8 Ways to Show Your Team the (HR-Friendly) Love

8 Ways to Show Your Team the (HR-Friendly) Love

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day we decided to compile a list of practical ways that, as a manager, you can show your team you love them.

Whilst it may not be the love-hearts and flowers that you give to that someone special, these tips will hopefully give your team the warm and fuzzies (or at the very least make them feel part of a valued, cared for team).

1) Self-evaluation

This is a chance to get the whole team together and ask yourselves how you’re doing.  It gives a chance for the group to reflect on strengths and address weaknesses.  A good self -evaluation meeting is democratic and allows all involved to have a voice.  It’s also a good opportunity to get your team up to speed with what’s happening in the rest of the company and contextualise team goals into those of the wider organisation.  At STAMC we hold our formal self-evaluation meetings quarterly which gives us good indications as to how we’re getting on throughout the year, but choose a frequency which works for the needs of your team and your organisation.

2) Embrace the Personal Development Review

In addition to the whole team self-evaluation, it is important to give your staff individual personal development reviews.  Most large organisations have PDR provision built into their HR policy but even if you’re a small firm then it’s still worth taking the time to sit down with each of your employees.  But it’s even more worthwhile taking this one step further and making time to follow this formal chat up with smaller, less formal conversations throughout the year.  It will help keep you and your employee on track, provide opportunity to reassess development needs and give feedback.

3) Stick to your side of the bargain

Self-evaluation days and PDRs have the power to leave those involved feeling excited and enthused about their work and where they’re going next.  However, this is utterly undermined if promises and plans made are left unfulfilled.  Yes, PDR’s and Self-Evaluations are a chance for you to outline to employees your priorities, but you need to meet them half-way.  If you don’t live up to promises then you will gain a reputation for not putting your money where your mouth is and leave your staff feeling frustrated and unsupported.

4) Provide Training (well, we would say that wouldn’t we?)

Good training will enable your team to do their job more effectively and confidently.  It will open the door to new directions and challenges and will demonstrate to your team that you value their development.

Don’t just shove them on a training course for the sake of ticking the training box though; you want volunteers not conscripts.  Talk to your staff (see points 1&2) and identify the areas they need to develop.  If appropriate, opt for training which will actively make them apply their learning (such as an SVQ) so that the benefits of training are immediately fed back into their roles.

5) Celebrate Success, Unite in Failure

Successes are times to come together as a team and celebrate.  It doesn’t need to be a big deal (though if they’ve landed a big deal then maybe it should be) even sitting down all together for a cup of tea works but either way, come together as a team and reflect on the glory. 

Same applies for failures.  In fact, it’s probably even more important in the trying times. 

Acknowledge hard work that in this instance has not been awarded by success, don’t get sucked into the spiral of the blame game, and take the time as a team to figure out where you go from here.  Strong teams are the ones which can handle the bad times as well as the good.

6) Stop Micro-managing. Stop It Now.

Micro managing is not an effective use of your time and is demoralising and stifling for your team.

Consider your own development that got you to this managerial position; most likely you gained this role by being challenged, stretched and given autonomy over tasks.  You will have learnt from your failures as well as your successes and you will have done this because you were given the space to grow without a manager breathing down your neck.

Your job as manager is to oversee but not overbear; Set the standards, the deadlines and organise the occasional catch up to keep appraised of progress but then step back and let your team get on with it.  If you don’t trust your team to do this then it’s probably time to consider some training, for both your team and yourself. 

7) Flexibility

The world of work has changed. In 2016, an article in Business Insider magazine (Balance of Power Shifts from Recruiter to Candidate, Jan/Feb 2016 issue) cited a report by Hays recruitment which put flexible working at the top of job candidates lists of workplace benefits.  62% placed it in the top spot.  The report highlighted the, then, disconnect between employees and employers; only 11% of employers agreed that offering a good work life balance was important when attracting candidates. Fast forward eight years, and we are living in the post-pandemic era where working from home and flexible working is the new normal.

This new normal brings many well publicised benefits; greater work life balance, no time lost to commuting, employees able to work in an environment that suits them, and increased accessibility to work for those who would find a commute a physical barrier. This is all great. However, as a manager, you have the responsibility to be aware of the potential pitfalls for your team of hybrid working.

In 2021 the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Work Foundation published their report Making Hybrid Inclusive- Key Priorities for Policymakers. The report finds that whilst many workers are benefiting from hybrid working, managers have an important role to play in ensuring that hybrid working practices are equitable and beneficial to staff wellbeing. The report raised the blurring of lines between work and home, and less visibility in the workplace for certain groups (Women, Carers & Parents, Disabled People), as two examples of areas of concern. This is not to discourage hybrid working, more to act a reminder to you, as a manager, to check in with your team regularly to ensure that hybrid and flexible working is continuing to be a positive in their experience of work.

8) Say Thankyou Often

Remember your mum telling you to mind your manners and say thank you?  Well the same applies for the workplace.  If someone does something for you, turns out a good piece of work or is just an all-round good-egg then a thank you doesn’t go amiss.