Our employees literally run our businesses. If it wasn’t for their commitment and hard work, where would our companies be? As employers, we should strive to value and appreciate each and every one of our employees. There are dozens of ways to show employees that you value them, but are they effective? You might show employee appreciation through things like pizza parties and trophies. While these things will definitely spark joy, they don’t do much to truly make employees feel appreciated and valued at their companies.
Bryq has come up with a list of the ten best ways we can think to show employee appreciation not just on Employee Appreciation Day, but all year round!
The Ugly Side of Underappreciation
When employers undervalue their employees, it leads to a ripple effect throughout your company culture that causes devastating effects. If an employee feels unappreciated, they won’t be as motivated to do their best at work. If a company doesn’t value them, why should they give them their all? This upswing in productivity causes companies to lose out on profit and lack innovation. It also does nothing to help with employee retention rates. Why should they stay at a place where they feel tolerated rather than celebrated? A company will not survive in a culture of underappreciation.
It goes without saying that employees who feel valued at their jobs do their best to contribute positively to their companies. Valued employees are happier, more productive, and are far less likely to leave their jobs or look for a new one. It makes sense for companies to ramp up their efforts to make employees feel like they are a valuable part of the company. It’s a huge part of a company’s level of success.
Bryq’s Top 10 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation
1. Be Loud and Proud With Your Appreciation
Don’t just let an employee know that they did a good job. Shout it to the rest of the office, even the rest of the world! Acknowledging accomplishments at team meetings is a great way to do this. If you want to take it one step further, you can make a post on your social media platforms to let everybody know how great an employee is. (Of course, make sure the employee is comfortable with this first!)
2. Employee Benefits and Fair Compensation
Pizza parties are great, but if you polled everybody in the office and asked them if they appreciate pizza or a raise more…I think you’d know what those results would look like. A hard-earned raise really shows how much you value your employees if it’s something you can provide. If not, employee benefits are also always appreciated. These might include things like medical benefits and dental benefits.
3. Time off
Many employees don’t live to work – they work to live. Give them an opportunity to enjoy their time out of the office as much as you can allow them to. Being generous with paid time off will also attract more candidates towards your company. They will be more productive if they don’t feel chained to their jobs.
4. Opportunities for Growth
Giving employees opportunities for both personal and professional growth is something that they really appreciate. It’s not just a one-and-done display of employee appreciation. By giving them opportunities to grow, you are telling them that you value what they bring to their roles and you want to see them even further their potential. Growth opportunities might include workshops, leadership training, certificate programs, and even tuition reimbursement. If you give them the opportunity to grow, they’ll want to continue growing at your company.
5. Emphasize Work-Life Balance
So many employees feel like they are always at their jobs. Our global work culture has normalized working outside of office hours and unrealistic expectations. To show employees that you care, emphasize how much them having a work-life balance means to the company. Setting professional boundaries on communication outside of working hours is a great step. Additionally, introduce flexible working hours and remote work/hybrid office options to your employees. If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic it’s that employees really care about this. It also prevents burnout and might even save you some money!
6. Feedback is Fundamental
Feedback is a really underutilized tool in expressing employee appreciation. Employees really enjoy being able to give feedback about issues they’re having in their workplace. Give employees opportunities to give feedback through 1-on-1s and pulse checks to make sure they are happy. The most important part of feedback? Taking it seriously and acting on feedback by implementing change.
7. What Can You Do? Follow Through.
This one is self-explanatory, yet managers have a hard time getting it right. Hold yourself accountable for things you promise by following through on what you say you’ll do. Promotion? Follow through. Feedback? Follow through. Raise? Follow through. “Forgetting” to do these things makes employees feel extremely undervalued and unheard. It’s one of the worst things you can do to help with employee appreciation.
8. Be Human
When it comes to celebrating employees, the best thing you can do is recognize that they are individual people who have lives outside of the office. It’s great to celebrate work achievements, but it’s even better to celebrate personal ones. Celebrating things like a new marriage, having a child, or even adopting a dog are all wonderful things you can do to show your employees that you care about them. They aren’t just Employee #382! Their name is Janet and they just finished a triathlon. Let’s celebrate that!
9. Involve Them in the Important Discussions
Is there a better way to show employees that you value them by involving them in important conversations at work? Save employees a seat at the table and allow their voice to be heard when discussing things like policy changes and diversity – especially if they belong to an underrepresented group (BIPOC, LGBTQ+, female, person with disabilities, etc.) Allowing employees ample opportunity for their voice to be heard is ever so important.
We saved the most effective and the easiest way to show employee appreciation for last. Nothing is better than a sincere and friendly “thank you”! But saying those two magic words alone isn’t enough. Be specific about what you’re thanking them for, and let them know how much their hard work and the effort they put into their job means to you.
Employee Appreciation: The Gift that Keeps On Giving
Employee appreciation is the backbone of your business. Without happy employees that feel respected and valued, who is going to run your company? Appreciation sounds like it’s easy enough, but in order to really show employees how much you value them you really do need to put in the extra effort. Building a culture that places a high emphasis on employee appreciation and employee development will result in improved employee retention, higher levels or productivity, and a better profit margin. More importantly – it’s just the right thing to do.
So continue to appreciate your employees not just today after reading this blog, but every day of the year. They deserve it!