Are you showing your employees that you appreciate them? Do you have a plan in place for how and when to recognize the employees who bring value to your company?
If not, you should be. Regularly.
Achievers, an employee engagement company, reports that lack of recognition was the reason 36% of the employees surveyed gave for thinking about leaving their current job. Lack of recognition is an easily avoidable situation.
The U.S. unemployment rate in September 2019 was 3.5%. This means finding a replacement for an employee can be difficult since those who are qualified are likely already working elsewhere. And the Work Institute estimates it costs an employer about 33% of an employee’s annual salary to find their replacement.
Thankfully, learning how to recognize employees and making them feel appreciated is not difficult so long as you make it part of your business plan and company culture.
Let’s discuss some of the myriads of ways you can accomplish this.
How to Recognize Employees
Figuring out the best way to show your appreciation to your employees doesn’t have to be complicated. You can show your recognition as simply or as elaborately as you wish or can afford.
Whatever choices you make, pay attention to how your employees respond. Their feedback will let you know if you are on the right track or if you need to consider alternative ways to communicate your appreciation.
Here are some suggestions on how to show appreciation to employees.
Say “Thank You” Regularly
The simplest and most straightforward approach is to making saying a heartfelt “thank you” to your employees for doing their job. You don’t have to wait until they do something over-and-above the call of duty. Hearing “thank you” can help an employee feel like their input matters and give them a reason to want to show up regularly.
Provide Food or Treats
Food is something we all have in common and has been helping people bond for centuries. It’s comforting and is a great way to get your team together in one place.
Depending on your budget, you can show your appreciation once a week or month. You can keep things simple by bringing in bagels, cupcakes, cookies, pizza, or doughnuts.
Or opt to take your staff out to lunch or have something catered and brought in. Or arrange to have a food truck visit your office.
If your staff likes to cook, a potluck works great, too. They allow your staff to share some of their favorites and maybe learn about their coworkers’ cultures.
Have Regular Performance Reviews
Employees like to know how they are performing at their job. Consider giving them shorter reviews more often, rather than one a year. A year is a long time to wonder how you’re doing.
Use the review as an opportunity to give the employee accolades as well as suggestions on how they can improve. Frame your overall review in a way that will allow the employee to leave feeling positive about their work and their job.
Recognize Employees All-Year Long
Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated in March in the U.S., but don’t limit yourself to one day for giving them your recognition. Create a plan for recognizing them throughout the year.
For smaller companies, you can celebrate individual birthdays. For larger ones, have a joint party once a month for all the employees celebrating their birthday that month.
Pick an MVP every week or month you want to highlight for a job well done. You can put their picture up in the breakroom, give them a small gift like a gift card or treat, or give them a coupon for time off.
Be creative and come up with ideas you think will work for your team members.
Make Your Recognition Public
Use your newsletter or social media pages to spotlight employees you appreciate and why. Explain what the employee did to deserve recognition.
Sharing this kind of info with your business partners, clients, and customers will create a favorable view of the employee and your company. It also helps make your company more personable by seeing the faces of the people who work there, which can be especially important if your business doesn’t require a lot of face-to-face time with them.
Treat Your Employees as Individual People
Learn your employee’s names. If you have a lot of employees, consider having everyone wear corporate name badges. Not only will it help you learn their names, but it will help them learn the names of their coworkers.
Get to know a little about each employee without prying. Sometimes you can get clues by what they have on display in their workspaces, such as pictures of their family, sports team logos or items indicating a particular hobby. You may be able to use this information when looking for a way to show them your appreciation.
Listen to Their Feedback
Have an open-door policy that allows your employees to voice their suggestions. Then take their suggestions to heart and implement steps to put them in action, when it makes sense.
If their suggestion isn’t appropriate or you can’t implement it exactly the way they suggested, see if you can come up with a compromise or alternate plan. Or let the employee know why you can’t and encourage them to let you know if they have any other suggestions.
Make Sure Your Breakroom Is Appealing
If your breakroom is dingy and looking worn, it isn’t giving your employees the space they need to truly take a break, let alone how to make employees feel valued. Your breakroom needs to be inviting.
Don’t skip the basics:
- Make sure everything in the breakroom is cleaned regularly
- Make sure the appliances work
- Make sure the refrigerator gets cleaned out once a week
- Make sure the furniture is in good shape.
To make the space more comfortable, consider adding a bulletin board for employees to share information or bring in a bookcase to create a lending library.
Start Showing More Appreciation Today
Now that you have more suggestions on how to recognize employees, start showing them more appreciation today.
Simply saying “thank you” is a great start and doesn’t require any planning.
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