“Brains are like hearts – they go where they are appreciated.” ~ Robert McNamara
When it comes to retaining your employees, one must look at the heart (the health) of your organization. One way to measure the true health of your organization is by the quality of the people it retains. Are your best people leaving or staying? Are your employees enthusiastic about their job or merely doing barely enough to appear engaged? Just as the case is with any relationship, people tend to go where they feel they are most appreciated and tend to thrive in relationships when they feel the people that surround them genuinely care about their success and well being. Therefore, to have a heart-healthy organization, you should make all your employees feel like an MVP. You should pay a competitive salary (Money); you should show that they matter (Value); and, you should acknowledge their excellent work (Praise). No perks or even the latest technology can transform a company into a heart-healthy organization unless people feel that they are valued and genuinely appreciated by management.
Money matters – when it comes to showing appreciation, paying a competitive salary and having fair compensation practices are certainly one key. And, although money may not be the top motivator, it is still an excellent indicator of how much companies value their employees. With popular sites such as Glassdoor and the constant talk of pay transparency, most employees have a relatively good idea of what their skill set is worth. Just as in healthy personal relationships, where honesty and transparency continually reinforce the idea that each party brings something to the table that the other values, paying employees too little may indicate a lack of appreciation and fairness. In addition, avoiding compensation conversations and not having fair promotion practices also lead employees to feel devalued.
They matter – One of the best ways to show employees how much you truly value them is to make sure that they are being trained, groomed, and led by the best leadership and management team as possible. Your leaders should inspire, motivate, coach, and get to know their employees as individuals. Great leaders continually seek to remove obstacles, be a role model, make the tough decisions, and instill a high level of trust in their employees. Leaving your employees in the hands of someone who lacks these skills can indicate to your employees that you don’t appreciate them enough to provide them with great leadership.
Words matter – Acknowledging a job well done through words of praise shows appreciation to your employees. In addition to letting them know that you are paying attention to their work and contributions, it also makes them want to continue to excel and look forward to positive affirmation and peer recognition. This does not cost a dime and harkens back to good, old fashion thank you, great job, a high five or just saying “thank you for being a part of the team.”
Never underestimate just how valuable showing appreciation through a few simple words can be to your team. But be sure that the words are sincere, specific, and timely. As they say, “What gets recognized gets reinforced, and what gets reinforced gets repeated.”
Is it time for a check-up? Is your organization heart-healthy? To treat your employees like MVPs, remember that money matters, they matter, and what you say matters.