appreciation

Appreciation is much more than a pat on the back. Appreciation and recognition are the building blocks of a healthy corporate culture.

Gallup research shows that employees who do not feel adequately valued are twice as likely to leave the company in the coming year. Another study by SHRM shows that 68% of companies that strategically handle recognition score significantly higher on employee engagement.

One way to facilitate appreciation is by organizing frequent feedback sessions. It’s important to note that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The old adage, “my door is always open,” doesn’t work (for everyone). Some employees actively seek feedback, while others prefer to leave the initiative to their supervisor or the company. By the way, this is one of the things that Kazi addresses.

In short;

🔍 Visibility: Recognizing and valuing employees ensures that team members feel seen and heard.

❤️ Motivation: A simple ‘thank you’ can boost morale, leading to increased enthusiasm and higher productivity.

🔄 Retention: When employees feel valued, they are more inclined to stay.

Appreciation is the first part of the company culture ABC. Inspired by an image from Hacking HR.

great reset overflow

The number of Belgian youths (under 25) who voluntarily terminated their employment contracts in 2023 is a staggering 40.8% higher than in 2022, according to a study by Acerta. The so-called ‘great reset’, where people in the United States offered their resignations en masse during the COVID-19 pandemic, seems to be finally (partially) spreading.

Young people are becoming increasingly critical, and rightfully so. They want to make their own decisions, have their voices heard, and have a say in shaping their careers.

Today, talent is in the driver’s seat, especially during labor market tightness. Making it easy for them to switch employers, given the very high demand.

Without considering the professional expectations and soft skills of talent, implementing a sustainable recruitment policy becomes extremely difficult. In that case, the 40.8% mentioned above will continue to increase in the coming years.

first six months

According to a survey conducted by The Muse among 2500 respondents, 80% of Gen Z candidates are willing to quit a new job within six months if it fails to meet their expectations.

This phenomenon, known as ‘shift shock’ or expectations mismatch, poses a challenge to sustainable hiring practices.

In countries with more rigid job markets, candidates or employees may have the intention to quit their job, but actually following through with it is often a different story. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that these employees have become disengaged, which has a negative impact on their involvement and overall productivity.

To ensure sustainable recruitment, it is crucial to have an accurate understanding of work values and (team) roles for both talent and the job itself. This serves as the foundation for effective recruitment practices.

universal desire

What desire is more universal than the pursuit of happiness in life and work?

Abraham Brill, an influential psychiatrist, believed that emotional factors are the primary cause of fatigue among desk workers. Anxiety and feeling unappreciated create nervous tension, which ultimately exhausts desk workers.

Despite Brill sharing this insight in the 20th century, it remains remarkably relevant today, especially given the unfortunate increase in burnout rates.

However, within this challenge lies untapped potential.

Imagine a workspace where mental exhilaration is not just a concept, but a practice. Where recognizing and appreciating efforts becomes a routine, fostering an environment that energizes rather than drains.

The reason we often fail to create such environments is because job expectations are rarely explicitly communicated. Without clear expectations, workers struggle to effectively utilize their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

By understanding workers’ professional expectations and soft skills, and aligning them with precise job expectations:

🌱 Employees feel appreciated and valued. 🤝 Collaboration improves. 🎯 Focus and efficiency replace exhaustive and inefficient work.

Mental exhilaration overcomes physical fatigue. However, without setting and managing mutual expectations, this becomes challenging to achieve.

too long

How long before you realize you’ve made a hiring mistake? The short answer is, always too late.

Very successful businesses and their employees have made costly hiring mistakes, and some are willing to admit it, but how long does it take for the company to recognize a bad hire? How long does it take for the employee to realize?

According to research, one out of two employees is looking for a new job within the first year of employment due to a mismatch in expectations. In a commercial context that would translate to, what I’ve been sold, is not what I’ve been promised.

Imagine how much money companies could save, and at the same time, how much well-being could be boosted if hiring mismatches were to be avoided up-front.

satisfied but not engaged

Satisfied employees are not necessarily engaged employees. Vice versa, engaged employees are not necessarily satisfied employees.

Satisfied employees could be happy with their paychecks, the fact that the company is close to where they live, and enjoy their colleagues’ company. Even satisfied employees could be mentally disconnected from their job, while doing the bare minimum. Meaning satisfied employees aren’t necessarily engaged with their actual job, hence less productive.

Inversely, employees who are engaged with their job could be dissatisfied with the company, their managers, and their salary.

Ideally, satisfied employees are engaged, and vice versa. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

vital

Nurses play a critical role in healthcare and the well-being of patients. For them to perform optimally, it is essential that they feel engaged and valued in their workplace.

Employee engagement is more than just job satisfaction; it drives increased productivity, better patient outcomes, and a more positive work environment. Investing in nurses’ engagement will not only benefit them, but the hospital as a whole.

Showing appreciation and commitment to nurses by fostering an environment that values their contributions, supports their growth, and recognizes their efforts is potentially one of the best ways to decrease patients’ mortality rates.

primary job

Human resources professionals’ primary job is to create career development perspectives and opportunities. Recently, I heard Howard Schultz, longtime CEO of Starbucks, say this. Below, I’ll try to create insight into how this could be achieved, through 10 pointers, taking into account the potential pitfalls.

  1. Offer training and development programs, such as workshops, classes, and mentoring.
  2. Create clear career progression paths within the company.
  3. Encourage employees to take on additional responsibilities and stretch assignments.
  4. Provide opportunities for employees to work on cross-functional teams or projects.
  5. Offer tuition reimbursement or other educational assistance.
  6. Facilitate networking opportunities with other professionals in the company or industry.
  7. Offer leadership development programs.
  8. Provide regular feedback and coaching.
  9. Encourage employees to set career development goals and track progress.
  10. Be open to flexible work arrangements and remote working opportunities.

All these initiatives rely on insight and a clear understanding of the employee’s skills — both hard and soft — and professional expectations. Without this, you’re flying blind.

Many companies believe they’re performing well on people analytics, but in reality, many valuable insights are still missing.

half gone

Nearly 48% of white-collar workers in Belgium are open to a new job within the next six months, a reflection of the growing dissatisfaction with their current job and its related responsibilities. This lack of engagement and commitment to their current job can have a detrimental effect on productivity, as many employees may be subconsciously scaling back on their responsibilities or even mentally dropping out.

This readiness on the part of employees to move on can be a major concern for employers, as it not only means reduced productivity but also creates uncertainty, as it can be hard to tell which employees are interested in leaving and which aren’t. Having nearly half of your employees wanting to leave is serious, without question.

Not knowing which half is even more dramatic.

ruin your brand

Bad news travels far swiftly. Almost three-quarters (72%) of job seekers say they share negative experiences with companies where they apply online.

Offering a bad experience to potential candidates is, by and large a surefire way to drive your employer brand into the ground.

What’s worse, some initiatives are so simple to implement. So simple, in fact, that it’d be a shame not to do it.

React. A simple message to acknowledge that the candidacy has been received successfully goes a long way. If at all possible, including the typical response time in that message makes a huge difference.

Image ordering online, checking out without any indication whatsoever regarding delivery. How many customers would purchase again with that same company, or leave an enthusiastic review?