Ayyab Cockburn is the director of business change at the Martin James Network – a company headquartered in the UK that employs over 1,000 people globally. She leads the network’s change agenda and is passionate about creating progressive company cultures, encouraging agile and flexible working and empowering women into leadership roles. Here, Ayyab shares her top 5 tips for making your employees feel valued at work.
Be interested and curious in staff as human beings. Find out about their life, interests and motivations outside of work. Take care to remember these details and ask about them from time to time. Don’t be afraid to share a bit about yourself at the same time to really develop that rapport and reach people at a deeper emotional level. Being genuinely interested and caring about the staff as people will really support effective workplace engagement in the long run.
Recognise a job well done
Make sure employees are recognised regularly for a job well done or for demonstrating company values. This shouldn’t just be left for formal reviews or appraisals either – try doing it ‘on the spot’ as and when it happens. A simple thank you or a small token of appreciation at the time goes such a long way.
Give the staff a voice, empower them to be creative and allow them to input into the ongoing development of both themselves and the business. Cultivate a culture where staff can be their authentic selves in the workplace and feel confident enough to express their ideas, thoughts, feedback and feelings. The innovation possible through really involving staff and providing mechanisms for their contribution is incredible.
Provide ongoing opportunities for staff learning and continuous self-development. Support them to identify and attain their goals through access to resources, skills development, mentoring, coaching, and opportunities to take on new and exciting work challenges. This really helps build individual self-worth and confidence and provides pathways to bigger goals and bigger dreams.
Be flexible, trusting and always be mindful of mental health. People are humans, not robots, and life can sometimes get busy and stressful. If a valued staff member needs a bit of time off here and there to resolve issues or to look after their child or elderly parents, be caring, supportive and accommodating around these needs. Also, be alert to the signs of work and life anxieties and do what you can to make sure employees know that it’s ok to ask for a little extra help or support. The more trusted and supported staff feel, the more they will give back in the workplace.