If you want to create a more positive and collaborative work environment, showing appreciation for your team and making each person feel valued is a sure-fire way to do it. When employee morale is high, productivity increases, thus allowing your employees to be highly efficient and satisfied in their roles.
Why Employee Appreciation is Important
Appreciation shows your employees that you acknowledge their work and value their contribution to the company. For your business to continue being successful, it’s imperative to keep employee retention high–and that means giving every person the recognition they deserve so that they’ll be encouraged to stay on with your company.
Employee appreciation shows employees that you care about them–not just as an employee, but as a person. There are many different ways you can show appreciation; keep reading for a list of some of the most effective ways to be an encouraging manager or boss for your employees.
How to Show Employee Appreciation
Depending on which method of communication you prefer, whether in person or with a note, there are endless possibilities for expressing gratitude towards employees. Here are just a few employee appreciation ideas:
Send Handwritten Thank You Cards
Texting is easy enough, but why not make the extra effort and send a handwritten note in the mail? This is an old-fashioned way to thank someone that will never go out of style. It’s also more personal than email — it shows you took your time, were intentional about what you said, and wanted them to know how much they are valued.
Make sure you write a nice personal message, not just ‘Thanks for your hard work!’ Each employee will appreciate this gesture differently depending on their personality. For example, some employees may love receiving handwritten cards, while others might prefer email for its convenience. Find what works best for them and go from there!
Encourage Employees to Take Care of Themselves
Taking care of personal responsibilities outside of work is important for employee well-being and can even increase productivity. Suppose an employee has to rush home right after work every day because their sick child needs them, or they have to stay late at night taking care of a family member who lives out of town. In that case, it might be affecting their job performance and creating unnecessary stress on themselves and your business.
Letting employees know that you trust them with time away from the office will show that you appreciate all the hard work they put in — whether it’s for school, childcare, health concerns, disabilities, or other pressing matters. Allow your team members to take care of these things without feeling guilty about leaving early each day.
This is also a good opportunity for you as their manager to figure out what types of things they need assistance with outside of work, such as childcare or transportation. If an employee asks for a day off and you know they don’t have anyone to watch their children, offer to help find childcare or take care of transportation.
These types of personal responsibilities are often the first thing employees mention when asked why they want time off — it might be something that is weighing heavily on them each day at work if not taken care of, so let them know you’ll take care of it, and they can focus on their work.
Put Together Fun and Engaging Team-Building Activities
Team-building activities are a great way to foster employee morale and connect with your team members on a more social level. These types of activities help employees get to know each other outside of the work setting.
These should be fun, upbeat events that allow employees to relax and show them you care about their time away from work. It might feel like an “extra” expense for you since it’s not part of their pay or required by law — however, building employee camaraderie is one of the simplest ways to increase employee satisfaction and retention rates.
Not only will these fun social bonding experiences help to decrease turnover rates, but they will also create more engaged employees who enjoy coming to work every day because they love being around the people they work with.
Take Your Team Out For Lunch or Dinner
If you want to keep employee morale high and turnover rates low, it’s important for employees to feel valued and appreciated. Having a team member go above and beyond at work is great, and rewarding them with something as simple as taking them out for lunch or dinner shows that you notice the hard work they do every day.
This could be on your dime (if your budget allows), or if there are costs involved, split between everyone who works together. This type of experience will create lasting memories between co-workers and strengthen employee relationships even outside the workplace, leading to greater productivity throughout the rest of their time working together.
Doing things like this regularly will make all the difference in employee happiness levels and overall company culture.
Celebrate Birthdays By Giving Out Small Gifts or Hosting a Party
While you might not always have the time or resources to do the bigger things like taking everyone out for dinner or throwing a company-wide party, it’s important to make employee birthdays special in some way.
Depending on your budget and how many people there are in your office, you can have a little celebration with cake and start singing happy birthday when they come into work. If money is tight, maybe just give them a small gift card or fruit basket as a simple token of your gratitude.
These types of gestures will show your employees that they are valued members of the team who deserve appreciation. If an employee has been working hard every day but never gets recognized by management for going above and beyond, they are unlikely to continue putting in the same level of effort.
Doing something special for employee birthdays is a great way to show appreciation and let your team know how much you care about them!
Offer Flexible Working Schedules and Paid Leave
Everyone has emergencies, and life happens even when we don’t want it to. Employee flexibility is something that most people greatly appreciate–if not expect–in their workplace.
If you’re a business owner, offer paid leave or flexible working schedules for various events like doctor’s appointments or family emergencies. This type of benefit can make an employee feel like they aren’t chained to their desk every day and shows that management trusts them enough to get things done without constant oversight.
Constant monitoring isn’t always healthy for employee engagement and productivity. At the end of the day, they’re still people who need a break from work–even if it’s just a quick breather or a mental health day.
Offering employee flexibility shows that you care about your employees as individual human beings and not just cogs in a machine. That’s why the best way to improve company culture is to show genuine care for your team–no one wants to put in the effort where they aren’t seen, heard, and appreciated.
Ask Your Employees How They’re Doing
Engagement is something that’s talked about all the time in employee appreciation strategies, and one of the simplest ways to engage your team is to ask each person how they’re doing and listen to them with an open mind.
Not all employee appreciation ideas are going to work for every employee, and that’s okay–what works great for one person might not cater to another person’s wants and needs. It’s important to know what makes each individual on your team tick so you can offer them the best benefits possible.
Genuinely caring about employee satisfaction is more than just checking in with employees once a month and asking how things are going. It takes effort from both ends of the management and employee relationship spectrum to make this type of thing happen.
Ask employees what would make their lives easier at work, and actively listen to what they tell you. Even if there isn’t anything you can do immediately, chances are that employees will feel grateful knowing their boss cares enough about them to listen to what they have to say.
Employee appreciation ideas like this can go a long way in improving employee happiness levels and company culture.
Employee Appreciation Ideas: Conclusion
Employee appreciation is essential for the success of any company or business. Your workers are the foundation of your business, and to keep them happy and productive, it’s essential to show them the value they bring to the company.
Make employee birthdays special, offer flexible working schedules and paid leave for emergencies or doctor appointments, and ask your employees what would make their lives easier at work. These are just a few employee appreciation ideas you can implement in your office–you are sure to find many more with a bit of brainstorming!
Employees who feel appreciated and valued by their employers will stick around for a long time and can even become lifelong assets for a company. Hence, employee retention is something you should always be thinking about. Show your employees how important they are to your company’s success, and they’ll be sure to return the favor.