People are confident that they can get a better job quickly. As a result, they are leaving their current, probably uninspiring roles by the thousands.
In fact, a recent US Department of Labor report noted that over 3.6 million Americans quit their jobs in September 2018.
Recently, I interviewed a key leader in a client organisation. He described how his ten-member team had been working hard over the last year.
Despite actively recruiting to fill job slots, three open positions remained unfilled. “Everyone is doing their fair share but the workload just doesn’t let up,” he told me. Many strong candidates had multiple offers for more money than their company was offering.
“This is a really good company but no one gives us any credit for the extra work everyone is doing,” he said. “We feel like cogs in a wheel. No one is paying any attention to us.”
This leader (and his team ) are experiencing a lack of appreciation, which recent studies have found, unfortunately, to be quite common.
Tiny HR’s 2018 Employee Recognition and Appreciation report found that 77% of employees do not feel strongly valued at work.
That lack of validation and appreciation can definitely lead to employees deciding to look for a different job where their contributions are recognised, especially in the strengthening global economy.
Why do leaders ignore genuine contributions by teams and players?
- Leaders may believe that effusive praise and encouragement is fluff. These leaders think, “I’m paying them fair wages. I don’t need to thank them every minute, as well, do I?”
- Other leaders may simply not think about praise and encouragement, at all. They didn’t get it from their bosses, so they don’t think it’s important today.
- Finally, leaders might be spread thin themselves. They know that they’re not providing positive, validating feedback to their employees and they feel bad for it.
However, leaders need to remember that every cog in a wheel is an important element. It keeps the machine running smoothly. If it’s cared for, cleaned, oiled, and polished regularly it will serve the machine well for years.
Humans deserve to know where they stand, regularly. A leader’s time and energy invested in dialogue, genuine appreciation and validation of aligned efforts builds employee engagement and well-being. Those, in turn, inspire employees to apply their skills in service to team goals and customers.
Employees are not mere cogs in a wheel. They are the face of your company and the foundation of your organisation’s products and services. Treat them well, daily.