Most working professionals would acknowledge that there are times when their job feels thankless. It’s difficult to work day in and day out without feeling recognized or appreciated, and it can be discouraging for managers to realize that their employees’ morale might be suffering.
The good news is that there are small things managers can do that will go a long way toward making their employees feel their gratitude. In fact, there are a few simple phrases that managers should say to their employees more often that will help them feel like truly valued members of the team.
A simple “thank you” can make a big difference, but too often, this simple expression of gratitude is forgotten or glossed over. Sincerely thanking your employees doesn’t require flowery language or an over-the-top gesture; it just requires an honest and heartfelt “thank you.”
“I trust you.”
Many employees often feel micromanaged by their managers, which can result in feeling like they’re not trusted. Telling them that you do trust them can make them feel more confident and capable in their position, which can ultimately improve performance and ownership.
Letting someone else be right is difficult for anyone, much less someone in a management position. But admitting to your employee that they’re right—especially if it means that you’re wrong—can have a powerful impact. Your display of humility, and validation of the employee’s opinion/solution, will be better for your entire company in the long run.
“You can do it.”
Sometimes, managers have to ask a lot of the employees working with them. They might require them to learn a new skill, solve a challenging problem, or deal with a difficult client. Expressing faith in their capabilities will give them the confidence to move forward, and the determination to not let you down.
“You made a difference.”
Ultimately, everyone wants to make a difference at their place of work. No one wants to feel like they’re a background role or “team b” player. Celebrate wins by telling your employees that they made a difference. Be specific about what they did and why it mattered. This will help your employee feel appreciated, and will also deepen their loyalty to the company.
“How can I help?”
Managers have a lot on their plates, but it’s important to reach out to your employees and let them know that you’re there to support them if they need it. You might not be able to take on their specific tasks (and you shouldn’t), but you can offer encouragement, ideas, and general direction to help them along the way.
“I don’t understand. Can you help me?”
It might not be easy to admit, but everyone needs a little help sometimes. Reach out to your employees if you think they might be able to help you understand something better or solve a problem more effectively. This will help them feel like contributing members of a team, rather than robots who simply do what they’re told.
“I’m glad you’re here.”
Everyone wants to feel like they matter to the team. Hearing that someone appreciates their specific talents can help an employee feel valued. Tell your employee that you’re glad they’re working on a particular aspect of the project, or simply that you’re glad their skills are on your team. They’ll feel your appreciation on a whole new level.
Team morale is important in any company, so make sure you’re being proactive about helping the employees on your team feel appreciated. It doesn’t take much—any one of these simple phrases will go a long way.
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