10 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation
"Recognition is the greatest motivator." -Gerald C. Eakdale
In the mid-2000s, Gallup surveyed around 4 million employees worldwide about workplace recognition and praise. According to their analysis, "employees that receive regular recognition and praise:
- increase their individual productivity
- increase engagement among their colleagues
- are more likely to stay with their organization
- receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
- have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job"
These, of course, are just a handful of the reasons to show employee appreciation.
Friday, March 4th is National Employee Appreciation Day in the US. Here are 10 ways to show employee appreciation not only on Friday, but year-round.
1. Establish two-way communication
Not only is it important for employees to know that they can talk to their superiors, but they need to know that they are heard. Providing opportunities for employees to engage in face-to-face communication with their boss about any concerns they may have is important to good company morale. A happy employee is one that knows they can share their suggestions and concerns with their boss. It makes them feel like their opinions matter.
2. Offer flexibility
While stability is important to maintain productivity, a certain level of flexibility is important to company morale. Being understanding of unique situations and flexible with hours and shifts lets employees know their superiors care about them as an individual. Finding a balance between flexibility and solid structure is key to company-wide happiness.
3. Notice issues and make internal improvements
When a boss notices internal issues and improves them, it lets his/her employees know that they are cared for. Whether it is a constantly malfunctioning printer or a leaky faucet, fixing the little things will go a long way.
4. Provide opportunities for friendly competition
Friendly contests can give employees a push while giving them a fun opportunity. Offering a prize for productivity will no doubt increase productivity. It is important to make sure the rewards offered are something your employee pool would enjoy, though. Getting to know your employees will help you know what type of prizes they would appreciate.
5. Establish employee reward programs
Other employee reward programs are also exciting for employees and raise productivity. Instead of competing with peers, individual reward programs offer individuals prizes based on personal milestones. Employee reward programs can also offer opportunities for employees to reward each other for things their superiors may not have witnessed. In this way, employee appreciation spreads. It no longer is just between boss and employee but between peers as well.
6. Offer new exciting experiences
Offering new trainings, departmental changes, certifications, etc, that relate to what your employees want shows that their boss cares about their growth, not just their current productivity. Superiors with good communication with their employees can be in tune to what their employees would want in terms of new experiences.
7. Provide company sponsored celebrations
Providing holiday, company anniversary, and other tradition-inspired celebrations give employees an outlet to have fun and feel appreciated. Whether you throw a Halloween costume party, Fourth of July BBQ or Christmas bash, employees love having the opportunity to get together outside of their usual work schedule.
8. Celebrate personal achievements (birthdays, anniversaries)
Celebrating personal milestones like birthdays, anniversaries and personal achievements makes employees feel especially appreciated, because their boss is noticing them as a unique individual.
9. Unexpected surprises (food, personalized gifts, notes)
Unexpected surprises are some of the best ways to get an employee's attention and let them know they are appreciated. From a handwritten note about a job well done to donuts in the break room, employees love a momentary celebratory change in their routine.
10. Appreciate year-round
It is important to remember that employee appreciation is needed beyond March 4th's holiday. Let your staff know what they are doing right and they will stick around for years to come.
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