9 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation All Year Long
There are a lot of ways to show employee appreciation. From quarterly celebrations to celebrating birthdays, you can always find something little to do for your team to say thanks for working so hard. But why limit it to just a few times a year? In fact, why should employee appreciation be limited to just employees? Everyone on your team works hard so below you have some tips on how you can show your appreciation to your employees.
Employee recognition vs. employee appreciation
Employee recognition and employee appreciation go hand-in-hand. Both have a positive effect on employee motivation, engagement, and retention.
Recognition is giving employees the acknowledgment they deserve for doing good work. It is a way of communicating how important employees are to their organization. Recognition programs may include formal programs that give employees an award or certificate or a more informal handshake or pat on the back.
Appreciation is thanking employees for their efforts and showing gratitude for what they do every day. It's the act of expressing your gratitude to your team members. This can be done in a variety of ways: a simple "thank you," an email, an end-of-year party, and more.
Both recognition and appreciation are vital to your business because they help improve employee morale and connect your team's hard work with tangible results. If you have a happy team, there's no limit to what you can achieve as a company!
10 ways to show employee appreciation all year long
1. Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day!
Every year, the first Friday in March is recognized as Employee Appreciation Day. The day was created to recognize and celebrate the importance of employees and their overall contribution to an organization’s success. We know that a positive work environment will result in a highly engaged workforce.
A happy and engaged workforce is more productive, has higher retention rates, and increases customer satisfaction.
Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity for employers to show their appreciation for employees by showing some gratitude to the people who help make your company a success!
2. Employee spotlights and social sharing
A company newsletter can be sent out weekly to share news about employees’ work anniversaries, birthdays, accomplishments, promotions and any other significant personal milestones. A company newsletter can also include announcements of new hires, team building events and other important corporate news.
3. Thank You Notes
Any time an employee exceeds expectations or goes above and beyond the call of duty to help a client or colleague, they should be recognized with a handwritten note from the person they helped. These notes don’t have to be long and involved — just a few lines expressing your gratitude for their effort and whatever it was that they did that was so helpful.
4.Personal gestures or gifts
Sometimes a personal gesture can be the best way to thank an employee. This is particularly true if you're a small business and have built a close relationship with your employees.
You don't have to spend much for something like this, but it does show that you care about your employees.
Here are some other ideas for personal gestures that cost little or nothing:
An extra day off with pay
Assign the employee their favorite task or project, so they feel special (e.g., “I know this isn't the most glamorous assignment, but I know you're passionate about it, so I wanted you to have the opportunity”)
A gift card or gift basket delivered to the employee's home (with a note expressing gratitude)
Making it possible for an employee to participate in an event or activity (e.g., conference or education program)
5. Fewer meetings
In an effort for transparency and to get everyone on the same page, many companies have adopted a culture of meetings, but it’s important to remember that not every discussion or update needs to happen in a meeting. Try to be mindful about how much time you're asking employees to devote to meetings so they have more time to focus on their work and be productive.
6. Have an adventure day
Work doesn't always have to be work. An adventure day can be an excellent way to both reward and show appreciation to employees.
Adventure days can take many forms, from team sports to fitness challenges to picnics in the park. The primary benefit of adventure days is that they inspire teamwork and camaraderie among employees, helping them get to know one another outside of their typical work environment.
What's more, an adventure day is something employees can look forward to and talk about for weeks before it occurs, giving them something positive and exciting to focus on.
7. Supporting a cause together
There are a variety of ways you can support causes together with your employees:
Hold a company-wide volunteer day. Encourage local nonprofits or schools to reach out if they need assistance with projects. Ask your employees which organizations they would like the company to help. Then schedule the whole team to volunteer at that organization on a given day.
Host a swap or "free" shop at work. Encourage your employees and their families to bring in gently used clothes, books, movies, toys and furniture for others in need. Make it fun by offering refreshments, having music playing and providing a space where people can socialize while they shop and swap items.
8. Find a reward program that fits
1.Find a reward program that fits. The best program for your organization doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. It will, however, take some thought and planning. The first step is to find out what your employees value most — whether it's cash, extra time off, company swag, or something else entirely — then structure your rewards around that information. If you're unsure where to start, try surveying your employees to get their thoughts on what would be most motivating.
2.Promote the program in an engaging way. All too often organizations roll out a new recognition program with a half-hearted email introduction and lackluster posters around the office that don't create much buzz. A successful launch happens when you create an environment of excitement about the new initiatives so that employees are eager for them to begin. You can do this by hosting a "lunch and learn" presentation about how the new system works or even throwing a party to announce its arrival.
9. Professional seminars and programs
The benefits of offering professional seminars and programs for employees are threefold. First, this training will improve their skills. Second, it will make them feel valued by the company. Third, it will fulfill their career goals.
We can all agree that it is the goal of any employer to retain the best talent possible. In addition, don’t forget that it’s not only true that happy employees are good for business; it also makes good business sense to be aware of their morale and recognize them appropriately for their efforts.