26 Ways to Show Employees You Care (Part 1)

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Are you letting your star employees know they matter? Valentine’s Day–and all year round–is the perfect time to let them know you care. Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, authors of Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay, have provided 26 (from A to Z) specific ways that you can show your employees that you care.

(A) Private time with you.

Schedule lunch dates with employees. Tell them how critical they are to the organization. Then ASK them questions, like: What can I do to keep you on my team? What could I do to be more supportive or to help you be even more effective?

(B) A long-awaited action item – done!

Think about an employee who’s asked you for something you’ve put on your “to do” list. Stop passing the BUCK. Surprise that employee – and just do it!

(C) An honest talk about the future.

Have a CAREER conversation with an employee. Ask the following questions to get the conversation started: What part of your current job do you enjoy doing the most? Least? What different jobs might you like to see yourself doing in the future?

(D) The honor of representing the company at a conference.

Offer DIGNITY – the chance to attend an outside conference/seminar series designed especially for their affinity group.

(E) A chance to grow professionally.

Allow the employee to choose from a list of potential projects, assignments and tasks that could ENRICH his or her work.

(F) Recognize your employee’s family.

Give an employee a pre-paid phone card to call FAMILY or friends (get
an international card for employees with loved ones far away), or offer to have someone design a web site for their family, and include a one-year subscription for e-mail. Or give a free pass for either X-days or X-hours off to attend children’s school programs or sports activities. Or ask your employee how they would like to honor “family.”

(G) Talk about your employee’s next move.

Offer to brainstorm alternative career possibilities. (Again, do this off-site if possible.) Try to help that employee leverage their options to reach his/her GOALS. Use the LEVERR framework. Consider Lateral, Enrichment, Vertical, Exploratory, Realignment (moving down to move into something else) and Relocation. (Yes, ouch… but do talk about it.)

(H) Serve on an interview committee for a key position.

Allow an employee to participate in the HIRING process for a new manager – one level above them, or more.

(I) Nourish your employee’s professional interests.

Offer a free one-year subscription to an employee’s favorite business magazine and have it sent to their home. Satisfy their need for INFORMATION.

(J) Submit to a critical employee’s “pruning.”

OK. This may be a tough one. But here it is. Ask the employee that you never see eye to eye with, the one who is the least like you, to give you some straight talk about how you might work better together. Yes, offer this to the one who may think you’re a JERK. Listen very carefully. DON’T defend. Then, take a step towards changing one behavior.

(K) A unique “perk” for fun.

Give an employee a KICKS Coupon. Tell them that this entitles them to spend up to X on a way to take a break, or have some fun at work. (It could involve the entire team.) Or, offer a menu of low-cost possibilities and let them choose. Need some examples? Taking an afternoon off to see a movie
, bringing a child (or dog) to work one day
, ordering in pizza and watching a video during lunch
, bringing your golf coach in to give a lesson to your colleagues. Or is one of your direct reports a sports nut? An opera fan? A theater buff? Probably tickets to see their favorite team, diva or playwright rank higher on the appreciation scale than a box of chocolates or anything else. And it shows that you care about the employee as an individual.

(L) A priceless introduction.

Ask an employee for the name of someone in the organization that he/she would love to meet, chat with, and learn more about. Create the LINK. Provide an introduction and encourage your employee to decide on how he/she would like to spend time with the chosen connection.

(M) A workplace personal trainer session.

Consider a gift certificate entitling an employee to lunch with you or another MENTOR of his/her choosing for the purpose of being coached on one or more topics.

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