Appreciated employees are more productive and cheaper to retain. While a simple, “Thank you,” goes a long way, it’s often not enough to placate the employees who feel their sacrifices and work ethic go unrewarded.
More employers than ever are beginning to understand the benefit of maintaining an engaged and fulfilled workforce. But few know how to recognize employees thoughtfully.
In fact, some staff appreciation systems can infantize or humiliate and do more harm than good. Don’t try to improvise your own recognition ideas.
Instead, maintain your company productivity and retrain your workforce with these nine tried-and-true ways to recognize employees.
If your company doesn’t revolve around serious deadlines, show your employees you care by offering flextime. It’s a great way to improve employee work efficiency.
Especially during the holidays, schedules can become hectic. A standard 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule does not always accommodate for doctor’s appointments or daycare.
Another flexible work option is allowing employees to work from home. This flexibility goes beyond employee appreciation; it also shows that you trust your workforce won’t take advantage of these privileges.
Remember that holidays exist. As Thanksgiving nears, throw a party or luncheon with the season’s staples. For Halloween, decorate the office with pumpkins and bats and fake leaves.
But don’t stop with food and decorations. Encourage your employees to participate and engage. Have an ugly sweater competition for Christmas, or hold an egg hunt around the office.
Office Traditions are Great Ways to Recognize Employees
You don’t have to wait for a holiday to do something special. Office traditions can offer employees something to look forward to, especially in the middle of the year where there’s a dearth of holidays to celebrate.
Once a month, take a Friday off and bring your team to the golf course or bowling alley. Or how about holding a desk decorating competition to liven the place up?
Some companies even compose their own monthly internal magazines, showcasing new employees, their current events, and recent accomplishments.
It’s a great way to engage your employees and also show the fruits of their labor to the company at large.
Gifts and Rewards
Along with a personalized card, small desserts and candies are a common employee thank you gift. However, these rewards are so mundane that they can simply seem compulsive rather than true recognition for hard work.
Employee-of-the-month portraits are an older trend but still provide a functional incentive. It makes clear that you’re so proud of your employee’s work, you want to show it off.
For even better gift ideas, how about staff recognition awards, nice pens, and other knick-knacks they can keep in their work area?
Check out this great resource for more personalized employee gifts.
Food Never Fails
Surprises go a long way. Not every food event needs to be organized for a holiday or birthday. Value your employees with an occasional treat, such as fresh donuts or a simple sandwich platter.
These little pick-me-ups help combat the doldrums.
Free food on the company dime is better than bringing a packed lunch. For more serious acts of appreciation, such as the completion of an important project, consider calling a food truck or serving a catered lunch.
Everyone loves a free meal.
An office doesn’t need more than a workstation, kitchen, and bathroom. But your employees will appreciate any extra amenities.
A small space with couches, simple snacks and a nice view can offer a relaxing retreat from the day’s work. Some companies take it a step further and occasionally bring in a masseuse or hold yoga classes.
Fitness centers show your employees you care about their well-being and long-term health. Providing even a single pair of treadmills and a space for lifting dumbbells is an inexpensive option.
Don’t wrongly assume your employees will squander their time by enjoying a relaxing massage or sneaking off to the gym. Studies show that increased blood flow and a relaxed state of mind improve brain function and performance.
Additional Vacation Time
Time off is one of the best ways to reward your workforce. After a difficult project, consider offering additional PTO to your dedicated team. They’ll have a short day or two to refresh and attend to tasks that were overlooked while at work.
Remember to encourage workers to actually use their paid time off. Don’t let their work stack up while they are away. This will only dissuade them from indulging in PTO since they’ll have to play catchup when they return.
As a fun alternative, some companies offer PTO specifically for volunteer hours. While still being productive, your employees can improve the community. This will also boost your company’s local reputation.
Let the Dogs Out
Looking for low-cost ways to appreciate your employees? Let them bring their best friend.
Bring your dog to work day is a popular event — why not enjoy it year-round? Dogs reduce stress in the office and provide a homely, comfortable atmosphere. Employees who normally need a dogsitter will appreciate it immensely.
Let the Games Begin
Work rarely allows for time to socialize or simply have fun, but this engagement is exactly what drives employees to perform their best.
Pull out some board or card games every Friday evening to relax, unwind, and get to know everyone better. Paying your employees to chat and game is an unequivocal sign of appreciation.
But That’s Not All
Employee appreciation is more than a series of sporadic events. It’s something ingrained in the company culture and managerial attitudes.
Remember that your employees don’t have to work for you. They chose to use their skills to assist your company. You should choose to show them you care.
You’ll suffer less employee turnover, and have more productive workers and a friendlier work atmosphere.
You’ve read our nine ways to recognize employees, but there’s so many more. Click here for more ways to appreciate your employees.