"Better for It" Episode 5: How to Make Employees Feel Valued with Jane Park

Better for it Podcast Boss on the Clock featuring Jane Park

How to make employees feel valued is a central theme in this episode with Jane Park, founder of the beauty brand Julep and sustainable gifting company Tokki.

Have you ever thought about a time when your work mistakes may have taught you a lesson that fuels the way you work today?

ADP's "Better For It" podcast talks with leaders about exactly this. We're talking about critical moments — times when you almost lose a business or question your character.

How to make employees feel valued is a central theme in this episode with Jane Park, founder of the beauty brand Julep and sustainable gifting company Tokki. Here are some key insights from Park based on learned lessons from interactions with employees.

Strategies for How to Make Employees Feel Valued

Park recalls an interaction with an employee at Julep who disagreed with a company policy. Park, who was pressed for time, rushed the conversation and didn't provide an opportunity for the employee to be heard. The next day, she saw the employee was upset and realized it would be worth spending extra time to make people feel valued.

"The enemy is time," says Park. "It's never that you are actually planning to be mean, or to burst people's bubble, or to make them feel unappreciated. It was because of the need for speed. It was trying to get to the punch line faster."

Park recommends finding a way to slow down to ensure that you hear your employees' points of view.

The lesson that I keep learning over and over again is that you can't short circuit having people feel valued. Why am I having this conversation on both sides? Why can't I just let people speak for themselves instead of speaking for them in my head?

- Jane Park, founder of Julep and Tokki

Learning From Failures of Character

One area Park candidly discusses is learning from a self-described "failure of character" in the wake of 9/11. She was leading a consulting team that was focused on finishing a project when the attacks happened, and a team member asked to go home to be with his wife.

"I asked, 'Did you have anybody who was impacted?' I didn't make it easy for this guy. And I always regretted that," recalls Park. "I could have just paused for 24 hours to be a human being and let people process this huge national tragedy that had happened. So I think about that a lot — I think, is this another 9/11 moment that I'm going to regret? And I try to act accordingly."

In addition, she encourages leaders to face past mistakes and learn from them, saying, "If you have a failure of character, it turns into a lesson only because you reflect on it and you decide to do something differently the next time."

Developing Teams, Developing Leaders

Are you looking to help your leaders work smarter and ensure your employees feel valued? ADP has extensive experience helping organizations of all sizes develop high-performing leaders and managers, and increase employee engagement with talent activation and management strategies. With tools such as Compass Powered by ADP®, which provides insights and coaching tools to help drive employee engagement and develop leaders.

Learn more by listening to the "Better For It" podcast today.

To learn about the other episodes in this series, visit this page.