According to Forbes, recognition is the number one thing employees want in order to stay inspired and produce great work. The best part is – recognition is essentially free! It can come in the form of a formalized employee program or can be as simple as sending a thoughtful email (or better yet, a handwritten note) to your team members recognizing them for their amazing work.
Here are six ways to keep the momentum of National Employee Appreciation Day going month after month.
1. Express gratitude publicly
As we mentioned above, handwritten notes are a great way to express gratitude. But in some cases, showing gratitude in a public manner can go a long way. For example, give deserving employees a shoutout for finishing a large project on time and under budget in your company’s monthly newsletter. Or during a team meeting, give credit to an employee that deserves recognition.
2. Pass the mic
Praising and encouraging your team members can also come in the form of autonomy. When people are given responsibility, they are further motivated to own and complete the project. For instance, have team members present during management meetings and share how they solved a recent problem for your customers, or ask an employee to brief the rest of the team on what they learned after attending a training or industry event.
3. Reward with additional PTO hours or flex time
Handing out extra time-off that can be bundled and used for a half-day or full-day is a reward that we can promise will be in high demand, especially for employees who you know put in the extra hours for a major project. Give them those hours back to show you noticed, and that you care about their well-being and the necessity of reconnecting to themselves, their family, and their friends outside of their job.
4. Keep open lines of communication
Open communication plays a huge role in your teams’ comfort level and shows employees that leadership values their opinion. Asking employees for their feedback can come in many forms. Try weekly 1:1s with managers, employee surveys, or polls using online tools that can help with anonymity.
5. Connect employees to your company’s purpose
Strong company culture directly impacts employee engagement. In fact, according to Gallup, “a strong culture makes employees want to perform better and makes customers want to spread the word about you.” Help employees see the link between their day-to-day jobs and the company’s overall mission to give them a greater sense of meaning, and ultimately, better productivity across the team.
6. Gifts are always welcome
The simplest way to show your employees you value their hard work is to reward them with unexpected treats. For example, bring in cookies at the end of the month or host a happy hour at the office after a successful quarter. Recognizing your team’s dedication with rewards, as simple as they may be, shows you appreciate their time and effort all year long – not just once a year.
Recognition is a crucial part of creating an engaged culture. So important, in fact, that according to a study by Gallup, “Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they'll quit in the next year.” Which is why acknowledgment for a job well-done is powerful and important in the workplace.
We actually wrote a playbook all about the topic of employee engagement. Download your free copy today and get six additional tips for how to build your own employee engagement program.