No matter what, everyone tries to do their best with their job. Even people who view their current position as a stepping stone to something else give their time and effort to whatever they work on.

As employees continue to put their energy into their jobs, they become drained and discouraged. If you’ve noticed that your employees aren’t meeting the goals and standards you’ve set out for them, they may need a bit of encouragement.

A kind word from a manager restores an essential level of appreciation to the workplace. If people don’t feel appreciated, they won’t stick around for much longer.

Leaders can enhance their relationships with their team members by expressing gratitude and showing appreciation:

1. Show Actionable Gratitude

It’s always nice to hear about what a great job you’re doing, especially when the comment comes from your boss. At times, a verbal acknowledgement of appreciation could be all someone needs to hear. But it won’t be enough for everyone.

Show actionable gratitude the next time you want to make your team feel appreciated. Provide a free doughnut breakfast for everyone and recognize all their work when they gather in the kitchen.

Health-conscious employees might enjoy a half-day on a Friday or a free trial with a local gym class.

Actions speak louder than words. Go one step beyond saying how grateful you are by showing it through your actions.

Related Article: 7 Ways to Show Team Appreciation

2. Stay Actively Available

Employees in many different fields commonly share the same problem of not feeling like they can reach their boss if they need to. The internal corporate hierarchy may make them feel uncomfortable or their boss could travel frequently and never be in town.

Your employees will feel appreciated if they see you taking the time to stay available for them. This may mean that you keep the door to your office open or you send out monthly emails encouraging office feedback.

You may also find that creating an anonymous survey helps, so people can communicate without the fear of being pointed out. Encourage people to let you know what they like and don’t like about the office, because their voices are important to you.

3. Meet Their Needs

Everyone at your office works hard to meet the needs of the business. But when do their needs get met? Consider the age range of your employees and what they may struggle with outside of work. If many of your employees have kids, consider an indoor play area for days when they need to watch their kids because school is out.

Offer flexible work hours to employees who drive a long commute. Host an in-office lunch for the holidays instead of going out to a restaurant after hours when your employees are busy.

Meeting your employees’ needs is a thoughtful way to say you appreciate them for who they are and what they do.

4. Help Their Professional Development

Most people want to grow and learn. But they can’t if it costs more money than they make. Provide your employees with free professional development opportunities so they don’t feel stuck in their career.

Online courses and certificates are an easy way to do that, along with tuition assistance for work-related online classes at local or specified colleges and universities.

Keep Communication Open

You’ll only know how to make your employees feel appreciated by keeping communication open with them. Learn about them as individuals, what they want from their career and what their life goals are.

You’ll find out how to make each person feel uniquely appreciated, which means more than a simple group effort or occasional word of thanks.

How Can Leaders Make Their Teams Feel Appreciated?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

Would you like to contribute a post?

Jennifer Landis on Twitter
Jennifer Landis
Jennifer Landis is a freelance writer and the founder of Mindfulness Mama. As a mom of two she leads her family and has nearly a decade of experience working as a writer.