Valuing Employees: 15 Ways To Make Them Feel Valued

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated July 25, 2022 | Published April 13, 2021

Updated July 25, 2022

Published April 13, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

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A company's employees gather to listen to an announcement.

Employees who feel valued at work are often happier, more productive and less likely to look for other employment opportunities. There are many ways to show employees how much you value them—from recognition programs and financial incentives to simple gestures, like listening and taking action on employee feedback. Knowing the importance of valued employees and how to show appreciation can create a strong company culture.

In this article, we explore the importance of making employees feel valued and discover 15 ways of how you can implement programs and practices to ensure employees know how much you appreciate them.

The importance of valuing employees

Making employees feel valued in the work they do is important in business and can ultimately improve the environment of a workplace, the individual and team performance and help an organization reach its goals. Showing employees how much you value them can:

  • Build trust: Employees who know you value their input, feedback and ideas often have trust in leadership and confidence in a company.

  • Raise productivity: If employees know you appreciated and value their work, they often continue to work hard, strive for new goals and get invested in the company's accomplishments.

  • Increase morale: When you take the time to get to know employees, let them contribute and show you value them, team, department and company morale typically increases. Often the more positive people feel about their work environment, the better their output.

  • Reduce turnover: When you value employees and demonstrate it, they often have higher job satisfaction rates and pursue continued employment or advancement opportunities and refer other job candidates rather than seeking other employment. This can help lower turnover and increase retention rates.

  • Improve brand reputation: Being known as a company that values employees can help you attract highly qualified job candidates and possibly new clients or customers who want to support a business with a strong reputation as a good place to work.

Related: The Key To Employee Satisfaction and How To Achieve It

How to make employees feel valued

To make your employees feel valued, appreciated and satisfied at work, consider these 15 ways of how to create a positive work environment through programs and practices:

1. Offer good compensation packages

You can keep and attract quality talent by offering rewarding compensation packages that show how a company values their employees from the start. Creating competitive or industry-leading compensation packages is a great way to ensure employees feel satisfied and valued. These tangible and foundational elements can include:

  • Fair base pay

  • Holiday and vacation pay

  • Raises, bonuses and incentives

  • Attractive time off programs

  • Health and wellness benefits

  • Retirement contribution matches

  • Performance pay

  • Volunteer days

  • Flexible schedules

  • Transportation reimbursement

Related: Using Incentives To Motivate Employees

2. Provide meaningful work

This aspect can be different for each individual employee based on their likes, wants and goals, though employees typically perform well when they know the work they do daily is valuable and matters.

Consider highlighting teams to help others understand the work each group or department does, whether through company emails and a newsletter or by talking about achievements during meetings. Also look for ways to give meaningful work directly to your employees, like offering a project lead position to an employee who aspires to earn a managerial promotion, for example.

3. Prioritize a work-life balance

There is often a correlation between work-life balance and both employee performance and job satisfaction, so prioritizing this element of the workplace can create impactful results.

Maintaining a healthy and balanced work environment can reduce stress, prevent burnout, save money and promote a considerate company culture. Here are some ways to prioritize a work-life balance for employees:

  • Offer wellness days

  • Embrace and encourage autonomy

  • Promote health and wellness

  • Establish flexible work hours

  • Allow remote work opportunities

  • Provide generous paid time off programs

  • Have respectful off-hour communication expectations

  • Present time-management skill development

Related: Ultimate Guide To Work-Life Balance

4. Start an employee recognition program

Employee recognition programs are a great way to recognize the work done by teams and individuals throughout the year. Consider asking current employees the type of recognition they desire most, like starting an employee of the month club or holding an annual rewards ceremony event, for example. Other ideas can include financial incentives, lunch with the chief executive officer (CEO) or earned time off.

Read more: 11 Ways To Recognize Your Employees

5. Celebrate achievements

Celebrating achievements can keep teams and employees engaged, so consider recognizing both large and small work accomplishments, like:

  • Earning high customer satisfaction ratings

  • Reaching quarterly sales goals

  • Onboarding new team members

  • Launching new services or products

  • Securing new clients or renewing contracts

  • Successfully transitioning products, procedures or programs

You can publicly acknowledge these achievements, highlight them in company-wide correspondence, or share a hand-written thank you note to employees as a personal and thoughtful gesture.

Related: 22 Ways To Celebrate Wins at Work

6. Offer professional development and learning opportunities

Investing in your team shows you value them. Consider offering professional development classes within the company or paying for online courses, conferences or tuition reimbursement.

Cross-training between departments also is an effective and cost-efficient way to let employees learn and discover new skills and formal or casual mentorship programs also offer employees support and guidance. Other ways to help employees grow include:

  • One-on-one manager meetings

  • Peer learning groups

  • Career or talent management guidance

  • Dedicated learning time

7. Hire internally

While hiring always includes making sure a person is suitable for a role, looking at internal candidates first shows you value the current team, want to see them successfully reach their personal career goals and enjoy investing in the growth of your employees.

Hiring internally also has added benefits to a company, like easier and faster onboarding and transitioning, reduced costs and increased employee retention and loyalty rates. Consider establishing best practices for internal recruitment and hold candidates to the same expectations, qualifications and criteria.

Related: How To Announce an Employee Promotion

8. Have performance pay or bonuses

As your employees develop, gain more skills and get better at their job, it's important to align their compensation, give raises or share bonuses to reward them.

Consider evaluating merit-based raises versus length of employment ones to show employees their growth is aligned with performance and to ensure morale remains strong rather than inadvertently rewarding employees who are underperforming.

9. Make time for the team

Employees often feel the most valued when spending time directly with a leader or manager outside of normal job responsibilities. Treat them to a coffee break or take them out to lunch to get to know them better and hear their ideas about the workplace.

When doing performance reviews, offer genuine feedback, explain areas of concern and leave time for questions rather than holding a quick meeting. Also, even spending a few minutes a day talking with the team or individuals can establish rapport and connections that make them feel valued as both people and employees.

Related: How To Engage Employees

10. Host department or company events

Consider hosting events in or outside of work to thank employees and show you value them. Food is often a great way to bring people together, whether a small luncheon, a happy hour or a formal event like an annual catered retreat.

Be creative and explore other options, like attending the opening of an art exhibit together, doing a fitness outing or having a volunteer day, for example. Interpersonal, leadership and team relationships strengthen or develop through events and team-building experiences.

Related: 17 Benefits of Team Building for Your Organization

11. Celebrate milestones, anniversaries and birthdays

Do something special for employee birthdays, work anniversaries, project milestones and holidays like Employee Appreciation Day.

Whether it's coffee, cake or a meal, an extra day off, a company-wide announcement, a decorated desk or a monetary gift, acknowledging the important dates across your team is a way to show you value them as individuals. Simple gestures rewarding employees for their dedication and loyalty to an organization can make them feel valued.

Read more: Top 40 Top Ideas To Show Appreciation for Your Employees

12. Do pulse surveys

Letting employees give their feedback is a great way to show you value their input. Offering anonymous feedback portals or surveys helps establish trust and ensures you get honest, quality responses. You can do surveys quarterly, annually or after projects and achievements.

Consider having a mix of pre-written questions, like "Does your leader make you feel valued?," and open-ended areas for employees to write in any additional thoughts. Employees often feel valued the more they feel heard and want to contribute directly to the success of a company.

13. Ask, acknowledge and act on feedback

Engaging with employees involves allowing them a venue to share feedback and then acknowledging and acting on the input. It shows you are open to ideas from any level of the company and respect and value the input from those you work with.

The opportunity for feedback can give employees a sense of purpose and often the ideas generated can lead to improvements and promote good company culture.

Related: How To Get Essential Feedback From Employees in 4 Steps

14. Have a praise portal

Giving and receiving praise and appreciation regularly is a good way to increase morale, collaboration and job satisfaction.

Whether you use a formal program to let employees give peer thank you's and acclamation through online platforms and written summaries or establish an informal weekly shout-out habit to acknowledge someone's work or a team accomplishment, the benefits of routinely doing praise in the workplace are immensely worthwhile.

Related: A Guide To Meaningful Employee Recognition

15. Consider a leader review program

While leaders often do performance reviews for employees, consider implementing one for leaders themselves. It shows you care about employee opinion and it can inspire leaders of all levels to meet and exceed expectations.

A leader review program can also help companies establish, refresh or reinvent their leadership development practices and acts as a peer review procedure at the leadership level.

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