Employees are the lifeblood of any organisation, so valuing them – and ensuring they know that they are valued – is vital to your success. Employees who feel supported are far more likely to be motivated, leading to a happier and more productive workforce overall.

Feeling valued within an organisation is also a key factor when employees decide whether to change job, so creating a caring atmosphere can also help to retain talented staff. This atmosphere can be created in myriad small ways, but below are five key areas in which an employer can show that they care about their employees.

  • Recognition

Acknowledging the good work your employees do is a simple but crucial way to make sure they feel supported. Recognition does not have to take the form of monetary reward – in fact, simple verbal acknowledgement is usually reward enough. You might also consider creating an employee of the month – or week – award, so that team members who have particularly excelled themselves recently are constantly being celebrated.

Recognition does not always have to come from managerial staff, and peers should be encouraged to frequently compliment each other on work well done. This will encourage a mutually supportive team atmosphere to emerge, as well as ensuring that recognition is frequent, ensuring that employees know their contributions to the organisation are valued.

  • Ask for Feedback

Although this can be difficult – both logistically and emotionally! – having an effective feedback loop between employer and employee is vital to create a work environment in which employees feel valued.

Meeting employees individually to ask what they like and dislike about their roles can be a simple but valuable way to receive feedback, which can be acted upon where possible to improve employee satisfaction. Allowing anonymous feedback can be especially valuable for employees who might be embarrassed to address their concerns to you directly, and can be facilitated by something as simple as a suggestions box in the workspace.

Taking the time to ask employees for their thoughts and, vitally, acting on them, is a really effective way to demonstrate that you care about your workforce.

  • Consider Employee’s Personal Finances

Consumer debt is increasingly a problem, especially as living costs continue to rise. The Trades Union Congress (TUC) recently found that average household debt in the UK stands at £13,200. Personal debt is likely to be a concern of some of your employees, and could even be affecting their performance.

Employees struggling with debt may display signs such as increased anxiety, taking on extra hours or a second job, having poor eating habits, or experiencing insomnia. Fortunately, there is plenty you can do as an employer to support employees who might be going through this difficult experience.

Firstly, although many employees might not want to talk about their debt in the workplace, ensuring that they have the option can help lift some of the weight from their mind.

Education on the issues surrounding debt can also be beneficial. You could consider having an expert in to talk to your employees about the effects debt can have in the workplace, and what options are available to people who are struggling. Simply educating your employees about solutions.

Formal solutions such as this allow people who are struggling with debt to make affordable monthly repayments, and write off a significant portion at the end of their plan.

  • Create a Positive Environment

Creating a positive working environment is a simple way to show employees that you care about their wellbeing. The workspace does not have to cost the earth, but should be well maintained and equipped with everything your employees need to effectively do their job.

Having a separate room for breaks is crucial – especially for work spaces in which employees interact with the public.

Atmosphere is also an important part of the work environment – conflict can easily lead to an uncomfortable place to work, so ensuring that any issues between employees are quickly resolved is essential. This positive atmosphere will be fostered by the peer recognition mentioned earlier – a supportive and comfortable working environment ensures employees feel valued.

  • Opportunities for Training or Promotion

This is perhaps the most important factor in ensuring that employees stay with your company in the long term. Employees should receive adequate training when they begin their role, communicated clearly. It is also essential that employees feel able to ask questions at any point.

Opportunities for further training, or promotion, also shows that an employer cares about their employees, since it demonstrates their willingness to invest in the employee’s future as an individual. In the same vein, current employees should be considered for promotion before new openings in the company are advertised externally. The possibility of promotion is an excellent motivator, as well as demonstrating that an employer cares about their employee’s career holistically, rather than keeping them stuck in a single role.

By following these steps, employers can show their employees how valuable they are to the organisation, creating a comfortable and positive atmosphere in which achievements are recognised, and concerns addressed. Properly supported employees are likely to be at their most productive, so taking the time to create a supportive workplace benefits both employer and employee.