Showing employees appreciation is grossly underrated as a contributing factor to a company’s success. When employees feel appreciated, they’re more likely to come to work every day with a positive attitude and commitment to producing their best work.

On the other hand, underappreciated employees aren’t as engaged in their roles. They aren’t as happy to come to work and that affects their performance. Sadly, only 22% of employees who responded to a Gallup survey said they felt they received the recognition they deserved for their work. The companies they work for are surely suffering
because of it.

You can ensure your company isn’t a part of this group by making a conscious effort to improve your employees’ mental health and well-being and ensure they feel appreciated. These practices can get you started.

Understand the Current State of Your Employees’ Well-Being

In a recent study on textile workers in Bangladesh, at the number two apparel exporter in the world, 80% of respondents said that they were experiencing high levels of stress. In addition, 90% said that their stress was linked to other health risks, including headaches, weakness,
body pain, and eye trouble.

If anything, these statistics show that the mental and physical health of textile workers is in jeopardy. And individuals who work in this industry all over the world, not just in Bangladesh, have experienced threats to their well-being because of various workplace environment factors.

To improve, you first need to know where you currently stand. That way, you can direct your effort to the tasks that are most likely to get you to where you want to go. In this case, you need to understand the current state of your employees’ health and well-being.

What are your employees enjoying about the workplace? What makes it difficult for them to come to work? What’s the state of their mental and emotional health? Are they using the resources you have to support both? If not, why? Do they feel safe?

Surveys are a great way to start a conversation with your employees about their well-being.
Incorporate group and one-on-one meetings to get an even better understanding of where your employees are at.

Create a Positive Workplace Atmosphere
Once you understand the state of your employees’ well-being, you can begin to transform your workplace culture to better support and appreciate them.

This is especially important for businesses in the textile industry. Some are known to have poor working conditions and cultures, paying workers by the piece instead of by the hour.

You must create a positive workplace culture because it can boost productivity, increase motivation, and keep employees immersed in their roles, and at your company long-term. It also secures the mental and physical health of your employees if it’s built correctly.

Moreover, when you create a positive workplace atmosphere for your employees, it shows them that you care about their experience and how they feel. You’re willing to go all out to ensure they’re comfortable and happy, and that matters.

Creating a positive atmosphere in a textile workplace starts with respecting and supporting employees implicitly. Pay them fair wages by the hour and ensure they’re taking breaks and lunches every day. Eliminate long hours and offer them a manageable workload.

Introduce transparency and open communication. Practice good leadership and help your employees grow through performance reviews and team building. Another big part of a positive workplace atmosphere is reward culture. Perks and bonuses are great. But don’t forget about simple things, like shoutouts and sincere thank you’s to show
genuine appreciation for your employees.

Lastly, make sure their physical environment is safe. Offer a spacious and clean environment to work in. Provide any protective equipment they need. And ensure the building has proper ventilation so workers are constantly breathing in toxic chemicals, fiber dust, and blasted sand.

Prioritize Employee Mental Health

Employee mental health support should be a part of your company culture foundation as well. About 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. have a mental illness. One in 25 has a serious mental health condition, like major depression or schizophrenia.

Whether your employees disclose their illnesses or not, you can bet many of them are navigating a minor or major mental health challenge when you consider the statistics above. Prioritizing their mental health with intentional support and resources helps your employees not just professionally, but personally too. Outward support for mental health will make them feel more comfortable in the workplace to be transparent about what they’re dealing with.
Also, they’ll be more inclined to use the resources available when you’re constantly talking about and encouraging your employees to use them. The more help they get, the better they’ll feel and do at work and home.

Show your employees you care with resources like the following that support their mental and emotional health:
● Providing an on-site counselor
● Offering a mindfulness class during lunches
● Offering free or discounted sessions with a therapist
● Encouraging the creation of an employee resource group dedicated to mental health
● Hosting a mental health and emotional wellness week

Along with these resources, do your best to ensure there are systems in place to make their workloads manageable. The stress of a huge workload can exacerbate symptoms of various mental health conditions and lead to burnout.

Taking workflow management seriously can lessen the workload on employees and improve their mental health simultaneously. For instance, menial tasks like pattern making and fabric cutting can be a morale killer. They also take up a lot of time and seem never-ending.

Setting up a workflow with automation tools, like an automatic fabric cutter and software that automates pattern making, takes these tasks off your employees’ plates and reduces their workload tremendously. They also get to take on more meaningful tasks like merchandising and marketing that require creativity and critical thinking, fueling their engagement and enthusiasm.

Audit the processes in your business first to gauge whether they could benefit from a new workflow. After that, map out your vision for the workflows and slowly implement the tools that make them possible. Employee training will also be necessary to ensure the workflows are helpful rather than a burden to employ.

Show Your Appreciation Daily
Big gestures of appreciation, such as extra time off or bonuses, are wonderful. But they can’t be the only way you show your employees appreciation. Mainly because you aren’t offering these things every day, and your employees need to feel appreciated and valued every day.

There are simple, meaningful ways to show your employees appreciation daily. Pulling an employee to the side and genuinely expressing your appreciation for their work every day can be more impactful than you think. Make it a point to give your employees multiple compliments and shoutouts.

Here are a few other ideas for showing your employees appreciation daily:
● Allow high performers to go home early
● Allow your employees to lead when appropriate
● Give employees extra time on their lunch or breaks
● Give them a task or project they’ve been asking for
● Have meaningful conversations with your employees that help you get to know them and vice versa

Daily appreciation along with mental health resources, a positive workplace culture, and a firm understanding of where employee health and wellness stands in your company will help you appreciate your employees in ways they want and deserve.