial role in your job as a manager, and if you don’t, your business can suffer as a result.

Read on for tips on how to make your employees feel valued.

Use technology for face-to-face interaction

By now, most companies will have some experience and the means to work face-to-face via technology. Whether it's Skype, Zoom, Teams, or even Apple's Facetime, collaborating with colleagues at home via video is a popular method, however it doesn’t have to start and stop with work. Checking in with your employees and colleagues is important to show your appreciation.

Asking how someone is or praising someone for their hard work is always more effective face-to-face, and overall can help combat the feeling of loneliness and anxiety some of us are feeling in the current circumstances. Hosting a meeting can be used as an opportunity for all the team to socialise briefly and have some time to see each other, helping to maintain relationships.

Benefits and incentives

One of the simplest ways to make your employees feel valued, next to verbally praising them, is to offer some employee benefits or goal incentives.

An incentive doesn’t have to be a fancy gesture, even the smallest of tokens can have a big impact given the thought behind them. Sometimes it’s just nice to be recognised for your work, and set goals gives employees something to aim for.

Provide the right support

On the theme of benefits, you can show your appreciation by providing an EAP (Employee Assistance Programme), helping you demonstrate that you are supporting your employees both in work and at home.

Various EAP’s are available and range in benefits, most offering a money saving retail programme, and as well assistance programmes that offer support during out of office hours, including counselling and legal help.

A healthier happier workforce means lower absence rates, increased productivity and higher levels of engagement. Overall helping not only your employees to thrive, but also the business.

Listen and pay close attention

As effective engagement tools go, listening is the one thing that goes hand-in-hand with strong leadership. It can also help to create a real behaviour change. As a leader, it’s difficult to really know what your employees are thinking about unless you take the time listen to them. The top tips for listening are; prioritise the time to be able to listen, stay focused, take note of body language/ non-verbal signs, keep a cool head, and know your limitations – if an employee needs help out of your comfort zone or experience, perhaps refer them to seek external help.

Communicate early and frequently

Communication closely links with listening, as mentioned above, it’s difficult to really know what your employees are thinking about unless you take the time listen to them – and communicate. This is an essential tool in achieving productivity and maintaining strong relationships in the workplace. Being transparent with employees early on with decisions and plans can give them peace of mind and an opportunity to speak up about any issues they are facing or concerns they have. Keeping employees up-to-date with changes in the workplace is even more so important in the current climate – helping to build trust and confidence in management. You need to choose your medium carefully, keep everyone involved, and be clear with your delivery.

Offer learning courses and ways to improve

Investing in training can help improve the above-mentioned points. Having training as an employer in management or business areas can show employees you are actively improving your skills as an employer, thus strengthening relationships. However, if you provide training for employees, you can help the employee strengthen their existing skills, and work on new skills, meaning they can confidently undertake new tasks so they can respond to any business challenges. Feeling confident in their role, can improve employee job satisfaction.

By taking the steps listed above, you can work towards helping your employees feel valued and overall improve your workplace relationship. It's important to pay attention to employees and actively look for ways to support and reward your team. Recognising their achievements will spell out that they really do make a difference to the business.