Four Ways to Show Employees They Are Appreciated
March 6 is Employee Appreciation Day, and if you’ve got people working for you, it’s worth taking the time to show them how grateful you are for their efforts on behalf of your small business. Truth be told, your dedicated staffers deserve more than just one day each year when the focus is all about them. The better those people feel about where they work, and who they work for, the more likely they are to go the extra mile.
Everyone likes earning a healthy salary, but research has shown that financial rewards aren’t the only factor when it comes to fostering long-term motivation among workers. Try out one (or all) of these four ways to show how thankful you are for the hard-working people who keep your business humming.
Be understanding about schedules and commutes
Offering employees the opportunity to work flexible hours and, when appropriate, to telecommute, are two great ways to show trust, understanding and appreciation. Whether it’s allowing the parent of a young child to come in late or finish early so they can save on daycare costs, or letting people change their hours in order to avoid the height of rush hour traffic, schedule flexibility is a simple benefit that’s often worth far more to employees than a raise. The same is true when it comes to telecommuting, which you might want to offer as a reward for a job well done rather than a regular perk. For people whose punctuality and reliability are beyond reproach, show them you care with a monthly transit pass, a gift card for gasoline or access to a premium parking spot.
Provide some perks
Make the office more than just a workplace by improving it and hosting events for your employees. If space permits, create a break room where people can go and rejuvenate themselves by chilling on the couch and watching a few minutes of TV, or just enjoying a complimentary cup of tea or coffee. Maybe you want to have a ‘quiet room’ where people can spend a few minutes unwinding with some relaxing music. Perhaps your team would prefer a workout area with weights, stationary bikes and treadmills. You can also arrange to bring in outside specialists every so often to provide services such as massages, yoga classes or spa treatments. Getting relief for aching muscles or mingling over manicures will make your employees feel fantastic.
Break bread together
It’s no secret that eating with people is a great way to break down barriers and connect on a more personal level. And research has shown that 60 percent of workers consider free food a sure sign they’re held in high esteem. A catered company lunch or dinner is a superb situation for your staff to unwind and interact in a stress-free environment, building bonds that will benefit everyone when it comes time to get back to business. With everyone in the same room, it’s also the perfect opportunity for you to make some remarks about achievements and upcoming events, while singling out worthy people out for praise and recognition in front of their colleagues.
Little things means a lot
Small gestures that don’t cost a dime can go a long way towards making your employees feel truly valued and appreciated. No matter the size of your staff, learn everyone’s names and make sure to use them. Be open and generous with your gratitude. Give pointed, specific compliments for a job well done, explaining why a particular person’s work was meaningful and what the positive outcome for the entire business will be. Write and send ‘thank you’ emails to those who’ve gone above and beyond, and CC their superiors. Be a great listener. Take the time to learn a little more about your employees, from family details to goals and dreams, and do what you can to help them advance in their careers. Keep your office door open as much as possible and invite people in for occasional informal chats. Your employees will be more motivated if they feel like they work with you, not just for you.