How To Show Employees Appreciation
Did you know that employee recognition increases productivity, promotes morale and employee engagement, and helps to strengthen your relationships? Research shows employee recognition is most important to more than one-third of employees.
Companies that score in the top 20% of engagement experience 59% less turnover, which helps save money. Recruitment and training cost a company money, but so does the lost productivity while the new hire ramps up to the level of the employee they replace.
Even though the facts speak to the importance of making sure your employees know you appreciate them, 65% of employees say they haven’t gotten any kind of recognition for the good work they’ve done in the past year. And when people go without appreciation for the effort they’ve put into their jobs, they’re not as motivated to continue to remain as productive.
The good news is that employee retention rates are linked to employee recognition. A survey found that nearly 90% of company recognition programs focus on tenure. More than 91% of HR professionals believe that reward and recognition ensure employees are more likely to stay. Research shows that employees who’ve been recognized are 63% more likely to stay at their jobs for the next three to six months.
So, now that you know why showing employee appreciation is so important, how can you make sure that you’re showering your employees with the appreciation they need and deserve?
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do and creative ways to show employee appreciation.
Shower Them with Compliments
Think you don’t have enough of a budget to implement employee appreciation ideas? Think again! Compliments are free, and everyone loves them. One survey found that employees who receive continuous feedback believe:
- They feel 11% more valued
- Their company is 11% better at taking action on the feedback
- The work environment is 12% better
- They’re 9% more likely to refer someone else to work for the company.
What are some compliments you can give your team?
- “You’re doing a fantastic job on [insert task they’re working on.]”
- “Thank you for the time and effort you put into everything you do here.”
- “I appreciate you being so flexible with your work.”
- “It’s truly a pleasure working with you.”
Compliments are a simple way to leave a positive impact and may turn a bad day into a good one. Never underestimate their potential.
Send a Care Package
If you want to show you care, but want to go beyond a standard greeting card, then a care package is a wonderful option. There’s a whole niche dedicated to business care packages – many of which are specifically designed to cater to employees working from home as a result of the pandemic.
You can put together an “unplugged” package that encourages people to take some time away from the screen. Fill it with snacks, a mug, and a candle. (there are pre-made packages you can order to make this easier!) This will promote relaxation.
Other options include:
- A Home Office Essentials Care Package: A soy candle, small journal with a pen, a desk-ready plant, etc. Let your team spruce up their work area to make it a happier place to be.
- Holiday Spirit Package: Socks, hoodie, blanket, candle, snacks, puzzle, and a bottle of wine to relax and enjoy
- Bookworm Box: Canvas tote bag, reading glasses, spark tumbler, and a copy of Emotional Intelligence 2.0.
Send a Company-Wide Shoutout
Whenever someone does a good job on something, or accomplishes a big goal, share the news! Hop into the company Slack, Skype, or email, and send a shoutout to everyone. This lets coworkers jump in on the appreciation train. This helps strengthen bonds between employees, too, which is never a bad thing. Give them a special mention at the next team meeting, too.
Take it one step further and give them a shout-out on social media. Your customers will be happy to see that you value your staff – and it gives you some extra content to share, too. Win-win-win.
Host an Event to Let Everyone Have a Good Time
One Friday after work, invite everyone to somewhere other than the office. Pay for their meal and drinks during happy hour. Have live music. Encourage them to invite their family members. Like a company holiday party, but just because. The key here is to get away from the office, and not to talk about work. Let everyone get to know each other outside of work and be who they are, without the pressure of what’s going on in the office.
Celebrate Birthdays and Work Anniversaries
As long as your staff doesn’t mind (some may not want a big fuss about their special day!) have a meal catered, or buy a cake so that everyone in the office can celebrate. Gift the employee with a day off they can use whenever they want. Working with a remote team? Send a birthday card in the mail, with a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant so they can treat themselves.
An extension of this appreciation is taking time to celebrate work anniversaries and other special occasions. Survey your employees to find out how they would most like to be honored every year on their work anniversary.
Invest in Employee Wellness
Happy and healthy employees make for productive ones. Invest in employee wellness by offering to let them go to the gym in the middle of the workday. Consider adding a paid gym membership as an employee perk. Host an event at the office where a Yoga instructor comes in to teach poses that are good for posture and relaxation.
Hire massage therapists to come in and give the team neck massages on their lunch breaks. Investing in your team’s well-being is a crucial part of taking care of your staff members.
Send a Thank You Note
When’s the last time you received an actual thank you card or note, written on real paper? Though the practice has fallen by the wayside, it’s not something you should give up completely. Taking the time to write out an actual note – whether you hand it to them in person or send it in the mail – goes a long way in showing appreciation for your employees. It’s a low-cost way to say “Great work!” but is still more than a compliment as you pass by them in the office.
Invest in Career-Based Rewards
Career-based rewards are great for your team members. But more than that, they also benefit your business. Send your team members to leadership training, or allow them to choose an online course they want to take. Even if it’s not directly related to their current position, doing this shows you’re invested in who your staff are as people outside of the employee experience.
Take Them Out to Lunch
There are a few ways you can do this. Consider taking everyone out to lunch, or having it catered in the office if you’re face to face. If you work with a large team, you can also break them down into groups to take out. While at lunch, talk about how the job is going. Getting them out of the workplace is a great way to give everyone a break.
If you work with remote employees, send everyone a gift card to use on DoorDash, Uber Eats, or GrubHub. Let everyone know you want to get together on a Zoom at a preset time, so they can order their food in advance. Everyone can sit and enjoy their meal together to take a break from work.
If lunch is too expensive for your company right now, try taking them out for ice cream or a coffee shop for a snack.
“Without your employees, your business wouldn’t be where it is today. Failing to acknowledge the role they play in company success is a mistake.”
Invest in Gamification
A corporate gamification system may seem like a massive undertaking but stay with us. Each employee could choose their own tasks to claim. When they complete one of those tasks, they earn a predetermined number of points. Points could be redeemed for your choice of prizes or perks, such as an extra vacation day, a work from home day, to paid continuing education classes. With a gamification platform, you let employees choose how to be appreciated in a way that makes sense to them. And in the process, you keep them motivated to continue doing good work.
You can include this approach as part of your overall employee recognition program. For instance, you can have your team earn points every time they participate in team-building exercises, when they complete onboarding, and when they beat a deadline.
Add Some Vacation Time to Their Bank
Randomly award employees with a day off they can use in the future however they see fit. Even if you don’t have a formal paid time off policy, using something like this shows your team that you understand the importance of work-life balance. They can take the day off without having to worry about what that means for their paycheck, and that peace of mind can be priceless.
Let Employees Keep Flexible Schedules
Even after the pandemic gets under control, let your employees keep some flexibility in their schedules. As an example, allow your employees to take an extra-long lunch break to sweat it out at the gym. The exercise can help boost productivity and the break lets your team know you trust them.
Welcome and Encourage Feedback
The suggestion box is still a good thing. Give employees a way to anonymously provide their thoughts and feelings about how things are going in the office. In addition to the suggestion box, consider sending the entire organization a quarterly survey to let your employees provide feedback. Ask a set of questions that cover leadership, career growth, and development, teamwork, etc. Leave room for open-ended responses to questions like:
- What are we doing well?
- Where can we make improvements?
- Is there anything else on your mind?
Chances are your employees will tell you more than you think they might. Giving them the chance to talk to you about how they feel lets them feel heard. That alone will go a long way toward making them want to do more hard work for the company’s continued success.
Employee Appreciation Matters
While hosting an employee appreciation day is never a bad idea, the truth is that it shouldn’t be reserved for one day a year. You should do something to show your employees how much you appreciate them, as much as you can.
Even if it’s just a compliment most days, going out of your way to show your team how much you care on a regular basis will pay off well in the long run. If you’re not sure which of these options would be the most effective for your team, don’t be afraid to ask. What matters is that you build staff appreciation into your company culture whenever and wherever possible. It’s one of the keys to boosting employee morale.
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