It’s no secret your employees work extremely hard to meet your organization’s goals. To keep them motivated, it’s vital to recognize their efforts. This is where employee appreciation comes into play.
If you are unsure of what employee appreciation is, why it’s important, and how to show it, you have come to the right place. We’ve put everything you need to know in this guide.
Employee appreciation is the effort your company puts into recognizing and rewarding the team for their workplace contributions.
Appreciation can be shown through formal or informal channels and acknowledges employees’ direct and indirect contributions to the company.
There are many ways to convey gratitude to your employees.
Saying thank you is among the simplest ways to do it.
However, some companies put a lot of effort into the matter and go as far as organizing events, giving gifts, or even planning experiences.
Innovative businesses realize just how important it is to show their team a bit of love. In fact, there is even an entire day dedicated to appreciating employees, aptly named Employee Appreciation Day. Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday of March.
In reality, the best approach to employee appreciation is to continuously acknowledge your employees’ contributions and not just on a single day of the year.
Experts have found a strong link between employee recognition and happiness. Recognition also plays into company culture and can significantly improve retention. If you make employees feel more appreciated at work, they will likely stay longer at the company.
On the other hand, if your team feels like their efforts and contributions are going unnoticed, they can quickly become disengaged. They may lose their drive and feeling of commitment and loyalty to the company. In this case, they may very well start looking for other opportunities.
The unfortunate reality here is that employee turnover can hinder your organization’s ability to grow. After all, recruitment, onboarding, and training is extremely costly and time-consuming. This probably comes as no surprise, but it’s much less expensive to retain an employee than it is to hire a replacement.
When employees believe you value them and have their best interests in mind, they will trust you more. In fact, a survey indicates that as many as 86% of employees trust their managers if they have recognized them in the past month.
It’s critical to nurture trust with your employees. It’s great for morale, fostering teamwork, and enhancing ethical decision-making. Things simply get done faster and with less oversight needed.
If your employees are happy, productivity levels shoot up. When your workforce knows you care about them, they’ll be more invested in the company’s success.
The result is a more calculated effort being put into executing tasks and responsibilities. In short, your employees become more engaged.
We already spoke about how costly it is to hire and onboard a new employee. If you can improve morale by recognizing contributions and showing employee appreciation, you can reduce your workforce turnover rate and save money.
In this digital era, many job seekers look online to get a good grasp of a company’s overall reputation.
If you put effort into the way you engage and reward your team, good reviews will inevitably get out into the world.
This can boost your brand perception and have an impact on how willing talent and customers are to engage with you. Do it well, and you will have an endless supply of job applications and new customers. Neglect to ace it, and you may very well find it quiet on those frontlines.
So, what’s the best way to show your valuable team just how much you appreciate them?
Here are some ideas to get you started:
When you are unsure of how to express your gratitude through words, an appreciation quote can be a great place to start. Here are some examples to use as inspiration:
For employees who actively get involved or are interested in volunteering, organizing opportunities through your business can open doors they aren’t able to access individually.
Employee appreciation ideas here could include starting a food drive in the office, bringing in kids to learn about your business, or allowing time off work to volunteer for a non-profit organization. This is especially beneficial if your staff can volunteer together as a team, as it will enable everyone to spend quality time with each other and form a bond.
Volunteering is a way to show that you support your workers in their mission to make the world a better place.
An added bonus is that you will positively impact the community, which shines a positive light on your brand.
Prioritizing your employee’s health is a great way to show them how thankful you are for their contributions.
The good news is that you can bring these incentives to the office so that your team doesn’t have to carve out too much time away from work or arrange a commute.
Ideas could be to organize self-care activities, such as on-site massages, manicures, fitness classes, and mindfulness sessions. Your employees will enjoy the quick reset and break away from routine before returning to work with renewed energy.
Give your staff a break from the office and organize a fun day outdoors instead.
A change of scenery will give everyone a well-deserved break and an opportunity to bond outside of work.
You can make this idea work on any budget. Depending on how much you’re able to spend, you can organize something small like a hike. Or you can go larger and visit a botanical garden with an organized tour and lunch to follow.
Of course, it’s best to get input from the team on what activity they would enjoy the most. Lay out several options and let them select a winner.
Another fantastic way to show employee appreciation is by celebrating your teams’ birthdays.
Mark the occasion by going beyond sending a simple email to wish the person well. Instead, deliver a special gift or treats to their house. You could also allow your employees to take an extra day off during their birthday month.
Other ideas are to decorate employees’ desks according to a personalized birthday theme. It could be items that highlight their favorite sports team, home country, or most-loved movie.
For those who work remotely, consider recording a video of the entire staff wishing them a happy birthday.
It’s touches like these that will make the team feel appreciated and recognized.
We recommend creating a calendar that includes each employee’s birth date to ensure that none go unnoticed.
An excellent place to show some employee appreciation is on your company’s social media platforms.
Go public with the message on your organization’s Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn profiles.
Whether it’s a birthday you’re acknowledging, or an employee’s contribution to your company, showing recognition in a public setting can assert how proud you are of your team members.
The other upside is that the world will know how much you care about your workforce.
Not everyone enjoys the public spotlight, though. So, be sure to always get permission from the person in question before going ahead with publishing a post.
Supporting your employee’s professional development is one of the best ways to show appreciation.
For most people, personal and professional progression are high on their list of goals. However, they may not always have the time or resources to manage this while working in a full-time role.
This is where you can show your support. Sit with your employee to carve out a career progression path. Work together and discuss where the person sees themself in a set number of years.
Once you have this information, talk about how the business can support the person on this journey. It could be by offering professional internal training, sending the person on a course at an accredited institution, or assigning them a mentor.
Importantly, make time for this to happen during the person’s workday. For the opportunity to be a true value add, it shouldn’t cut into personal time. If you’re worried about this impacting productivity at work, keep in mind that you’ll be gaining an empowered and upskilled employee at the end of it.
Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on the first Friday of March. It is the perfect opportunity to show your employees how valuable they are to you and the company.
When organizing a formal event for this celebratory day, you need to consider what you want to recognize employees for. For example, you can recognize staff for their years of service or recent accomplishments.
Instead of celebrating it only for one day, you can extend the event for a week. During that week, you can offer complimentary food, do team-building activities, and more.
If you are unsure how to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day, use a suggestion box. In doing this, you can see what your employees would prefer and give them a say in how they reap the rewards.
If, like many, you have made the shift from an in-office working space to a remote setting, you might want to know how to show employee appreciation virtually.
An idea here is to schedule a virtual office party. Have your employees celebrate their hard work and dedication from home. Send over a gift pack filled with snacks and gifts to support the occasion and make it feel like a “real” celebration.
You can also set up an online gaming or quiz evening and carry out a draw to select teams.
Company culture can take a knock when the team no longer works from the office. But, you can keep up the momentum by celebrating virtually. It can be just as beneficial for engagement and morale as people are now accustomed to interacting online.
Employee appreciation should be an integral part of your company’s culture, as well as an overall attitude that management should adopt.
No organization is the same, so what will work for your company might not work for another.
If you want to retain employees and increase engagement, take steps to show them how grateful you are for their efforts.