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The Solution to Burnout? Appreciate your Employees - Expert Commentary on National Employee Appreciation Day

As you may already be aware, today (March 6) is National Employee Appreciation Day!  National Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday of March each year and focuses attention on employees across all industries.

Take some time and read through this expert commentary collected from some of the tech industry's top leaders discussing the importance of creating a culture that values employee health and well-being.

Below are quotes on how to combat stress and appreciate employees more in the workplace.

Meg Riat, HR Director, Leaseweb USA

"The ever-widening talent gap in the technology industry has left many organizations struggling to secure top-performing, highly-skilled talent to meet company needs. Fostering a company culture which goes beyond a comprehensive and competitive benefits package-although, don't skimp on these compensation components in such a competitive market-can go a long way towards not only attracting top talent, but also maintaining a thriving workforce.

Understanding what drives your employees, current and prospective, is critical. Being able to understand, articulate and actuate on what drives your employees in a manner that is consistent with company core values is what separates organizations with an unstable workforce from those with a stable, thriving team. Moreover, employees often cite a lack of appreciation as a top driver for leaving a position. They don't cite financial compensation nor professional unfulfillment (as often). People value knowing they're valued.

At Leaseweb USA, we've addressed this head-on. We strive to cultivate an informal, multicultural environment that encourages independence, entrepreneurship and a can-do attitude. By placing professionalism, integrity, positivity, and accountability (a few of our guiding principles) at the forefront of our company culture, helping to ensure our employees consistently and sincerely feel respected, appreciated and fulfilled."

Rob Mellor, vice president and general manager EMEA, WhereScape

"In today's world, organisations are heavily reliant on data, but it can be easy for your employees - particularly those in your IT team - to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of data and information streaming into the business on a daily basis.

Using manual methods to gather and work with the data required for actionable business analysis could take months of an employee's time and effort, which is not practical in today's real-time, instantaneous world. Fortunately, investing in automation software can help relieve this by allowing employees to gather data and speed up the time it takes to derive business value from it, which allows them to focus on other business value-add tasks. Ultimately, this will make tasks easier, quicker, and less stressful for your employees, easing their workload, while also giving your organisation a competitive edge."

Nicole Sahin, CEO and founder, Globalization Partners

"Expressing appreciation in a work environment has some seriously good follow-on effects for both teams and individuals. In fact, four out of five employees are more motivated to work harder after their boss shows gratitude for their contribution. On the other hand, employees who don't feel appreciated may quickly look for an exit. Studies show 79 percent of people who quit say "lack of appreciation" is their main reason for leaving.

Showing gratitude means more than simply saying "thank you"- especially when communicating with a multicultural team. What is rewarding to one global team member can cause stress or even offense to another. For example, in the U.S., an individualist culture, being singled out is appreciated, but this is less true in countries that are highly team oriented. About 85% of the world's population lives in cultures that are considered "collectivist. Team members from collectivist cultures often appreciate the work of the team more than the contribution of any one individual, and find it awkward or embarrassing to be called out, even for a heartfelt thank you. In this instance an employer should consider thanking them as part of thanking the overall team instead.

"Employee Appreciation Day acts as an important reminder to take pause and ensure your employees know they are valued. And when doing so, it is equally as important to make sure you approach thankfulness with an accurate understanding of what gratitude looks like for your employee, and how to express it in their culture."

Jen Locklear, Chief Talent Officer, ConnectWise

"Considering the health and wellbeing of your employees is a great way to show your appreciation for them, especially because as an employer, we have the ability to influence how mental health issues are managed to help our people. While it's true that people have huge struggles and daily battles with stress, anxiety, and depression, more and more resources are becoming available to employers that can help our teams.

At ConnectWise, we've recently implemented Ginger.io which offers behavioural health support to our colleagues, 24/7. We have an engagement tool, TINYpulse, that has helped us to work with our people on issues that are impacting them - anonymously. Additionally, we offer financial planning help because we know that is such a huge source of stress for people.

Employers should understand the significance of mental health, not just for the purposes of the company's productivity, but for the overall health of our people and the community. While it is not our obligation to offer these tools, I am grateful for companies like ours that offer these resources for people who are more than worth this investment."

Johan Pellicaan, Vice President & Managing Director at Scale Computing

"As the concept of ‘employee well-being' becomes more and more mainstream, it is important for businesses to realize that the issue runs deeper than free lunches. The IT industry in particular has a responsibility to focus its innovation not just on creating products which are faster, or offer more ROI and uptime, but rather, to create products that remove the stressful, firefighting elements of many IT roles, particularly for distributed IT enterprise managers. Similarly, enterprises have a responsibility to make this part of their decision-making process when buying new technology, but how many of them actively consider it?

"The idea that technology can self-heal, for instance, or that it can be designed to eliminate some of the familiar complexities of identifying, mitigating and correcting infrastructure problems is now part of the design and product philosophies of forward-thinking companies. The addition of machine intelligence is also helping reduce stress IT professionals manage on a daily basis, allowing them to re-focus on tasks which are of much greater benefit to individuals and business overall."
Published Friday, March 06, 2020 1:26 PM by David Marshall
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