Management and Wellbeing

Recognise hard work

HR news reported a research highlighting the importance of recognition of effort. It may or may not surprise you to hear that feeling like you’ve been recognised for you work is more important than money.

Here’s the results highlighted from the study.

  • 59% of Brits would rather work for a business with a culture where they received recognition over a higher salary job where they didn’t get any recognition.
  • Nearly half (49%) of employees would leave a company if they didn’t receive recognition.
  • Over 40% of senior decision makers don’t think that regular recognition and thanking employees at work has a big impact on staff retention.
  • 72% of workers say that motivation and morale would improve if managers simply said thank you more and noticed good work.
  • 84% think leaders should spot good behaviour & deliver praise and thanks

This isn’t so much a management technique as it is a simple factor of human interactions. This immediately makes me think of the research in great apes showing Chimps have a concept of fairness. These sorts of social gratification system are deeply engrained in social creatures so perhaps it’s not a big surprise that money comes second to basic needs. If you can prioritise any one part of your approach to leading others it’s giving appropriate recognition of their work and support them when they need it. Studies have shown that a quarter of employees in the UK feel like their wellbeing is not valued in the workplace.

The take away is employees who feel valued will work harder and not leave.

Clearly define a personal growth and carer development plan

In some ways this can be viewed as an extension of the above; as a pre-emptive recognition of future potential. Find out what someone values and what they aspires for and show them that you think they are capable of that and you will help them. Even if in reality it’s a big ask, the value is in working with them to create a plan to build them towards what they want. To get the most out of those you manage you need to show them you are invested in helping them as a person and creating, and are invested in, their future.

Impart the companies purpose

People need a purpose and working towards lofty goal is crucial for making people commit to giving up their time. Ultimately, even in a salaried position all work done by any member of staff is done in place of personal time or equivalent work elsewhere. Working together toward a common purpose is going to be incredibly important making someone commit and stick with you through the inevitable ups and downs.

Provide consistent feedback

I know from experience that having a supervisor who gives seemingly random responses to work is a disaster. If you can’t get a consistent idea of what “good” and “bad” work looks like for you given role then you are guaranteeing anxiety, toxic effects on the culture and churn. It’s worth trying to create a more structured rating system for any sort of evaluations, this applies to any sort of problem solving, more generally. Highlight any problems clearly and specifically and discuss fixes. It’s also always worth keeping in mind that issues such as being late, becoming withdrawn, or missing deadlines could be pointing to an underlying mental health issue that should be addressed.

This feeds in to another useful consideration; technology. Aside from allowing some of the heavy lifting to be covered by proven technical solutions it also allows for consistent working patterns, expectation clarity, and narrative coherence throughout a project. It doesn’t really matter whether you are using Salesforce, Atlassian, Trello, Smartsheets etc – the value comes from consistency and clarity in what is done and what needs doing.

More resources

Signs someone might be about to leave

This isn’t so much focused on the wellbeing side. This is about the natural progression through a role in the broader career context. People will eventually want new challenges and opportunities and there is real value in the accumulate experience staff collect over time. It could be a good idea to keep an eye out

What issues to address between co-workers

By this we mean what problems can arise between peers that can have a toxic effect on the culture. It’s not just the management that set the cultural tone, the interaction between staff will shape the perception of the company environment. These are things the “easy wins” that you, as a manager, can try to

Red flags for staff and warning signs for managers

These are things I’ve heard consistently recommended to listen out for in employers and, as such, are things to avoid as managers and leaders. If you get the impression staff are viewed as replaceableIt’s fallacious reasoning on the part of the employer most of time. Either someone did a poor job selecting the new hire