Mindfulness in the workplace
It might appear obvious, but people like to feel valued. Plain and simple.
Aside from food and shelter, the fundamentals of human existence, feeling valued is a critical motivator.
We are social beings who spend more than one-third of our adult lives working; it’s easy to see the positive and negative psychological effects that work can have on everyone.
You’ll have more success as a leader if your staff feel their opinions, time, and feelings are valued. Ultimately, you’ll foster loyalty and get the best out of your people.
This doesn’t mean a games room with ping pong tables, an open bar and beanbags; or simply allowing your employees to wear t-shirts to the office. These material things are token and don’t address the core issue. Employees want (and deserve) more than this.
It’s important to dedicate enough energy to employee relations, including communication and recognition.
Key to creating a positive and inspiring culture is unlocking what employees want, and understanding how they feel valued. As a result, you’ll see less turnover, with individual employees doing their best work. On a larger scale, your organisation will enjoy increased employee satisfaction, profitability, and productivity.
Show an interest
Show an interest in your employees and their aspirations. Employees and candidates want a clearly defined career path, tailored to their skills, development, and aspirations. Not having a path that aligns to business goals risks leaving employees feeling isolated and undervalued; key causes of itchy feet.
Goals need to be specific, personal and developed with employees, not for them. That way, measuring against these goals (hopefully) creates a feeling of progress on both sides. Offering incentives like secondments, special projects, training and mentoring can help foster a culture of ongoing learning and development.
Employees aren’t just a headcount or an occupied desk. Companies that see employees as a budget line will never make them feel valued. Those that reap the rewards of happier, motivated and valued staff do so because they know how to treat their employees like people.
We all want to be listened to. This includes our employees. Leaders of organisations are usually in charge for good reason; they’ve worked hard and they are experts in their field. But we must never make the mistake of assuming we know everything.
A true leader will demonstrate they value their team by actively listening, learning, and then using this knowledge.
Pay people what they’re worth
This is not a cure-all for making staff feel valued, but it’s an important factor. It’s important to ensure that employees feel able to discuss their pay with their managers. It’s too late to have this discussion once they’ve decided to leave. Better to prevent potential turnover by having these conversations sooner.
Make it safe to take risks
Startups around the world love the mantra ‘Fail fast and fail often’. The jury is still out on whether this is a useful business model, but leaders should look to it for people management inspiration.
By creating a working environment that encourages taking risks and challenging the status quo, you allow employees to feel they can openly communicate and have their ideas be heard. Nothing is more empowering than seeing one of these ideas implemented.
Finally, we must find ways to help our employees to continuously learn and adapt, so they are prepared for this future of the communications industry; as Artificial Intelligence becomes a larger part of our working life, the way we work will continue to change.
It’s not rocket science. Treat people how you would want to be treated and they will reward you in spades. Even our Grandmothers could tell us this.