I worked for a company that gave end-of-year appreciation awards to employees during the holiday luncheon in December. The owner presented awards to one employee per category, thanked the entire staff, and everyone went back to work. The owner believed this was enough to show staff appreciation for the year. Employee awards are a great way to show appreciation, but it's not enough to only recognize a handful of employees just once a year. Show your employees appreciation daily in different ways.
If you're a team leader, manager, owner, or hold another role where you have employees, can you think of the last time that you told your team that they were doing a great job or that you appreciate them? If you're pausing and thinking about this question for a long time, that's not a great sign, but it's never too late to start!
Why should you appreciate your team?
Have you ever been in the role of employee and not just boss? If so, it's easier to recognize the value of appreciation. For those of you who have always been the leader or manager, you may not understand. Good leadership goes beyond just managing your team and daily tasks. Improving morale and showing employee recognition is an easy way to be a good leader.
Not only is it important to show appreciation because your team is hard-working, but you can also consider the value of each member. Happy employees generally stay with the same company, resulting in less turnover and training in the long run. Some managers believe their appreciation comes from a paycheck, but this ideology is very wrong. Your employees have the choice to stay with their current employer or move on to another company. If you want your best employees to stay, give them a reason to want to.
Valued employees will work harder, so showing appreciation will boost morale among your team and increase productivity. Everyone appreciates acknowledgment of a job well done. There is always an opportunity to show employees they are valued, and the validation will help the entire company long-term.
What are the best ways to show appreciation? Here are a few employee appreciation ideas to get you started.
1) Involve your employees and ask for their opinions
Surveys are a good way to involve employees. Survey Monkey is a great resource for surveys. You can get opinions quickly and easily. Visit www.surveymonkey.com to get started.
Give positive feedback when your employees accomplish a small task or a big project
This feedback can be in the form of an e-mail or by stopping at their desk. Everyone has different comfort levels, so get to know your employees and what form of communication they are most comfortable with. Visit www.123greetings.com to send free eCards to your employees to show your appreciation in a more rewarding way.
3) Recognize birthdays, anniversaries, and life events
Every year I add all of my employee birthdays to my desk calendar, adding a reminder a couple of days before the day. Doing so gives me time to buy a birthday card, send it around the office and then buy a $10-$15 gift. You can do the same thing with work anniversaries or other life events. I usually collect money from the office for more significant events such as weddings, to give employees symbolic gifts like memorable wedding guest books or chocolate bars engraved with teammates' names. Pinterest is a creative resource for handmade gift ideas, especially if you are on a budget. My team members love to see a nice employee appreciation gift from someone higher up, even if it is just for a birthday or work anniversary.
4) Broadcast your gratitude to the company for employee success
Send out a company-wide e-mail acknowledging your employee's hard work, recent success on a specific project, or anything similar. This small act will make them stand out and feel appreciated. Other co-workers will most likely respond to the e-mail, adding other congratulations and resulting in an even bigger act of gratitude. One way you can implement this is by sharing your employee of the month through e-mail. They will love the praise and be happier knowing you wanted to share their successes with the whole company.
5) Gift card programs.
I managed a group of 7 people, and the HR department handed out $250 in gift cards. Each card was $10. Any time an employee did a good job or went out of their way, we had this resource to pull from and reward them.
6) Handwritten notes.
Leaving behind a handwritten note for your employee to find will show your appreciation. Take the time to write out why you appreciate them. This small act can even be a post-it note you put on their computer, desk, or stack of work with a quick, "YOU ARE AWESOME!" If you are working from home remotely, you are still able to do this. Leave them a chat or e-mail to find in the morning or write on their workflow they utilize. It will make their day and improve their morale.
7) Award programs.
A great way to show appreciation is to give your team members an employee recognition program. Appreciation through awards is a daily reminder of their excellent work. Awards can range in cost depending on the company, but a quick google search of employee appreciation awards will give you a list of resources to pull from. Some that we have done in the office included a Friday field trip to take a break from work, ice cream socials, catered lunches, hosting happy hour after the workweek, and even in office scavenger hunts. The idea for employees to be rewarded is not limited to inside the office, as doing things away from work can create a better bond between employee and boss.
My employees comment on my ability to understand them and appreciate them. I credit a majority of this to experience to bad bosses, what left me demotivated at work, and what I would have loved to experience at work. Showing appreciation can range from a quick thank you note, an e-mail expressing gratitude for years of service, a gift card just because, or an award created just for them. The company culture you strive to uphold needs to prioritize employee recognition. Without it, you lack the most important thing to make those that keep your business running content.
Are you ready to start showing employee appreciation? Start with the list of ideas above and add your own ideas. If you take the time to get to know your employees, you will get a better sense of topics they enjoy talking about or gift ideas. It's never too late to show employee appreciation.
Author Bio: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement, and intranet software. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, employee productivity, and to save you valuable time!