Did you know 30% of today’s workers feel undervalued in their current positions? This percentage, though not particularly overwhelming, should serve a silent red flag to employers across the United States. When talented employees feel undervalued, they start to look for jobs at companies where they will be valued. The same thing happens to employees that do not receive encouragement for their hard work. If you feel undervalued, or not valued at all, chances are you’ll keep one foot perpetually out the door for a new opportunity.

The good news is that savvy small businesses can nip this issue in the bud right now. There are several tried and true tactics for developing talent in a small business. These strategies will ensure your employees feel satisfied in their roles and happy to come to work and contribute to the company each day.

Create Opportunities For Growth

Let’s say you notice one of your employees in the marketing department has a knack for graphic design. They’re adept at creating designs for print materials like brochures and digital like e-newsletters. Their skill set is so impressive, they might actually be a better fit to transition into the design department.

Create opportunities for growth throughout your business. Let employees know that these opportunities exist from day one, AKA when they first apply for jobs within your business. If you notice one of your employees has skills that could make them stand out in another department, meet with them one-on-one. Have a conversation about the possibility of transitioning them to a new role beyond their initial department where they can apply these skills and thrive.

Give Talented Employees A Challenging Workload

If an employee feels undervalued, chances are their workload may factor into those feelings. They may be doing too much work to the point where they feel overwhelmed. Or, they could be doing the opposite with a ton of boring busy work.

Switch up the routine with a challenging workload. Assign projects that allow employees to take the lead. Allow them to conduct research, work alongside other team members, and give them a deadline as further drive and motivation to get the task at hand done as thoroughly as possible.

Encourage talent to take initiative, too. If they notice something in their department that the company is not doing or should be doing, allow them to pitch their plan to you for what’s missing and how they plan to solve the problem. Then, give them the reigns to strategize and complete what needs to be done.

Make It A Habit To Say “Great Job!” All The Time

Anytime you see a talented employee going above and beyond, let them know it. Praise their hard work by saying “Great job!” You can do this face-to-face with the team member, email them directly, or even send out a companywide email highlighting them as the employee of the month.

Share moments where they did a fantastic job with the rest of the team, and keep encouraging talent to reach for the stars with their workload. Will it make them feel much more appreciated and valued overall? You bet!