When I’ve discussed this essential need of feeling valued, managers often think that they’ve done all they can to make employees feel valued. “I got business cards made for her”, “He got the raise he asked for”, “I gave the whole team tickets to a baseball game last month,” “I don’t know what more they want.”
The funny thing is when I discuss the same need with the employee, they rarely mention any of these things. What they want is to be listened to. I often hear “I’ve been asking for a performance review for months now”, “He’s always too busy for me”, “She doesn’t care about my ideas or suggestions”.
Leaders often make the mistake of thinking that giving employees tangible things will make them feel valued, when what really makes a difference is taking the time to listen to them.
My advice for leaders: Listen!
As long as your employees are paid fairly both internally and compared to market, that’s not the most effective way to engage them. And in fact, the impact of giving them a raise will last no more than a couple of weeks. So save a little money and spend a little time listening to members of your team.
Pic used with permission from Microsoft.