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How to Make Employees Feel Valued and Heard

Wondering how to make employees feel valued at work? It’s not as hard as you think but it does take a bit of effort to get it right. It’s good that you are thinking about this because employees who feel valued and listened to are usually more engaged and happier in their roles. Set yourself up for success by learning more about how it affects your team and focusing on key strategies to support your employees. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • When employees feel their voice is heard, 74% feel more engaged at work. 
  • 86% of employees feel people at their workplace are not heard fairly or equally. 

6 Key Tips for Making Employees Feel Valued include: 

  • See them as humans, not just workers. 
  • Be understanding. 
  • Recognize and appreciate often. 
  • Pay attention to cues. 
  • Ask and listen. 
  • Don’t forget to act. 
Relationship Between Feeling Heard & Engagement 

There is a strong and interconnected relationship between if an employee feels heard, and their engagement level. When they feel heard, 71% feel more confident to share ideas and feedback in the future, 74% feel more effective at their job, and 74% feel more engaged at work.  

When Employees Don’t Feel Heard or Valued 

There are many positive benefits for both organizations and employees when their workforce feels heard and valued, but not all companies are hitting the mark. 

According to a study done by the Workforce Institute: 

  • 75% of employees don’t feel heard on important topics like benefits, salary, and time-off requests. 
  • 40% don’t feel that their feedback leads to actionable change. 
  • 86% of employees feel people at their workplace are not heard fairly or equally. 
  • Only 16% of younger workers feel they can freely express their views and suggestions to their managers, compared to 67% of their older colleagues. 
How to Make Employees Feel Valued – 6 Key Tips 

To help make sure you and your organization are focusing on the right areas, here are six tips to help make your team feel valued and heard at work.  

1) See them as humans, not just workers

One of the most obvious ways to make employees feel valued is to see and treat them as individuals and not just workers. Oftentimes upper management can get caught up in the bottom line and business goals and forget that their staff are people with families and a life outside of the work that they do. Small acts like asking what they did over the weekend or remembering details that they mentioned about their family can go a long way.  

2) Be understanding

Ever since the start of the pandemic in 2020, we have been more aware of the struggles that people face each day. People are still going through loss, health issues, stress, and much more behind closed doors so it is important to be understanding of their situations. Some may need more schedule flexibility or support through these times, so try to provide that when possible. Extending some kindness and empathy can do wonders for the mental health of those on your team, and the sentiment will stay with them.  

3) Recognize and appreciate often

No matter how long you’ve been with an organization, it always feels great to be recognized for your contributions. Make it a point to appreciate employees frequently, both in formal and informal settings. Whether it be initiatives like employee of the month, team member of the week, or just highlighting individual wins, it can make someone’s day. Creating a culture where not only management is applauding individuals, but where everyone makes it a point to call out positive efforts when they see them. 

4) Pay attention to cues

Everyone has a bad day once in a while. Pay attention when someone seems like they are feeling down and offer support. They could be overwhelmed and just looking for someone to notice. Checkin often especially if they seem like they are going through something. A smile or acknowledgment might be what they need to get through the day. It may not be in your job description, but small acts can make the biggest impact on feeling seen and understood.  

5) Ask & listen

Are you giving your team enough opportunities to voice their thoughts and opinions? Although you might ask for feedback in one-on-one check-in meetings, they may not feel comfortable sharing openly in that setting. As data has shown, only 16% of younger employees feel that they can share their suggestions with their managers. Consider using employee engagement surveys to provide an anonymous place for your people to share detailed feedback. Asking them to share their thoughts on a regular basis will give them ample opportunity to voice questions, concerns, and suggestions that can then be addressed.  

6) Don’t forget to act

Taking action on the feedback and suggestions that employees give is the most important part of making them feel heard. As mentioned earlier, 40% of employees don’t feel that their feedback leads to actionable change. You may ask frequently and listen earnestly, but if no action is taken to address their concerns, then there will be no impact. Not taking action can make employees feel ignored and signal that their voice does not matter. For best results be clear about what you are acting on, why it was chosen, and how and when you will execute on it.  

In the end

Taking care of your employees and treating them like people can make a huge difference for them and your organization. When they feel heard and valued, engagement rises and so does your bottom line. A study found that 88% of employees whose companies financially outperform others in their industry feel heard compared to just 62% of employees at financially underperforming companies. So, if you want positive outcomes for everyone involved, make it a habit to acknowledge, appreciate, and listen to your employees on a regular basis. Treat your teams with kindness and understanding and watch your workplace transform.  

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