Everyone enjoys feeling appreciated, especially employees who dedicate a majority of their time working for a company. If you are a boss or a manager of your company, you most likely understand the importance of recognizing and displaying gratitude to your employees to support the success of your business. Every company has the overall goal to keep employee turnover at a low rate and a large component of keeping employees working for the long run involves routinely presenting forms of gratefulness.
For employee appreciation to be effective, it all starts from the beginning during the hiring process. Believe it or not, a company that crafts a job description that attracts the attention of potential candidates and generates the action to apply for their open position starts the relationship between a company and its future employee. A job description is more than just a help wanted sign, it is a sales pitch to a possible job seeker to work for a company over the competition. Think of your job description as to how you would get customers to purchase your product or service but instead, you want top-performing candidates to apply for your position and help grow your business. Use your job description to bring insight into your company’s culture and how you treat your valuable employees. Additionally, you have the opportunity to showcase your employee appreciation by featuring your company’s benefits, perks, and furthering your employee skills with educational development.
There are several ways to show employee appreciation and many companies have their own unique approaches that are ideal for their employees and the production of their business. Overall, establishing some kind of effective employee appreciation will benefit your company’s morale as well as support your efforts to being a great boss. We have asked some amazing bosses and managers to share their techniques on how they show their employees appreciation and how well it works for their business.
I own and run a company with about 20 remote employees. Since I don’t have the chance to interact with them on a daily basis, establishing an employee program allows me to show how much I value their work.
The purpose of our employee appreciation program is to publicly acknowledge staff for exemplary performance. Through the program, we want to reinforce particular practices or activities that result in better performance and positive business results. With this purpose in mind, we were able to create these specific goals.
Finally, we make our employee recognition program visible by letting people know that they exist. It’s a part of the onboarding for new employees, and every month team leaders would send reminders to nominate a co-worker whom they think deserves recognition (our criteria is 50% peer rating 50% manager rating).
Of course, we made some previous adjustments to this program. Having it during our first few months wasn’t easy, but through observations and collective opinions of everyone, we are able to build an effective appreciation program.
Bottom line: We know that this program gives every employee the reward they deserve since the system is based on their performances and is graded through our detailed KPIs and criteria.
In Intelevita, we use a Reward System to show our appreciation for each accomplishment being made by our employees. In this system, each employee would be given points for each task that would be completed. The points, of course, differ depending on how big the task or the project that would be claimed by the individual. Upon collecting these points, employees can use them to redeem rewards like free products from the company, gift certificates, a day off, a paid vacation trip, or paid leave.
We started this reward system by focusing more on concrete rewards like gadgets and gift certificates, but upon realizing that they weren’t bringing the satisfactory motivation we were looking for among employees, we decided to level things up and up the game by providing more generous prizes.
We know that we are implementing the right reward system as it helps the employees to have something to look forward to in every accomplishment they are having. This system brings out the best in them and gives them the additional motivation they need to strive more and more.
A simple way I show appreciation for my employees is by saying thank you to each team member every day. Prior to COVID, this meant visiting each team member’s desk to say good morning and check-in to see how they’re doing. During the pandemic, I say thank you for the hard work of our team members through emails, phone calls, and Zoom chats together. It’s a little way to show how much I appreciate the hard work that they put in and to continue to motivate our team to go the extra mile.
During this Pandemic, preservation of cash is critical, so you may not have the luxury of providing bonuses or tangible expressions of gratitude. There is research that simply looking at an employee and using the employee’s name in this sentence can produce a positive reward, e.g., Linda, I appreciate what you are doing to help this company. I know that every day you get on public transportation to show up for work on time is a source of tension. And I want to let you know I appreciate what you are doing. Do not express appreciation via email. It should be done face-to-face or mask-to-mask.
During this Pandemic, you have to show that you are willing to stand on the front lines with your employees. For example, if you own three retail companies, during the Christmas holidays, you should spend at least one morning a week assisting people at the register or attending customers.
At Dr. Brite, our team is very results-driven, and we go to great lengths to hire the best candidates who love their roles and work with integrity. To make sure our employees feel appreciated, we believe in recognizing the results of our team members by giving them random gifts for their accomplishments. For example, one of our team members hit some amazing results with our email marketing, and we got her an Apple Watch. Another team member hit a revenue goal, and we’re designing him a huge plaque that looks like a platinum music award and has his name on it and what he accomplished. Then we hang it in our main office area. We are always coming up with new ways to celebrate all of our employees’ accomplishments and finding new ways to reward them.
In my leadership style, I believe two things make people their best work-self: 1) When they feel heard, (2) When they feel like leadership is being genuine. The way I try to make sure my team feels heard is through daily meetings. We all get together (on Zoom or in-person pre-2020), and we talk about what our priorities we have for the day. We share about what we are doing. Often, someone will mention a hurdle they need to get over, and that typically leads to someone joining their project for the day or all of us brainstorming together. I am a firm believer that daily meetings help remind everyone that we are not alone, we are in this together, and we will succeed together. I also make it a point to reach out to the team members individually to see how they are doing. I want to make sure that they are communicating any issues or concerns they may have instead of suffering silently. But in order to feel comfortable communicating those concerns, they need to know that I am available to listen. Being genuine is more of a leadership style. I believe my team needs to know that I care about them and their career goals in order for the team to run smoothly. So, I am going to tell them when I feel like they could do better, but I am also going to communicate when I think they are doing great. And even most importantly, I will also communicate when I am struggling. They need to know that I don’t think of myself as magic, I too am working to improve every day. Also, bringing in doughnuts (or sending cards during Covid) on Fridays certainly helps remind them that I appreciate them. Of course, our team is not perfect, but I think we have built one of the best work environments possible. We enjoy each other, we listen to each other, and we spur each other on toward greater things. That is what makes a company from good to great.
It would be best if you made time to *listen* to employees – their ideas about work, any personal matters they share that may impact their work (and what reasonable adjustment you could make), and recognize and reward high performance within your authority. Make sure you schedule a time to meet with your direct reports and staff generally to do this and don’t cancel these appointments with them (employees perceive cancellation / no time with you that they are not a priority and that you don’t care/aren’t interested, in them because something or someone else is more important). Also, give feedback on areas of concern constructively and use examples. This may not seem caring to them at the time, but make sure you say you are doing this to set them up for success and grow professionally (caring longer term).
Don’t fall into the trap like some bosses who think caring and being a good boss is all about being nice – only talking about positives, protecting staff from criticism, giving glowing feedback on all their work (even if it’s not that great), pretending you are friends, making promises you can’t keep (like pay rises). While most employees will like this approach, it inhibits their development; it discourages staff from being accountable and responsible and gives them a false and inflated impression of their abilities – which is unhelpful (and not caring or nice longer-term) should they get a new boss or want to move on in their career.
To reward the hard work of our employees, we have a company-wide bonus scheme in place to show our gratitude for all those that act as the driving force behind our success. As well as this, team leaders regularly do shout-outs on our internal messaging system to acknowledge and praise individuals who have reached personal milestones or achieved huge goals in the week, something which is important for boosting morale throughout the entire team. When it comes to showing appreciation for your workforce, it’s worth noting that not all employees respond in the same way to the same form of motivation or rewards. Some people are best motivated by growth potential; some appreciate one-on-one praise, some appreciate being praised in front of others, the list goes on… With that in mind, you’ll have to ascertain which your team appreciates most. Generally, you can judge whether the rewards you’ve chosen are right by assessing the overall mood and levels of happiness among your workforce, keeping tabs on how each individual is performing, and taking a look at whether productivity is increasing. However, your workforce responds to certain forms of praise, it’s important to share employee accomplishments with one another regardless, and I love that this is something we’re all quick to do here at OnBuy.
Employee appreciation is the cornerstone of employee morale. If an employee feels appreciated in their work and their job, they will stand out amongst the crowd when it comes to performance in the workplace. Here are a few things to consider when you want to keep your employees appreciated:
PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES: It’s not easy for employees to find ways to advance in the workplace. It’s always a good idea to make sure that they are given the right opportunities where they can excel and also make an impression on the growth of the company. When they do well in these opportunities, it is important to make sure they are given their due appreciation.
USE THE RIGHT CHANNELS: It’s important to make sure you are giving them their due appreciation in the correct manner. This can range from giving them a simple shout out over an E-mail or sending out a message on the company slack channel. In either case: it is important to make sure that every employee gets their appreciation in a way that not only shows them they are cared for but makes them feel appreciated as well.
I’ve always believed that expressing motivation and showing motivation should be a holistic process, and what I mean by that is motivation and appreciation should be done every day at work. In order to make sure that one’s employee is motivated, companies and employers should create a schedule that gives its employees time to relax, keep their health in check, and be productive. Employers should also be more open to suggestions and even occasional constructive criticism from their employees to create a good rapport and to make them feel valued and heard. Along with the gifts and rewards, employers and senior members should also not be afraid of being vocal with their appreciation. A simple ‘thank you’ and ‘job well done’ can go a long way.
As a professional travel blogger and an entrepreneur and therefore have a great deal of experience in training and motivating employees. Here’s how I motivate and encourage my employees in 2020
Task delegation: In my experience, most workers want more responsibility as it provides them a greater sense of achievement. It also makes them believe that they are trusted enough to be given more responsibilities; thus, they are further motivated to work harder.
Be a leader, not a boss: There are certain differences between a leader and a boss. What I completely refrain from doing is displaying my authority through stringent orders and demands. Instead, I look at my employees as part of my team by helping them achieve certain tasks and objectives.
Give breaks: As a leader, I can’t expect my employees to be working non-stop from 9-5. Short breaks in between are crucial as the human mind is only able to focus for around 40-minutes at a time. An entrepreneur must make sure that workers are well rested as it plays a huge role in motivating them.
Rewards and incentives: Non-financial rewards and incentives can be just as motivating for employees. An employee of the year rewards, vacations, and even acknowledgments of a job well done can go a long way in encouraging employees to work harder.
Money is a tricky motivation, as the company budget has certain limits. If a person receives bonuses for 3 projects in a row due to the outstanding performance and does not receive on the fourth one, it may become frustrating and lead to further demotivation leading us to the opposite effect.
We practice communicating appreciation personally during our retro sessions, sharing the great inputs with all the team members, as public appreciation makes people proud and offer extra paid days-off ( beyond the days in the contract) for employees who showed extra results during the work on complicated projects, or participating in the initiatives that are completely new to the employees, thus requiring more involvement. On the one hand, it also entails expenses from our side, but it works better in the long-run than bonuses because it helps employees to maintain the work-life balance and stay productive for the next projects.
To see whether the motivation is working and to have some more ideas, we monitor their performance and compare the average results with the period after we used a bonus incentive and practice Satisfaction surveys to see what works well and what needs to be improved.