Not too long ago, it seemed like good pay and good benefits were all that you needed to keep employees around. More and more, this is simply no longer the case—and that’s not a bad thing. What many people erroneously chalk up to laziness might be more accurately explained by another thing: empathy. Younger people, through the aid of technology, grew up more exposed to all of the good and bad of the world. It only makes sense that they have a more pronounced commitment to their values, and this shows up in the workplace.
Unfortunately for many business owners and leaders, this means that keeping great and motivated workers around is more difficult than before. As mentioned, the paychecks by themselves aren’t cutting it. So, how can you craft a workplace environment that workers love to partake in? According to Clint Pulver, one way is to create a culture of recognition—here’s how.
It’s in the name, so it makes sense that it’d be front and center. A culture of recognition hinges on recognizing the value and importance of each and every team member—but what does this look like?
To be clear, great recognition does not always have to be a grandiose gesture. In fact, some kind words and a pat on the back can go a long way, especially if they’re regular and sincere. Following the concept of the mentor manager, however, recognition can have an even stronger purpose. If you notice that a particular worker has potential or a future in a specific position, say so! This is not only an explicit verbal recognition of that employee’s hard work and value, but also shows that employee that you’re paying attention to their professional trajectory. You care about them as a worker and as a person. That’s powerful.
Similar to the previous comment, explicitly naming and promoting growth opportunities is a fantastic way to make sure workers feel recognized. Workers want to grow and advance their professional careers—so do we all—but if you don’t offer good and specific growth opportunities yourself, chances are your workers are going to leave to grow somebody else.
Most of the people you hire are likely not going to be at the peak of their professional careers, which means that this employment opportunity might very well be just a (significant) stop on their way to further growth. If you can offer a path to more growth under your same employment, do so! This is that same affirming recognition as before, and is also great for your business. Internal hiring is great for building and maintaining a company culture, it’s great for company morale, and it’s both quicker and often less expensive than external hiring. It’s the best option in so many aspects!
Finally, the ultimate sign that you value your team and recognize their capability: trust. Just as always, if you trust your team, let them do what they do best. You hired them, after all. That being said, there’s a difference between showing your team that you trust them and simply being carelessly hands-off. Tying trust in with the verbal recognition and the explicit guidance through growth opportunities can help make sure your team is feeling recognized and not ignored. Not only that, but when your team has the liberty to work more freely, there is a greater spirit of collaboration and a stronger sense of community. Through and through, trust is a fantastic move.
As Pulver has put it himself, we’re in the age of options. You likely got to where you are going with the best options for you, and will likely continue in that path—you can’t fault your employees for doing the same. Making sure they stick around and help you build the best team possible, then, is a matter of building a great culture of recognition.
Living Pono is dedicated to communicating business management concepts with Hawaiian values. Founded by Kevin May, an established and successful leader and mentor, Living Pono is your destination to learn about how to live your life righteously and how that can have positive effects in your career. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or contact us here. Also, join our mailing list below, so you can be alerted when a new article is released.
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