It’s human nature to want to be recognized for their accomplishments, which is why employee appreciation can be one of the most effective forms of motivation in the workplace. Employees feel more connected at work when you go out of your way to show them that you value their contribution to the company.
Expressing your wholehearted appreciation to employees for doing a good job not only inspires them to keep going, but also fosters productivity and loyalty to the company, which makes it a win-win situation for both parties.
The question is: is the culture of employee recognition among companies stronger today than it has ever been? With more than 65% of employees saying that they don’t feel recognized at work, it looks like there’s still a lot of improvements needed in this department.
There are a hundred and one ways you can express that you appreciate and value your employees, but you may want to start with these suggestions:
1. Do public recognition
Employees whose work surpass expectations deserve some moment of fame under the spotlight. Whether you hold an Employee Appreciation Day or a town hall meeting or make an appreciation post on your social network, celebrating your outstanding employees for the whole company or community to see helps in uplifting high performers while setting an example for everyone else to follow. If the recognition calls for it, make sure to document the praise given to a team or individual contributor to refer to on performance evaluations. You can even create certificates so your employees can put the gratitude you gave on display.
Just be clear about the criteria in awarding or recognizing your employees so that others will feel motivated, as well.
2. Give well-thought-out gifts
There’s a powerful message behind getting a personal, well-thought-out present for your employees. It shows that you took the time out to think of giving them something more special to reciprocate their hard work, instead of the more convenient corporate merchandise which bears your company’s logo.
When choosing a gift, consider the recipient’s hobbies, interests, or favorite things, which is a great way to really add a personal touch to the gesture.
3. Support their causes/charities
It’s not uncommon to have employees who are actively doing charity work for non-profit organizations. Do your share by contributing either cash, goods, or your company’s services to their preferred charity, which will hopefully encourage others to also support their co-worker with their own donation or contribution.
4. Offer some time off
When it comes to your most deserving employees, there’s no such thing as too much appreciation, even if it means giving them an extra half or a full day off from work. Allowing them to unwind or relax can have a significant impact on their productivity in the workplace, as well as for their well-being.
This also allows them to come back to work with more energy, enthusiasm, and even brand-new ideas or perspectives.
5. Literally express your gratitude
One of your roles as a manager is to evaluate your employees’ performance, so it’s only natural for your team members to look to you for affirmation that they’re doing things right. A simple gesture of saying thank you can help you accomplish that, as long as it’s sincere and genuine.Some employees find it perfectly OK to receive a short but sweet expression of thanks, while others feel more appreciated when you discuss in more specific terms what they did and how it benefited the company’s goals or performance, as this lets them know which part of their job gives the most impact to the team and the company.
6. Provide opportunities for growth
Ask any recruitment agency in the Philippines—most of them will probably agree that your best employees are often the more competitive players on your team. They’re the type of people who welcome training and cross-training opportunities due to their desire to learn more and gain new experiences.
They are more likely to look at career advancement opportunities as an indication that the company values their abilities instead of having to carry the weight of bigger responsibilities.
7. Consider financial incentives
While monetary rewards aren’t the only way to show your appreciation to your efficient and dedicated staff, they’re not a bad idea either. After all, your employees are working hard for the financial benefits that come with their job. Your generosity as an employer is also something that your employees can be proud of, as it gives the work that they do a greater sense of prestige.
Plus, with cash incentives, they can have the complete freedom or control on how they’re going to spend what they rightfully earned. They can pamper themselves, have a nice meal in a fancy restaurant, go shopping, travel—anything that gives them happiness and satisfaction outside of work.
Giving Back to Your Employees
When you recognize the efforts that your employees put into work, they step up in their respective roles even more because they feel empowered and confident. Indeed, employee appreciation takes only a little work of giving back, but it goes a long way toward making your employees feel that they are truly the most important asset of the company.