As humans, we love to be loved. We love to feel valued, heard, and appreciated. We want to build relationships, be a part of a community, and have a purpose. However, in today’s workforce, studies are showing that not everyone is feeling truly loved, appreciated, or cared about by the team that they work with.
Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workforce states that “4 out of 10 U.S. employees strongly agree that their supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about them as a person.”
That’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate for the 6 out of 10 people in your organization that feel unsupported and uncared for. This lack of care influences your organization. When employees do feel cared for, organizations see better customer relations and reductions in safety incidents and absenteeism. More importantly, organizations see better engagement, relationships, and habits that build a high performance culture.
So how can we, as supervisors, co-workers, and professionals, create the culture that makes every employee feel cared for as a person?
- Involve Them – What is the best way to improve employee engagement? Engage them. Collaboration is key. Organizations do their best work when employees feel empowered to be a part of the decision or the decision making process.
- Admit Fault – Open your mind to the possibility that you could be wrong or fail. When it happens, it’s important to humble yourself and admit your fault. People will then look at you as human, and feel encouraged to admit their own faults too.
- Praise them – Everyone likes to be recognized differently. While you can immediately think of the employee who wants to be asked to join the stage for their trophy, you may have forgotten about the employee who wants the soft pat on the back or a note that says, “Thank you for your contributions to this team.” Praise is not about you, but instead it is about the person being recognized.
- Actually Listen – With our ‘great’ ability to multitask, we oftentimes forget to listen. If an employee needs to talk to you or seems disconnected, have a conversation and actively listen to what they have to say.
- Know When and How to Help – It is easy for us to fall into the “I know exactly what you need” trap. When a co-worker is apparently in need or taking on a project, instead of saying, “Let me help. I can do that.”, ask them, “What is the best way I can support or help you with that?”. Sometimes the answer may be to get out of the way.
- Tough Love – One of the best actions a person can do is hold someone accountable. It sounds counterintuitive to show love by saying no, calling them out, or helping them recognize a fault, but if it is going to benefit them for the long term, it may need to be done. Our team oftentimes say the best moments in our lives were when parents, teachers, or other influencers told us no.
Do not only use this list when things are at their worst, or when it is convenient at special occasions. Culture is a series of habits, and when habits like the above list become the norm, your people become engaged, focused, and accountable. Your organization becomes People Centric.