It takes a team to get a business off the ground and keep it running, and businesses that have the most skilled employees also tend to have the most success. But finding and keeping top talent takes much more than just good luck. One of the best ways to keep your staff members is by showing them they’re valued.
Research has shown that when workers believe they’ll be recognized if they contribute to the company’s success, they’re nearly three times more likely to be engaged.
Luckily, there’s a number of ways you can express gratefulness to your staff for the work they do and let them know that they are appreciated. And, no, we are not talking about choosing an employee of the month. It’s best to incorporate as many different options as possible in order to make sure that everyone feels valued on a regular basis.
Here are 8 meaningful tips that will inspire you to show appreciation to your staff.
1. Surprise Them
Is someone celebrating a work anniversary? Did your team land a new client? Make sure to celebrate employee accomplishments and anniversaries in a way they would never expect. Depending on the occasion and/or the person, you can organize a big surprise party with a cake and decorations, recognize them on our social channels, or keep it low-key.
The team at SnackNation recommends expressing work anniversary wishes in the form of appreciation messages that range from casual “congrats” to a sentimental proclamation because, as they say, anniversaries don’t mean that you have to put on a show.
Make sure that your message of appreciation is timely, specific to the employee, and tied back to your company’s values and mission. By recognizing your team members in this way, you can promote positive behaviors and encourage the development of strong company culture.
2. Express Appreciation Directly
Studies have shown that effective communication maintains a culture of confidence and trust that leads to increased productivity.
There are different forms of direct feedback and show of appreciation, ranging from a simple ‘thank you card when someone has accomplished an extraordinary goal to incorporating more positive feedback into the employee review process.
Or, you can simply go up to an employee’s desk to tell them directly that they did an amazing job and thank them for their hard work!
3. Show Them the Money
While every employee would love to hear a word of praise, they would definitely be even happier if you back your words up with financial rewards.
Financial rewards can come in many different forms. The most widely used ones are bonuses, but you can also offer extra paid time off.
If you want to be more creative, consider distributing gift cards to your team members at the end of a big project, during the holidays, and for special occasions (birthdays, baby showers, etc.), or covering house cleaning for your employees in order to take a load off their daily chores and help make the time spent away from the office more enjoyable.
4. Offer Perks
If you can’t show appreciation in the form of bonuses or pay raises, consider offering office perks. For instance, you can have healthy snacks in the breakroom or go a step further and offer occasional in-office meals.
Think ordering in pizzas once a week, catering once a month, or simply bringing in donuts from time to time. Everyone feels appreciated when there’s great food to indulge in as proof of a job well done.
Other ideas include covering the employees’ parking, covering transit to conferences and meetings, maintaining a clean office, and providing quality office supplies. These office perks are small and not so costly, but they can go a long way in showing you value your staff.
5. Offer Flexible Schedules
When work coverage is critical, instead of choosing who and when gets time off yourself, consider posting a calendar so team members can work this out with their coworkers.
The benefits of flexible scheduling for companies go beyond happier employees. Employers that allow their workers the freedom to work a flexible schedule can also find themselves a more profitable and a more desirable company that people want to work for.
6. Ignore Small Mistakes
Sometimes, the best way to show appreciation is to not make a big deal of small mistakes. For instance, if an employee or the entire team misses a project deadline by a couple of hours or neglects a minor task, avoid reprimanding them and instead allow them to try again and ask them what they would do differently next time.
This shows that you appreciate their hard work and that you trust them to do their best.
7. Have Some Fun
Consider doing something fun for your employees during slower seasons or at the end of busy periods. For instance, you can pick a personalized gift (like coffee cups) for each member of the team.
Opting for personalized gifts is a great way to show that you know your team members. Add funny quotes for a dose of humor, which is good for morale.
Another option is to end Friday a little earlier and throw an office party with food and drinks or take everyone out of the office for lunch.If you can afford it, you should also think about organizing a team retreat every year.
Whether it is a trip to Hawaii, a wellness weekend at a luxury spa in the city, or camping in the nearby woods, a regular team retreat is a great way to make every employee feel like a valued company member.
8. Incorporate Appreciation in the Company Culture
Employee appreciation efforts are going to be most impactful if they are incorporated into your company culture. This means offering opportunities for career advancement through regular training, mentorship programs, and covering educational conferences.
This will enable you to provide your team members with the knowledge and skills they need to do their job even better. Make sure to make employee recognition a part of your leadership team’s annual plans.
You can also set up regular employee recognition programs, which will foster peer-to-peer recognition and offer rewards as a perk for participants. In addition, stay in touch with your employees so that you can confirm they are getting the recognition they deserve.
Showing appreciation to employees can be very easy, and it can make a huge difference when it comes to increasing motivation and boosting productivity. It will also help you keep top talent longer and reduce the amount of time you spend hiring and training new employees, making your business even more successful.
And remember, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion in order to show appreciation. Small surprises and tokens of appreciation throughout the year can help your staff feel valued by you at all times.