5 Ways to Show Your Employees Appreciation
Employees are at the heart of any company, and they are a big part of what makes it possible for a business to succeed. It’s important to acknowledge their hard work and to give them appreciation frequently. Positive reinforcement is a huge motivator for anyone and can encourage ongoing success and engagement. March 1 is Employee Appreciation Day, and while it is a good reason to highlight your regard for your employees, it should not be the only day you show them you care. Here are 5 ways you can show your employees appreciation not just on March 1, but throughout the year.
1. Listen to them
Giving your employees an opportunity to speak – about what’s going well, their challenges, what they think can be improved upon in terms of workflow or other processes – shows a vested interest in their wellbeing. Not only is simply listening to people a thoughtful gesture, but it can also actually help you garner insight, so offer a platform for employees to give their opinions! It can be an online portal, a comment box in the breakroom, or even just a recognized open-door policy where people can drop by to chat.
2. Have one-on-one meetings
Similar to listening, having one-on-one meetings gives employees a chance to build a bond and trust with their manager. A one-on-one conservation with members of your team can either be regularly scheduled or an open, withstanding invitation to set up a time as needed. These types of interaction and conversations can be centered around roles and responsibilities, job performance, and/or challenges. They should give your employees the chance to ask you anything they need to and should serve both sides as an opportunity to build trust and be honest.
3. Give out small rewards
Rewarding good work is often called positive reinforcement, and one way you can implement this into team-building is by handing out small rewards to thank people for a job well done. Creating an incentive-based practice can be a fun way to not only encourage engagement among your team (re some friendly competition) but productivity as well. These rewards can be as simple and small as $5 gift cards, cookies or cake, or company branded items that say “great job!” It should be more about the gesture and recognition than the actual item. Promotions and compensation are an important reward for workers who meet goals and express the intent to advance, but small gestures in the name of appreciation are just as important. They don’t even have to be scheduled – it can be done randomly when you notice someone going above and beyond.
4. Have team outings
Having a company event, like a potluck or picnic, a few times throughout the year gives employees the chance to relax and have fun together. Maybe you attend a sporting event as a team or have a lunch catered outside of work. These outings should be designed to encourage employees to talk without having to be focused on their job, so they can build relationships and rapport with each other that is more intimate and less task-oriented. Managers (or the company budget) should fund these events/gatherings as it is just as much of an investment in your success as anything else. Teams generally work together better when they are familiar with each other, and when they understand the common goal they are all working towards.
5. Celebrate them
Celebrating birthdays, work anniversaries and milestones is a great (and easy) way to show your employees they are thought of. Recognition goes a long way in making people feel seen, respected and appreciated. Acknowledging the accomplishments, milestones, and endeavors of your team members is an important part of showing your appreciation. Consider sending out a thoughtful email, or treating employees to lunch on their birthday; maybe you simply set aside a few minutes at the beginning of a meeting to acknowledge someone’s promotion, or take time to stop by someone’s work station to inquire about their plans.