That feeling of togetherness around Valentine’s Day? In the workplace this year, showing appreciation and spreading positive vibes is even more crucial. Covid-19 has turned the workplace - and life in general - on its head, filling it with uncertainty and tricky challenges.
Many employees have found the last year extremely hard - whether they’ve had to make a quick transition to remote working or face more problems and stresses in their new on-site conditions. They may also be feeling anxious about the impact the pandemic is having on your organisation, and worry for the future of their role and job security. And of course, extended school closures have meant parents taking on an almost impossible juggle of home-schooling and working.
So employees definitely deserve recognition and thanks in tricky times. And showing you value the contribution someone makes to your company sends an important signal to them right now.
Talking to the candidates we recruit for clients at HR GO, it’s crystal clear that feedback and recognition from their managers is high on their wish list. Now so more than ever.
Our advice is to highlight specific examples of stellar behaviour and positive accomplishments, however little. And try to show how those things have directly fed into the success of their team or even organisation.
Whether it’s a personalised email to each staff member telling them what you value and appreciate about them, or shout outs at the end of Teams or Zoom catch ups, there are ways to show your appreciation that cost nothing, or very little.
With many businesses facing an uncertain future with shrinking budgets, that has to be positive news.
In a time when many teams are physically separated, it’s easy to feel cut off from colleagues. That makes fostering a warm and inclusive company culture an even higher priority.
One way to do this is to actively encourage colleagues to show appreciation for each other. So perhaps ask everyone to focus in on each of their colleagues, thinking up an example of something positive they’ve done for them - or a good piece of work they think should be recognised.
Whether they come up with a few sentences anonymously, or craft a specific and named example, when team members congratulate one another on a job well done it brings a much-needed boost to sluggish team morale.
In times like these, it’s worth making the most of any way to foster social connections and spark a feeling of togetherness.
Even before the pandemic, the way employers were sharing feedback was changing. And now in an ever-shifting landscape, waiting for a scheduled time to pass on appreciation seems very outdated.
Smart employers recognise that giving in-the-moment praise and showing appreciation for small wins is much more powerful.
So aim to show your heartfelt appreciation for the impact staff make as often as possible. Many people feel overworked and underappreciated and it’s important to remember this. Encouraging teams to give each other shoutouts will improve camaraderie, too.
Valentine’s Day is a great time to rekindle this habit - but these are things that people love every day of the year.