9 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation
Lack of recognition at work is among the top reasons employees seek out other job opportunities. Despite this, many organizations fail to recognize employees outside of performance reviews and annual years of service awards that leave team members feeling unappreciated day-to-day.
1st of March, 2023
Employees Recognize the Importance of Feeling Appreciated
When it comes to increasing productivity and improving workplace morale, showing employee appreciation goes a long way. According to research by OGO, 82 percent of employees feel their supervisors don't recognize what they do for the company, while 40 percent say that they would put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.
Employee recognition is also tied to confidence and respect. A survey recently conducted by Survey Monkey indicated that 68 percent of employees believe that public recognition impacts their ability to get promoted, while 32 percent believe it improves their relationship with their colleagues.
One way that employers are recognizing employees is through employee recognition software that can be installed within their company portals. Many of these systems offer physical rewards or gift cards for employees who have been recognized for their achievements.
However, while gift cards and bonuses are nice – and important, investing some of your limited time and attention could mean much more. Your employees want to be heard, recognized, and understood for the unique human beings they are.
So, how can you show your employees you really appreciate them? Let these ideas get your creative juices flowing. All of these suggestions take a little time and in some cases a little cash, but the rewards of an improvement in the workplace morale will be worth it.
1. Help Your Employees Find and Build on Their Strengths
Take the time to conduct a private, 20-minute meeting dedicated to discussing their career goals for the next five years. By listening carefully, you will have an opportunity to show your appreciation for their contributions plus gain priceless information on their individual strengths that will help when assigning projects.
At the end of the meeting, be sure to voice your gratitude for their service to the company, mentioning specific facts to reveal you know of, and appreciate their contributions at work. You can also use the information you gather about your employees’ goals to help create mentoring programs to connect your employees to those that have met those same goals. When you help your employees achieve their goals, everyone wins.
2. Incorporate Employees’ Values into the Workplace
According to Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, employees want work that fulfills their desire for meaning and purpose. Conduct a survey to gather suggestions for improving the workplace, but don't stop there. Ask about charities they would like to support, either in volunteer hours or as a fundraiser, or events such as a 5K your team could attend as a group.
These can be excellent opportunities for team building inside or outside of the office. Don't forget to follow up to let your people know the results of the survey, and then take action.
3. Ask for Suggestions
Sometimes the best way to ensure your employees are being provided with the incentives they really want is to simply ask! Start by creating a simple contest for employees to submit their ideas for how they would like to be rewarded or incentivized. Narrow down the suggestions to the top 3 or 4 feasible ones and then hold a vote, giving credit to the employee who originally suggested the
4. Recognize Creative Talents That May Not Be Appreciated within the Work Setting
Are your cloud developers and Linux administrators moonlighting as graphic artists, yoga instructors, or musicians? Let their talents shine for all to see by setting up appropriate showcases, such as a group talent night. Another way to showcase your employees’ talents is to publish an "employee newsletter" with photos and articles featuring each member of the team at their best. Take the opportunity to highlight employees for achievements outside of work so that team members can get to know each other in a different light.
5. Increase Employee Engagement through Social Media
You can use social media to make your employees feel special with “shout-outs” for their talents and achievements inside and outside of the workplace. According to a recent survey by Sprout Social, 76 percent of social media users think it’s important to post about your employees. Use social media to highlight your employees’ major milestones at work, such as promotions, work anniversaries, and awards, as well as outside of work such as family additions, achievements, or community service activities.
6. Empower Employees to Appreciate Each Other
Appreciation doesn't just have to come from you, the employer or manager – according to OGO, 43 percent of employees want more recognition from fellow employees. Including peer-to-peer recognition in an in-person or remote environment can boost productivity. It also helps work from home employees feel connected, engaged, and valued.
When asked in an interview with Forbes, Debbie Connelly, Chief People Officer At Hyland Software said, “Successfully recruiting and retaining skilled tech workers will be a top priority for companies in 2023…Purposeful, virtual connections will be key in 2023. Companies will look to accomplish this by emphasizing employee recognition and appreciation.” Peer-to-peer recognition not only encourages team bonds, but also boosts employee morale.
7. Cultivate a Company Culture of Appreciation
Look around your company space. What are some areas that you could update or improve to increase employee morale? The physical layout of the office can have a significant impact on its culture. Consider whether separate office spaces or cubicles are the best setups for your space. Open floor plans encourage collaboration and are also more visually appealing for employees. These small updates can show your employees you are thinking of their needs.
If you have access to company swag, you can offer it as prizes for employees that deserve recognition. Does your company have an employee of the month? A free, but also invaluable show of appreciation is to set up a special parking spot near the front of the building for that employee to use during the month.
8. Provide Professional Development Opportunities
Show your true appreciation by rewarding employees with the opportunity (time off and funding) for professional development – even if it means they might use the skills they gain to leave your group or company. A Gallup study found that 87 percent of employees feel that professional development is important for a job. Helping your employees set and achieve their career goals is one of the most valuable ways to show your appreciation.
9. Write Professional Recommendations or Endorse Your Employees on LinkedIn
Take some time to write your employee a thoughtful recommendation or endorse their skills on LinkedIn. While (at least you hope!) they may not be actively seeking new employment opportunities, a special endorsement from a leader in their workplace may be of high value to them outside of primary job opportunities. When you take the time to recognize your employees’ hard work on a public platform, you will be seen as an employer who truly values your employees.
3 Keys to Employee Recognition
Meaningful. Respectful. Fun.
According to the recent survey by Acumen, 85 percent of companies that spend 1 percent or more on recognition notice a positive impact on engagement. Whatever you do to celebrate and appreciate your employees, make it meaningful, respectful, and fun. They will respond with greater respect for you as a person and for the company.
And remember, don't confine your displays of appreciation for employees to one day each year. Spreading recognition throughout the year can make a more meaningful impact on your employees, and you may discover that demonstrating sincere appreciation for those who work for you becomes a gift that you give yourself.
At Akkodis we focus on connecting your skills and intelligence to top IT and engineering opportunities. By partnering with us, you can enhance the employee experience at your company. Get in touch with us today to discover the possibilities.