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Building a Powerful Team: The Importance of Making Your Employees Feel Valued

team Aug 20, 2021

Last week, we told you how to find good employees This week, we are going to talk about nourishing them so they will love working for you and continue to be amazing assets to your company,


Finding the right employee is only part of the process of developing a powerful team of workers.


You may have excellent employees, but if they’re not managed well, your business will struggle.


Treating Employees Well Benefits You and Your Company


The importance of treating your employees well can’t be underestimated. You may not be able to make your employees millionaires, but the way you treat them makes a lasting difference.


In fact, how you treat your employees often affects their morale and the morale of the company more than the individual income levels. Certainly, compensating your employees well is important, but how you treat them may even be more important than high pay.


In 2015, Harvard Business Review published an article called “Proof that Positive Work Cultures are More Productive.” They concluded that cut-throat, high-pressure business cultures are less effective than inclusive businesses that prioritize their employee’s needs.



In the short term, your business may thrive under high-pressure management. Your employees may work twice as hard to meet your rising expectations.


In the long term, however, there are significant consequences to the high pressure, specifically:


  • High healthcare costs and increased health issues among employees
  • Disengagement among employees
  • Lost loyalty – high turnover rate


Let’s look at these consequences in greater detail.


Health Issues with High-Stress Jobs


The number one issue that arises from high-stress businesses is the toll it takes on your employee’s health.


A study conducted by BMC Public Health concluded that individuals who work at high to medium strain jobs visit their general practitioners 26% more than those who work at low-pressure jobs. They also go to a specialist 27% more often.


Studies such as this show us that, in order to present a safe and healthy working environment for employees, it’s important to take note of the mental, physical, and emotional strain of the job.




Workers who are disengaged are less likely to perform well, and far more likely to have an accident or make a mistake.


Here are some surprising statistics about disengaged workers:


  • 89% of employers think employees leave because of money when, in fact, only 12% leave primarily for better pay.
  • Companies with engaged employees make 2.5x more revenue.
  • Employees who are highly engaged are 87% less likely to leave their company.
  • It’s estimated that disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually.
  • Fewer than three out of ten employers have an engagement strategy.


Statistics credit:


Lost Loyalty


High-stress jobs also lead to high turnover rates. Employees don’t feel loyal to jobs that leave them feeling unhealthy and unappreciated.


According to the American Institute of Stress, the number one cause of stress in people’s lives is their workloads. They also said that 19% of people polled had quit a previous job due to stress.


The cost of replacing an employee is high and should be avoided when possible.


So, how can you be sure that you’re treating your employees well?



How to Make Employees Feel Valued


To help your employees feel like they’re a valuable member of the team, there are a lot of things that you can do.


Here are some highly effective ways to let your employees know that you care about them and you’re glad that they’re part of the team:


  1. Compensate them well. You don’t have to pay your employees so well that you forfeit a healthy budget. However, paying your employees a fair wage will go a long way. You may only have jobs that would normally pay minimum wage, but a small bump up from that would mean a lot to your employees.

  2. Offer flexibility. There are a growing number of employees who really desire flexibility in their work schedule. A study from the Harvard Business Review said that 96% of US professionals want flexibility in their schedule, but only 47% feel that they have it in their current position.

    • While a 9-5 job was once the norm, this is changing with younger generations. Employees want the option to have a flexible schedule that fits their lifestyle. They want the freedom to work a different shift or work changing shifts based on their needs.

    • Many applicants are looking for jobs that allow them to work remotely, or to have the ability to work from home some of the time.

  3. Listen to your employees and show them that you care. Taking the time to listen to the people who work for you will make a difference in how they feel about their time at work.

    • Do your best to give them your undivided attention. Set the phone down, walk away from the computer, and let them know you’re paying attention by looking at them and being present. If you’re completely unavailable at the time, schedule a time that you can speak with them.

  4. Show your employees appreciation. Almost everyone needs to feel that the work they do is seen and appreciated. Some personality types need more affirmation than others, but most people need to know that the work they do is important and valued.

    • A survey conducted by Glassdoor found that over half of the people surveyed said they would stay at their company longer if they felt appreciated by their boss.

  5. Have reasonable expectations. It’s easy to feel like your employees have easy jobs. It’s especially true if it’s something that you’ve been doing well for a long time. While you certainly don’t want to employ people who are completely incompetent, remember that people learn and acquire skills at different rates.

    • Something that you’re completely comfortable doing may take a new employee some time to master.

    • Be patient with them while they’re learning and refrain from becoming easily annoyed.

  6. Teach your employees well the first time. It’s far better to teach them well at the beginning than to have to keep retraining them on the same tasks.

    • Plus, they’ll feel like you’ve taken the time to work with them rather than rushing through important information that they need to know for their jobs.

  7. Don’t be afraid to loosen up a little. Work is a place of work. But there’s also power in play.

    • Google, one of the most successful tech companies in the world, knows the value of happy employees. They allow employees to bring their pets to work. They also offer gyms and swimming pools, video games, foosball tables, and loads of other perks.

    • You may not be able to give your employees as many perks as Google, but you can take a page out of their handbook. Giving your employees time to have fun can have substantial benefits.



Create a Great Workplace Culture


In addition to finding employees that fit your culture, you also want to cultivate a culture that people work well in. Treating your employees well is a great first start, but there’s more to managing a great team than just being kind.


Here are a few practical ways that you can help grow a workplace culture that’s functional, sustainable, and productive.



Create Clear Roles and Expectations

When you bring on a new hire, it’s imperative that they understand their roles and responsibilities. It’s your job to define them clearly so everyone is on the same page.


When a job description is vague or open to interpretation, it can often become confusing and frustrating. Your employees may try to do things you don’t want them to, or they may not be doing tasks you do expect them to do. This also opens the door for unnecessary conflicts with you and their fellow employees.


The problem is compounded when you don’t have an effective management system in place. Without adequate leadership, teamwork suffers because no one knows who is in charge.


Be very clear with your employees about the hierarchy of management.

If you’re the only person in a leadership role, ensure that the rest of the employees understand that they are on a level playing field.


Before you post a job position, determine exactly what you need help with. Include this in the job description. The skills you require should make reasonable sense and match the pay scale.


For example, if you’re hiring someone primarily to answer the phones, you probably can’t reasonably expect them to also be a tech whiz and run your cybersecurity.


It isn’t fair to current or future employees to give them responsibilities that are far outside of their experience, and you can’t expect them to do high-level work for low-level pay.


If you feel that your employees are outgrowing their current position, consider promoting them. Try to avoid tacking on a never-ending list of responsibilities to a strong employee. If you’re giving them more and more responsibilities, then the pay and title should match.


Give Employees a Sense of Purpose


Andrew Sillitoe is a business psychologist who believes that in order for a company to be a high-performance business, employees must feel like they have a purpose.


More and more, people want to do more than a punch in and punch out. They want to feel like the work they do is meaningful and purpose-driven.


Sillitoe has outlined five major areas of change that can be used in the workplace:


  1. Shaping the story. Let them help create the story of your business. Your employees want to feel like they’re part of the mission of your business, so allow them to have a say in the direction.

  2. Ask, don’t tell. Instead of telling your employees everything they should be doing, ask them questions. For example: What do they think can be done to improve their own performance? What would make it easier for them to do their jobs?

  3. Create leaders. You want people to follow your directions, but you also want them to be able to lead. Leaders are able to influence change and foster a high-performance culture.

  4. Embrace failure. It’s important for your business to work smoothly, but your employees shouldn’t be afraid of failing. There will be times that they make mistakes and they shouldn’t live in fear when they do.

    • If they’re innovative, they’re also likely to try some things that don’t work. However, your forward-thinking employees are also the ones that are going to help your business grow. So, give them the opportunity to try new ideas.

  5. Hold each other accountable. Holding your employees accountable is a necessary part of being their boss. However, without the other steps, your employees will feel controlled instead of being part of a team.

    • You want them to feel like you’re working together towards a united goal. That’s why they need a purpose before you can hold them accountable.



Help Your Employees Work Together


To create a harmonious work culture, you also want your employees to work together.


Here are some practical ways that you can keep teamwork strong:


  1. Strengthen your leadership. A team without strong leadership struggles to thrive. Leaders should set an example for the rest of the employees. Their job is to show best practices to the rest of the employees. They’re also present to settle disputes and create open communication among workers.

    • If your leadership team struggles to get along or work together, it will be much harder for the rest of your workers to get along with each other as well.

  2. Team building retreats and activities. Team building activities may make your employees feel like rolling their eyes, but these exercises can be extremely beneficial. They help break down barriers between employees, give them a common goal, and give them time to work together in unique ways.

    • Some team-building activities are ineffective and actually embarrass workers. Before you start making adults put together towers made of spaghetti and marshmallows, ask what your goals are.

    • Think about your goals ahead of time and ensure that your activities reinforce your vision.

    • You may want to involve team-building professionals to help develop a program that will be effective for your company.

  3. Keep everyone on the same page. From entry-level positions all the way up to upper management, your work team should have the same mission. Each member should be given a clear understanding of how they can be a part of that mission.

    • When everyone is working towards the same ultimate goal, it’s much easier for your workforce to work together as a team.

  4. Include ideas from all levels of employees. You do want to have a clear understanding of leadership roles in your business, but that doesn’t mean low-level employees can’t contribute.

    • Let all your employees know that they have a say in the business and that leadership is willing to listen to their ideas.

      You may be surprised by how much your employees are willing and able to offer.

  5. Encourage employees to communicate with each other. You can foster good employee relationships by offering social events where they can get to know each other on a personal level. Give them time to share lunch breaks and throw work socials.

    • Another thing you can do is give them time to work together on projects. This is a simple way to encourage people to get to know each other at work and develop lasting relationships.



Start Building Your Team Today


These articles reference many successful businesses. While your business may not currently be able to offer perks like Google or be as famous as Microsoft, the fundamentals are the same.  I consider my remote workers to be my employees because they are.  I employ them full-time and they often work around one another in some capacity.  This advice works for all types of businesses with all types of employees.


You want to hire a team of people who are smart and work hard, but it’s also essential that they fit into your workplace culture. Some of this you will have to determine from your gut. That’s the part that can’t be analyzed or formulated from the outside.


When you meet or interview someone, do you feel deep down that they will be an asset to your team? Your gut won’t always be right, but you’re the most qualified person to assess what your business needs.


Once you’ve accumulated a strong team, remember to treat them well. Making your employees feel valued and part of an important mission doesn’t have to be complicated.


Simply treating them with kindness, listening to their concerns, and making them feel like they’re part of a team will put you beyond many other businesses.


People want to feel like their work is meaningful and appreciated. It doesn’t take loads of money or time to make your team feel like you care -- and the benefits of this will be far-reaching and long-lasting.


Finally, give them an amazing culture to work in. Give them the opportunity to pitch ideas, work their way up to leadership roles, and have the freedom to make mistakes in the name of progress. Encourage your employees to spend time with each other and help them learn to collaborate on projects.


If you hire people with integrity and give them a productive, supportive working environment, there’s no end to the new levels your business can reach.


If you missed any part of this series of articles, just click here to be directed back to the start, "Removing the S from Your Chest."  We hope this helps you to build a great team, whether remotely or together.  Go and grow!!





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