Taking time to appreciate employees is one of the most overlooked tools of quality management. Recognition is one of the most important aspects of any employee’s day-to-day life, and yet so many businesses fail to recognize this. Office Vibe reports that the number one reason people leave their jobs is because they feel unappreciated, and that simply having a manager recognize an employee’s performance increases their engagement by nearly 60 percent. Here’s a a look at just a few of the best ways to show your employees you recognize their efforts, as well as a few mistakes to avoid.
Lunch on Us
Giving an employee or your whole team a chance to enjoy a meal on you is a great way to recognize their hard work. At the end of a project or campaign a little celebration is usually in order but you can do so much more than just have a paper sign with the words “Free Donuts” in the break room. Consider giving your employees an extended lunch hour or early end-of-day and taking them all out yourself, injecting your presence and personalizing the gift. Alternatively, you can offer an employee an extended lunch and let them treat their family or friends to a meal on you. This option is especially nice for that employee who has had to pull long hours on project that has kept them from fulfilling familial or social obligations, and shows you appreciate the human element of your employees’ lives.
Often it’s the little things that make all the difference, and gifts come in many shapes and forms. A long standing favorite is the gift basket, which can be tailored to each employee’s interests and tastes with the help of the right service. Additionally, you can bring in services to brighten your employees’ day, such as a car detailing service that will wash everyone’s car right in the parking lot or even an on-site massage therapist. Rewards like this are the sort of thing that employees remember, so always be sure to take giving a gift seriously – too many times, an all-too-clever manager chooses a “funny” gift, which cheapens the reward and can even make an employee feel like the butt of a joke.
Send Them Home
Sometimes, the best way to reward an employee for a hard day’s work is by sending them home. Offering an extra vacation day as an incentive for hard work can motivate employees to buckle down and push hard on a project, but be sure to be fair – if employees notice that someone is working a four-day work week regularly, it can cause resentment. Alternatively, you can show your appreciation for your employees by offering them a more flexible schedule, in which they can work from home or remotely once in a while or even regularly. Being flexible leads to happier employees.
Say Thank You
Sometimes, the best way to recognize an employee is to walk right up and thank them. Oftentimes, we think we are too busy to drop everything and make time to personally thank the people that work hard for us, and the truth is that many employees think the same thing. Simply saying “thank you” can have a powerful effect on the recipient of that gratitude. Blackhawk Engagement Solutions points out that organizations with higher-than-average levels of employee engagement had 27 percent higher profits and 38 percent more productive employees than those with average or below-average engagement. Simply making the effort to do or say something personally grateful can make a huge difference. Defeat expectation and proclaim your appreciation.
What are your favorite employee appreciation ideas? Please continue to add to this list by sharing in the comments below.