Why Making Your Employees Feel Valued Is A Good Business Decision

Founders and company executives routinely espouse the importance of fostering productive company cultures, but too often they overlook one critical priority: recognizing your employees for their hard work and unique contributions to your team.

The benefits of a valued workforce are many and varied. For one thing, appreciated employees report increased job satisfaction. That satisfaction is itself tied to increased loyalty and lower turnover — and that, of course, leads to higher overall productivity.

For that reason alone, investing in employee appreciation is critical. In fact, if ensuring your employees feel valued is not one of your primary prerogatives as a manager, your company will suffer as a result.

Here’s why.

Making your employees feel valued benefits your business in the long-run.

Employees who feel appreciated and valued at work perform better and prove more productive.

This is a known benefit. A less obvious benefit of appreciating your employees, however, is an increase in frank and open communication throughout your company. Employees who feel appreciated and valued in turn feel empowered to share important information with their bosses in an open and non-judgmental manner.

This has critical implications for your company culture writ large. When you treat your employees with respect, you create an environment that encourages continuous professional development, growth, engagement, and a general, long-term commitment to the organization — all of which make for a healthy and productive company.

Employees who don’t feel valued, on the other hand, hurt your business both in the long and short term.

This is because they will likely never give you 100% effort.

And why would they, if they aren’t certain they’ll be recognized for that effort? Underappreciated employees are not committed or inspired employees. In fact, they might even be employees who are looking for a new position elsewhere.

Of course, a team comprised of employees who are sodden with disaffection or actively looking for other jobs will negatively and immediately impact your company’s bottom line — simply on account of lower productivity.

But beyond that, more systemically speaking, low job satisfaction leads to higher staff turnover. And turnover, as it happens, is the single most consequential disruptor for a young business. It requires more money and time be dedicated to re-staffing. Perhaps even more importantly, it poisons your company’s culture. Professional development stagnates, engagement decreases, and your team’s commitment to the organization wanes.

Founders absolutely need to make employee appreciation a key component of their operational model.

This is what I decided to do when I became president of BookBaby. I decided that I’d make open and frequent communication — including the frequent parsing of public praise — something of a company common denominator. Every week, my employees and I conduct open, honest, and frank discussions both one-on-one and in staff meetings and department huddles. The result has been the cultivation of a true team in which everyone on board is invested and inspired to work as hard as they can, together.

Each manager, of course, will have his or her way of relating to their staff and showing them appreciation. But there are general tactics founders should try and employ. Great leaders across the board make their employees feel wanted and needed by creating a culture of respect and encouragement from the top down; they recognize their employees’ efforts no matter how low they are on the proverbial totem pole. All employees need to be praised and rewarded when they’ve worked hard and completed something of value.

Great leaders also actively invest in their employees’ professional growth.

In today’s ever-changing society, no professional wants to stagnate. Knowing this, founders should challenge their employees with important assignments. And when they assign employees such challenges, they should emphasize exactly why they’ve chosen them.

This will convey why you have confidence in that employee, while also recognizing the value of their contributions to the company.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t require extraordinary effort to ensure your employees feel needed and valued, like lavish bonuses or oversized perks.

All it really takes is an honest commitment that’s engrained in the company culture — and that starts with you, the anchor, the leader.

This is an investment that you need to make.