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With the recent news that the number of vacancies is now greater than the number of unemployed, You cant change the causes of a recruitment crisis. Maybe employee retention can ease the problem.

Employees who feel valued at work are happier, perform better and are less likely to seek alternative employment elsewhere- crucial in this candidate-led market. There are so many options available to Employers when seeking guidance as to how best to engage their employees and make them feel valued that it is all too easy to skip the basics. Don’t just jump straight into the weird and wonderful. The employee/employer relationship is a human relationship and so the humans want to be valued in much the same way as humans in any relationship. They want to feel secure, recognised, important and special and it doesn’t take some Guru to make that happen. Here are some simple ways to make every employee feel appreciated;

Getting to know you

The personal touch goes a long way. Employees who feel that they recognised as individuals feel much more engaged and loyal to their company. Take a leaf out of Football Manager Eddie Howe’s book. On the first day at a new team, he sends a piece of paper to everyone in the club, from Tea Lady to First team Player and asks them for the names of their spouses, children, parents, hobbies, likes and interests and takes it away and memorises it. Then when he sees the employee next, he asks after the wellbeing of their family using their names from memory. This simple tip would ensure that each staff member feels valid and important.

There’s something for everyone 1

Everyone loves to feel special on their birthday. A handwritten birthday card with a short note and a voucher goes a long way. Employee retention comes from feeling valued.

There’s something for everyone 2

A celebration of their working anniversary- this could be as a card, a small gift, a cake and even a badge with their ‘age’ on it!


Children often receive the accolade ‘Star of the week’ for something special they did that week in school. The lucky recipient has their photograph taken and comes home beaming with a certificate and a grin from ear-to-ear. This is easily transferrable to the workplace. Everyone wants to be recognized for a job well done. A certificate, their photograph taken and why not throw in a free lunch.  

The more you recognise your employees’ specific contributions to the team, the more irreplaceable they’ll feel.


To boost team morale, it’s great to do something for your entire team—like ordering in a pizza or bringing in donuts. But showing appreciation for an individual can easily get lost in these types of group rewards. Instead you could do something as simple and as cost effective of letting them a leave a few hours early on a Friday. But announce who this ‘Half-day Hero’ is to everyone, make them feel important and make others clamour to be next week’s winner!

And Finally…

See if any of your clients or customers have any Freebies you can hand out. I once worked in an HR company where a client worked with a rather nice restaurant. We managed to get a meal for two staff and their partners who had worked day and night to get a new website up and running, along with a helicopter ride up to the restaurant which was in the Lake District!

Showing employees you appreciate, notice and value what they bring to your organisation doesn’t have to be costly or take up a lot of time. Fostering a culture of appreciation makes for strong employee relationships and has a huge positive impact on employee retention.