This blog was originally published on March 5, 2021 and revised on February 14, 2023.
You're SUM stuff!
It's accrual world without you!
Can't stop, won't stop. √∞≈∏Àú‚Ä† But puns aside, Valentine's Day is a great reminder to show your finance team some love. A little heartful appreciation for all their hard work, dedication, teamwork and support adds up when it comes to building positive and supportive relationships in the workplace.
So how can you recognize and celebrate your team, help them feel valued and appreciated and brighten up their day not only on Valentine's Day, but every day? Read on to discover five ways to show your finance team you love them.
Learn to understand that the same people you count on every day to bring their "A" game are also the same people who live their own unique lives. This InHerSight article on the signs of a positive workplace culture says that one of the signs is that "people feel safe talking about their lives outside of work." Make it a point to get to know the individual players on your team, whether they have kids, spouses or pets. Try to remember important details about their lives and ask them about them sometimes.
As the article says, "If a company prioritizes a sense of belonging and acceptance--and a work-life balance--employees are likely going to feel more comfortable bringing up the jaw-dropping final score of their kid's soccer game or what their weekend plans are with their partner." As a finance leader, it's important to build a relationship with your team. It shows that you don't just care about their productivity, but that you genuinely care about them as people. Not only will you understand what motivates them, but you'll also get to know what they need to succeed in their role.
"If a company prioritizes a sense of belonging and acceptance--and a work-life balance--employees are likely going to feel more comfortable bringing up the jaw-dropping final score of their kid's soccer game or what their weekend plans are with their partner."
Sometimes it's not always about the grand gestures because little things can go a long way too.
According to this Quantum Workplace article on the importance of employee recognition, it says, "When employees feel valued, they're more engaged, motivated, and likely to go the extra mile for their company." Their research found that when employees believe they will be recognized, they are 2.7x more likely to be highly engaged.
"When employees believe they will be recognized, they are 2.7x more likely to be highly engaged."
Measures such as an unexpected appreciation email to a team member, congratulating someone on a personal milestone, helping them enroll in a training course or having your team leverage tools to make their lives easier for budgeting and reporting are ways to keep your team motivated personally and professionally. Showing that you're invested in your team's personal growth is a great way to send the message that you care. Whatever it is you do, just make sure it's genuine and from the heart.
According to this Workhuman survey highlighting the importance of humanity in the workplace, over 60% of respondents said a simple "thank you" would make their hard work feel more appreciated. Although your team is being compensated, money isn't the same as a "thank you".
A human expression such as this can build a relationship of gratitude within your team so they know their long hours aren't going unnoticed. Now, how you say it is completely up to you. You could send a handwritten note to your team or have lunch delivered to them to express how grateful you are for their dedication. However you get it done, this small expression of gratitude is a big way to show your team that they are valued.
Meeting goals at work is always worth celebrating, but you should always make a point to celebrate the moments in your team's lives, such as birthdays, anniversaries and personal milestones.
According to this article on Risepeople.com, they say, "When it comes to celebrating workplace milestones, there are no real 'best practices.' The way you reward and celebrate your team members should depend on the team members themselves and on your company. Not everyone likes rewards in the form of public accolades or gifts, and not everyone is motivated by the same things."
With that in mind, creating a culture of appreciation means celebrating each of your team members in their own unique way. Making time to acknowledge the special moments in their personal and professional lives shows them that it matters to you too.
"Not everyone likes rewards in the form of public accolades or gifts, and not everyone is motivated by the same things."
Lastly, don't forget to incentivize work that goes above and beyond. The ability to give your team bonuses or other monetary incentives is a monumental way to show appreciation.
According to this Forbes article on monetary incentives in the workplace, "Extra money is always a valuable reward. For some people, money is the ultimate motivator, especially for employees who have financial goals to achieve. Employers can offer cash rewards to employees who strive for top performance, go above and beyond or meet set goals. This instills a sense of purpose and satisfaction from accomplishment and a job well done."
"For some people, money is the ultimate motivator, especially for employees who have financial goals to achieve."
Rewarding extra work with extra pay is the ultimate way to retain your team and keep morale high, especially during unpredictable times. But other monetary incentives, such as profit sharing, tuition reimbursement, referral programs and additional time off, are just as effective.
As a finance leader if you show your team that you support, love and appreciate them to the fullest extent, they'll continue to stay dedicated to your mission.
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