10 ways to show employee appreciation

Appreciation is free and doesn’t take much time. It could be directed at an employee, a colleague or a manager, but when leaders make the effort to let people know that they are valued, this culture of appreciation tends to spread more quickly.

Building a culture of appreciation comes down to not taking your people for granted, saying thank you and taking an interest in your employees and their growth. Offering gratitude can make a huge difference to your business by:

Improving brand reputation: If you treat your employees well, they could be your best advocates on social media. People like to support businesses that treat their staff well, and quality candidates are likely to apply to work for such companies.

Boosting productivity: If your staff feel that you care, you will see it in how hard they work. Appreciated employees feel invested in the success of a company and you will be rewarded with more effort.

Decreasing staff turnover: Hiring a new employee is time-consuming and costly. Appreciating employees can improve morale, so you might be able to reduce your employee turnover rate by recognising their efforts.

Building Trust: Employees want to feel like their bosses have their best interests in mind. According to a survey from Globoforce, 86% of employees felt they could trust managers who had shown them recognition within the past month.

Here are ten ways your company can show employee appreciation:

  1. Use social media to show your appreciation: recognise your employees on their birthdays and years of service anniversaries, recognise their achievements in both a work and personal capacity via social channels. Each post could include a photo and something that highlights that employee’s contribution to the organisation or an interesting fact that their colleagues and others may not know about them.
  1. Surprise employees with some extra holidays: who doesn’t love some unexpected time off? Maybe some time to do something else besides work? It could be spending time with family, working on a hobby, helping out a charity or a short holiday. It doesn’t have to be routine or regular, but it has the most value when it’s unexpected.
  1. Value your staff’s feedback: gaining feedback, either anonymously of not, around teamwork, leadership, career growth, and so on, on a regular basis allows you to measure movement on any dimension and spot any problem issues that may arise. You could ask: What are we doing well? What do we need to improve? What else is on your mind? This will allow you to understand what your employees really think. It also allows them to feel heard and want to contribute to making your company win.
  1. Organise wellbeing activities: Employee wellbeing is top of the agenda at the moment, and a great way to address this and employee recognition at the same time, is to bring self-care activities into the office. You could organise on-site massages, mindfulness sessions or fitness classes to name but a few for the team. At Corecom the team have enjoyed healthy breakfasts, taken part in team building activities such as inflatable total wipe-out and had team picnics during the summer. We host a Wellbeing Month every January with various initiatives that employees can take part in to begin the year with happiness and healthiness. Employee wellbeing boosts productivity and performance. When feeling well, employees display healthier behaviour and better decision-making and have higher levels of morale.
  1. Make training opportunities central to your plans: Give your employees the opportunity to further their education, send them to a conference, enrol them in an online course, offer tuition reimbursement or give them an opportunity to cross-train with other colleagues to develop new skills. By offering members of staff the opportunity to learn and grow within your company, you’re not only increasing the chance of retaining these employees, but you’re also creating a more skilled and productive workforce that will benefit your business in the future.
  1. Have an employee recognition programme in place: An employee recognition programme allows your company to formally recognise each staff member throughout the year. You could also have separate teams create their own program for recognising their peers on a daily basis. You could have team members provide verbal recognition or take it a step further by giving rewards and incentives to the team members who stand out the most. Consult your employees to determine what type of staff recognition program would be most desirable to them. Research shows such programmes help keep employees motivated, lowers absenteeism, stress and employee turnover, increases job satisfaction and productivity, and improves employee loyalty.
  1. Show you care about your community by sponsoring volunteer opportunities and charitable events: You could, for example, sponsor an event in which your entire team volunteers together. Or, you could give your employees a day off to attend a charitable event that is important to them, or offer to donate to a charitable organisation on your employees’ behalf. They will appreciate this type of reward more if the money or aid is going to a cause they are passionate about, so ensure you include your employees in the decisions of how you will give back.
  1. Host awards and events: there are so many ways you can do this to show you value your staff. One good way to show employees that you appreciate them – and to promote team building – is to host happy-hour events. You could, for example, take your team out to a fun restaurant or bar, or have a ‘Beer Thursday,’ where you stock your office with drinks and encourage employees to relax and mingle at the end of the day (be sure to include non-alcoholic options to ensure everyone feels included). You could host events for the entire company – company events are usually quite popular when doing team-building activities. If you can create a positive, fun and flexible workplace, most employees appreciate the independence of knowing they are trusted to get the work done and feel part of a team.
  1. Plan an annual retreat: If you have the means to do so, plan an annual retreat for your company. Ask staff where they would like to go or what kinds of activities they would like to take part in during the retreat. If the retreat is a success, consider making it an annual event for everybody to look forward to each year. The benefits range from showing your employees you care about them, it gives your team space to reflect, it allows staff to get to know each other better and it reduces stress.
  1. Make a company-wide announcement for each employee’s work anniversary or milestone, thanking them for their continued efforts to your organisation. If you have an in-office team, decorate the employee’s desk with a few of their favourite things to show them they are appreciated. Research has shown how important it is to celebrate anniversaries and milestones: it helps in creating a recognition cultureit improves employee retention rates, it encourages other employees and it helps to attract top talent. Reward your employees for their dedication and loyalty to your organisation by recognising their accomplishments.
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I have seen the challenges that people with protected characteristics face and I’d like to be a part of the population that is fighting for change. I have personally seen benefits from growing up within a diverse friendship group and around a family from different culture backgrounds. I want to encourage people to celebrate people’s differences and to take the opportunity to learn about others and accept them for who they are just as they would like to be accepted themselves.

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