Does Your Team Feel Valued?
Making teams feel valued enhances loyalty, motivation, and results. Agree?
WRITTEN BY: ADAM DANYAL
Imagine two sales teams. One is led by Dave, who barks orders and pressures his people relentlessly. He tracks every stat and metric and calls them out publicly if they miss a goal. “Time to pick up the slack, people!” he’ll say. They dread those embarrassing moments.
The other has Jackie as their leader. She knows results matter most and pushes hard for them too. But she motivates her team in a very different way. When a rep has a bad month, she meets privately with them to explore why and how she can remove any obstacles getting in the way of success. Because Jackie knows sales can be a grind at times, she looks for opportunities to make the team feel valued. She surprises them with gift cards when they have a great month. “Thanks for your hard work,” she says sincerely.
Jackie’s team would run through walls for her, while Dave’s trudge to the office every day with low morale. The lesson is clear: When people feel valued and appreciated, they become fiercely loyal. But when they feel like cogs in a machine whose only value is what they produce, disengagement sets in. Leaders who value results over relationships inevitably lose the trust that fuels top performance.
So how can you show your team they are valued? Here are some ideas:
Celebrate birthdays and milestones. Throw an impromptu party or give a thoughtful gift. The gesture says, “You matter to me.”
Ask about their lives outside work. Did their daughter’s recital go well? Is their elderly father’s health improving? Showing care and concern for the whole person cultivates trust.
Recognize effort, not just outcomes. Did someone put in long hours on a project that ultimately failed? Acknowledge their commitment even if the results disappointed.
Make time for one-on-ones. Don’t cancel meetings because you’re busy. Those face-to-face conversations build the relationship that powers loyalty.
Remember, you get the highest returns by investing your heart, not just your time. As Ken Blanchard said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Make sure your team knows they are more than just resources to be managed. When they feel truly valued, extraordinary results will surely follow.
From our Leadership Bookshelf:
WRITTEN BY: JULIA DANYAL
Employee engagement and motivation are critical for any organization's success. As the newsletter discusses, teams that feel valued and appreciated are more loyal, productive, and deliver better results. An excellent book that provides insights into creating a culture where employees feel their worth is “The Progress Principle” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer.
The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer:
1. Celebrate small wins. Recognizing even minor accomplishments and milestones shows employees their work matters and is making a difference. This boosts motivation and engagement.
2. Recognize effort and progress. Praise hard work and the journey, not just the end result. This supports intrinsic motivation and a growth mindset.
3. Enable small acts of kindness. Simple gestures like saying "thank you" or checking in on someone's family make employees feel cared for as human beings.
4. Allow autonomy and input. Giving employees agency over their work and valuing their perspectives satisfies the basic need to feel one's voice matters.
Regularly recognizing progress, showing appreciation, enabling autonomy, and cultivating interpersonal bonds are all ways leaders can meet employees' fundamental human need to feel valued. By putting these practices to work, managers can build devoted and high-performing teams.