You walk to your desk on a workday morning and find a note of appreciation from your manager waiting for you. How does it make you feel? You feel good that your work has been noticed and appreciated. You might feel motivated to perform even better.
This is the power of Employee Appreciation.
Employee appreciation is a known and powerful tool to manage and motivate people. Organizations today not only have a formal employee recognition program but are continuously refining ways to appreciate the good work done by their employees.
What is Employee Appreciation?
Employee appreciation is the acknowledgment of an employee’s contributions to the organization. The contribution could be in the form of great work or conduct by the employee in achieving an important milestone.
Employee appreciation helps motivate employees, unlocks their full potential, and reinforces desired behavior. Implementing an employee of the month program is a simple yet extremely effective means of expressing appreciation for the good work done by employees. Public recognition of good performance is a great way of motivating employees to perform to their full potential.
Why does Employee Appreciation Matter?
Humans have a natural craving for recognition. Like children crave appreciation from parents and teachers, adults seek appreciation from their employers. When recognized for their contributions, employees feel valued and motivated and are likely to exceed expectations at work.
A study on employee appreciation showed that 37% of those surveyed believed personal recognition would spur them to deliver superior performance.
Another report showed that organizations with formal employee recognition programs had 31% lower employee turnover than those without one. The report further revealed that employees were 2.7x more likely to be engaged in organizations where they felt their work was recognized.
Employee appreciation can benefit organizations in the following ways:
11 Creative Ways To Show Employee Appreciation
You can recognize the good work done by your employees in the following ways:
1. Social Media Appreciation
Recognize employees’ contributions on your organization’s social media channels. The appreciation post could include a picture and a description of the employee’s contribution. It could also include an exciting facet of the person’s work that their colleagues are unaware of. Public recognition of employees’ work acts as a great motivator and fosters a sense of loyalty.
2. Reward Points
You can gamify appreciation by awarding points for each completed task. Employees can redeem their points for paid leaves, remote work days, a paid educational course, etc. Gamification helps inculcate a healthy sense of competition and motivates people to perform at their best, raising the overall level of performance in the organization.
3. Food Rewards
Treating your employees to good food as a reward for their hard work can effectively make them feel valued. For instance, something as simple as ice cream or doughnuts enhances team bonding. The reward could be a gift card for the staff member for a family meal at a fine diner.
4. Surprise Party
A surprise party is a great way to show appreciation. So, next time your team launches a new product or wins an important deal, try surprising them with a party. A public celebration demonstrates that you value the work done; it helps build the team and motivates others to emulate the good work.
5. Health Rewards
Appreciate the hard work put in by your team members with a fitness incentive like a gym membership. When employees are encouraged to adopt healthy habits, it enhances their health and wellness. This, in turn, increases their productivity levels.
6. Monetary Appreciation
Although not the most creative way of showing appreciation, cash rewards are effective. Cash awards can be given for meeting or exceeding goals on a special project or exceeding expectations, even for regular work. An unexpected monetary windfall is a great motivator while also conveying appreciation.
7. Extra Days Off
Employees often walk the extra mile by putting in long hours or taking up extra work. You can reward such efforts by giving them time off to spend with their families or simply using the time to unwind and recharge. Recognizing employees’ extra effort by compensating them for their extra work shows that you value their commitment.
8. Personal Meetings
The impact of appreciation is greater when given personally – especially by a senior leader. Such one-on-one meetings also allow you to gather feedback, thus enabling you to gather information on employees’ feelings toward your organization.
9. Gift Bags
Give employee appreciation that extra edge by including company-branded clothing, coffee mugs, water bottles, etc. In addition, you may even ask employees what they want. Such gifts increase employee loyalty and encourage positive conversations around your brand.
10. Happy-hour Events
Organize happy-hour events by taking your team to a fun restaurant. Another way to express gratitude is by hosting a ‘wine Wednesday.’ However, to foster inclusivity, you must also ensure enough options for teetotallers.
11. Volunteering Opportunities
Allowing your employees to give back to the community will make them feel good. They feel appreciated when the organization gives them time off to participate in events conducted by charities they are passionate about. For better results, allow them to choose a volunteering opportunity or charitable event.
Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day
Traditionally, employee appreciation day is celebrated on the first Friday of March every year. Organizations use the occasion to acknowledge their employees by organizing special events and offering gifts and surprises.
- On employee appreciation day, place your employees center stage; prioritize their contributions over work conversations that otherwise characterize a typical day at work.
- Hosting a company-wide event is another effective way to involve whole organization, improve bonding and promote a sense of belonging.
- You can also plan an annual retreat for the entire organization. Get employees involved in the planning and execution of the celebration. Spruce up the workplace and create a festive atmosphere.
Celebrating employees’ achievements should not be restricted to just a single day. Periodic and regular recognition of their accomplishments is the best way to keep employees motivated and engaged.
As a business owner, you can increase the effectiveness of your employee appreciation program by making it an essential part of your company culture. Appreciation does not necessarily require a grand gesture. Daily acts, like a handwritten note with a simple thank you, are sometimes great for recognizing high-quality work. Remember that appreciation needs to be specific, relevant, and timely. Only then will it be perceived by employees as authentic.
Organizations should also use appreciation to help employees connect to the big picture. Show your employees how the organization values them as individuals and how their work adds to organizational success. This is particularly vital during periods of business growth or transformation. Appreciation reassures employees of their value to the organization and motivates them to continue doing good work.