10 Ways Employers Can Show Appreciation to Their Employees

I think a common mistake companies make is to get so caught up in the remuneration conversations that they lose sight of the fact that often it’s the small signs of appreciation that can have a big effect on staff morale, loyalty and therefore retention. As an employer, you can show appreciation to your employees any time – you don’t have to wait for a special occasion, event, or major milestone. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and valued and there are many ways that you can do it. For staff who don’t earn commissions this is even more important.

Have a look at these 10 tips for inspiration.

1) Praise your employees

While all your employees are expected to fulfill their job duties as a matter of routine, a little praise for doing it well, going above and beyond, or for using initiative goes a long way. Specific praise for a task or job well done is an excellent way to show you appreciate those who you work with. It’s also nice to take an interest in what they are passionate about outside of work such as hobbies and charity work and congratulate them on any achievements or successes.

2) Say “please” and “thank you”

It doesn’t cost anything to give people a simple thank you every day. The more you say thank you to your employees, the more they will feel motivated in their job. They should know – unambiguously – that you appreciate their contributions. Don’t forget to say please when you’re assigning a task or extraneous job duty to them. These are simple ways to contribute to creating a positive company culture.

3) Extra time off

Time – everyone’s most limited and precious resource. We all spend time at work, time getting to work, and sometimes have to work overtime. Time in lieu or a paid day off is a nice way to say thank you. A little extra time off should be something unexpected and not overused in the workplace. You get the most value from the element of surprise and sense of worth.

4) Flexible schedules

While not every workplace benefits from flexible schedules, if you can, this is a good way to show appreciation to your employees. When it’s viable, provide some flexibility in scheduling during the holidays, for birthdays, or whenever it’s really needed and therefore appreciated. Some employers even make a special calendar available for employees who want to trade shifts.

5) Company transparency

It’s crucial to create a team-like atmosphere in the workplace nowadays. Those in leadership positions in a company should show willingness to be transparent regarding the goings on within the company. While there are things you cannot address, keeping your employees informed and in the know makes them feel involved, which is essential for morale.

6) Encourage feedback

Implement an open-door policy in your workplace where your employees can come to you with questions, concerns, or ideas about the company. Employee feedback helps to create a cohesive company culture and makes them feel their opinions and ideas are valuable. Create a questionnaire to get their feedback every now and then. Ask open-ended questions like, “What are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? Where can we improve things?” etc.

7) Feed your employees

Take your employees to lunch or dinner now and then, or have a lunch catered at work to encourage socializing and teamwork. Consider taking your sales team out for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner when they exceed sales goals. I used to use monthly 121’s as a way of rewarding and surprising someone by taking them out for lunch as a thank you. You need to remember that these things need to be random and differing otherwise they will be considered as entitlements.

8) Give your employees little surprises

Unexpected surprises, like bringing in sweet treats, offering team-building games/challenges, paid training/education or events that family members can attend all boost morale and retention. Vouchers, certificates, announcements; the opportunities to surprise your employees are endless. In one of my companies we had a little trophy that was awarded every Friday to the ‘star’ of the week, it was only a small thing but it always took pride of place on the desk for whoever had won it that week.

9) Give your employees more responsibility

Make an employee feel more important and valued by challenging them with new tasks and responsibilities. Get their inclusion in making important decisions to show you trust their judgment and expertise or let them run a meeting as a way of showing that you trust them and believe in their ability.

10) Let your employees show appreciation for one another

Not only should you take steps to show how much you appreciate your employees, but they can be given the opportunity to reward one another as well. I have introduced employee recognition schemes based around positive feedback and monthly rewards for those who receive it. Again very simple but it has a hugely positive effect on morale.

Most employees are not motivated by money or perks alone. Going the extra mile to show appreciation in one of the above ways shows you respect and support your employees. Appreciation is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to create a positive workplace, reward and encourage good behaviours, increase productivity, attract talent and improve retention.

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