5 Ways to Invest in Your Employees Now

Thinking woman in glasses looking up with light idea bulb above head isolated on gray wall background-1According to a survey that The Harris Poll did on behalf of Yoh, only 15% of employees surveyed said they wouldn't leave their current job for any reason. That means 85 % of your employees are keeping their options open. To keep those wandering eyes from taking calls from recruiters, you must proactively invest in your employees right now.

I am not talking about a financial investment necessarily, but an emotional investment. As Stephen Covey, the author of "7 Habits of Highly Effective People", puts it, keeping an Emotional Bank Account.

The concept of an Emotional Bank Account means to gradually build up someone emotionally with "deposits" and "withdrawals." Since it's essentially impossible to be a perfect leader, there will always be some sort of withdrawals. But if you build up enough deposits, those withdrawals won't seem so severe.

The concept seems simple. If you put in the time and effort to build trust between you and your employees, they will feel more comfortable and happy in their jobs. But time, who has it? A budget? What budget? Thankfully, it doesn’t need to be too complicated. Here are five ways to start making those investments in your employees…now.


Make Emotional Deposits

It's essential to try to keep an employee's Emotional Bank Account full. Though this seems daunting to keep track of all of your employees Bank Accounts (literally and figuratively!), it doesn't have to be a grand sweeping gesture. The best way to do that is, you guessed it, making Emotional Deposits. But, Emotional Deposits can make leaders uncomfortable. It tends to cater more to the individual's emotional side to build trust in a work relationship. Well, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone, because now it's clear that these Deposits are necessary to keep your employees fulfilled and happy.

There are easy ways to proactively build your employee’s trust. Giving out little tokens that make an employee feel seen and valued can go a long way. It involves getting to know a person on an individual basis to create a connection. Take the time to think about what their career journey has been like and how they got to where they are as a person. Then cater your leadership style to gain their trust and build that employee up to their potential.

These Deposits don't necessarily have to be financial pay. It can be things like allowing them to work from home or build their working schedule around their family. You can also reach out to them and ask them something about their personal lives. i.e., "How was the recital last night?" or "Did you win your softball game?". It doesn't seem like much, but it really makes a person feel seen and heard when you remember the little things. It levels the playing field for a moment, and they feel like they are being treated as a person and not just another number in your workforce.


Show Gratitude

According to a recent study, 69% of employees would work harder if they felt their efforts were better appreciated. Successful employers set a positive tone for their workplace by showing gratitude. Taking the time to show your appreciation helps create an encouraging and more productive work environment.

For example, when we managed to get a renewal for a major client, the sales team and leaders were congratulating each other on such a great win. But I remembered that when we first set up this client years ago, there were more than a few hiccups that needed to be taken care of. One particular team worked really hard in the early stages of this client relationship to smooth out what was considered a rocky start. This truly was the first step in building that client's trust. So, I sent an email out to recognize that team and their part in our client's satisfaction. I also cc'ed all of the leaders on that email. This small token meant a lot to the team and made them feel seen and appreciated.

When it comes down to it, gratitude is a recognition of our interdependence, of the fact that success is the result of team effort, and it's the best emotional deposit you can make. So don't save positive feedback just for performance reviews; incorporate it into your relationships with your employees every day.


Build Career Roadmaps

Set the precedence as soon as someone on your team is hired that their career growth is important to you. Teach them the core values of your organization and how they can leverage those values to succeed in their career. Work one-on-one with them to see what skills they have and what they feel like they need to develop to drive them down the path that they envision for themselves.

Through performance development, make clear and realistic goals concerning what they would like their career to look like in the company. This will let them know they have a future with your company and give them something to strive for. If an employee can see where they are going, they will push harder to get there.

Lastly, be their biggest cheerleader. Help them celebrate the wins and be their support for the losses. If they know you are by their side, their confidence and rate of success will dramatically increase.


Have an Open Door Policy

Another survey done by The Harris Poll on behalf of Yoh showed that 53% of employees feel that a lack of respect from their managers would lead them to leave their job. One of the best ways to earn their respect is transparency. Don't become a leader that sits behind a closed office door all day, instead let your team know and show them they that you are approachable.

The days of Anna Wintour-style leadership is a thing of the past. It is important to make yourself accessible and keep your door open for proactive discussions. This will not only improve your relationship with your team, but also will help your bottom line. If you keep the lines of communication open, your team will produce better results. They also won't be scared to let you know of any potential problems that you can face head-on before they get worse.


Have Fun

According to Monster, if people are having fun, they are going to work harder, stay longer, maintain their composure in a crisis, and take better care of the organization. So go ahead, smile. Then call your employee or walk over to their cubical and make them smile too.

There are so many little things that you can do to boost morale. Examples include taking the team outside on a beautiful day for a team meeting, or buying a baggo set and holding a tournament the last few hours of the day on a Friday. These little breaks in the everyday routine will surely bring smiles, release tension, and improve overall mental health.


As a leader, your plate can not only be full, but often overflowing. So try out one of these simple ideas as a first step to investing in the happiness of your team. It's just as important as any other task that's on your plate. Because we all know, we are only as successful as the team that we build around us.


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