It’s Valentine’s day this week, and so we are spotlighting a relationship that could often use some TLC  – the one between employees and their work.  Is there a formula for motivating employees to excel in their roles and love their work? Numerous factors contribute to employee engagement, as identified by experts and indicated in surveys. However, it primarily hinges on the following idea:


Employees are more likely to be committed to their work when they perceive it as meaningful, feel valued, accepted, respected, and have the necessary emotional and mental resources to perform. (1)


Essentially, the focus is not just on the nature of the work but on the positive experience employees have while doing it. So, what can leaders do to foster a work environment that elicits these sentiments? Here are five straightforward strategies to make work feel more meaningful, show employees they are appreciated, and create a supportive atmosphere. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to take pride in their job.

Strategies to Make Employees Feel Valued:

1. Share Your Perspective on the Company’s Journey.

Relaying the story of your organisation helps remind everyone of their purpose within it. What were the founders’ aspirations? How does the company make a positive difference for its customers and the world? Discuss why you joined, and what excites you about the company’s mission and vision. This approach helps employees understand the larger impact of their contributions.

2. Foster a Culture of Team Appreciation.

Encourage frequent acknowledgment of each team member’s contributions. It doesn’t require grand gestures. Simple and consistent expressions of recognition and gratitude can create a workplace where everyone feels valued. You might end team meetings with a round of acknowledgments, send emails praising team members’ efforts, or suggest leaving “thank you” notes on desks or laptops.

3. Ensure Everyone Feels Recognised.

When individuals feel their contributions are valued and respected, they’re more likely to aspire to their full potential. For instance, at clients of HR Optimisation, we invite different team members to share their personal career stories during monthly meetings or to share their biggest achievements at work. This practice helps us appreciate each other’s skills, interests, and experiences, fostering trust and collaboration.

4. Improve Your Coaching Abilities.

Moving from traditional performance reviews to continuous coaching and dialogue aligns with employees’ innate desire for growth and development. Enhance your leadership skills by focusing on listening, observation, asking insightful questions, providing feedback, and offering support. This demonstrates your investment in your team’s growth and helps them feel secure and supported in their objectives.

5. Embrace Flexibility.

Today’s employees often balance work with personal responsibilities. Acknowledging and supporting the “whole” employee builds trust, loyalty, and dedication. Where possible, offer flexibility in how, where, and when work is completed. This understanding can lead to a stronger commitment and better job performance.

Leaders can deepen employee engagement by connecting them to a purpose, ensuring they feel seen, heard, and appreciated, and by offering flexibility and understanding. Showing your team appreciation can significantly enhance their performance!

For additional insights on boosting employee engagement, please reach out to us on 

(1) This concept is based on the research of William Kahn, a professor of organisational behavior at Boston University, dating back to around 1990.