Letting your employees know that you appreciate their hard work should be an expectation, not a mere suggestion. Expressions of gratitude signal to your employees that you, as their superiors, see and value their contributions to the company.
Aside from eliciting positive responses from your team members, showing gratitude also boosts employee morale. This encourages them to be productive and attentive, ready to take on the challenges of the workday because they understand that their efforts are not in vain.
However, expressing appreciation is not as simple as a “Thank you.” Whether you are a small business owner or the leader of a corporation, you must understand that it is through the combined efforts of the individuals in your organization that you are able to succeed.
Here are some of the best ways to show your employees that they matter to your company:
Creative Ways to Thank Your Employees
There is no one correct way to appreciate the efforts of your team, but these are some great ways that they are sure to enjoy.
Offer financial incentives.
Everyone enjoys having a little extra to spend on things they enjoy. Reward employees for their work by giving small gift certificates to well-performing ones. Choose gift cards from brands they would appreciate, such as popular coffee shops, restaurant chains, and grocery stores.
To encourage them to bring their A-game for your projects, offer performance bonuses. You can distribute these at the end of every quarter, before the start of the new year, or even once a campaign concludes using digital Visa cards that they can access remotely.
Bring food to work or send care packages.
Recognizing your highest-performing employees is vital, but you should also take time to appreciate your team as a whole. Surprise on-site employees with breakfast, lunch, or even snacks to help them gain energy for the rest of the workday. Celebrate relevant team occasions, including employee birthdays and successful client acquisitions, with your staff, too.
For remote teams, send packed meals to everyone’s personal addresses and come together for a conference call to celebrate your milestones with each other. You can also send employees care packages with items they can use at home as a simple token of thanks. The pandemic is uniquely tough for employees, so these small shows of concern are necessary for a remote team.
Develop a rewards program.
Different employees will have different ideas for rewards that they prefer. Turn your reward system into a game that employees can volunteer for.
For example, have a scoreboard where certain tasks are equivalent to a certain amount of points. They can then redeem the points they earn for perks, including things as small as free meals and snacks and as big as donations on their behalf to a charity of their choice or an afternoon off from work.
Turning your rewards into a game that they actively take part in adds an element of fun into their everyday tasks. It also gives them greater control over the perks they receive.
Hear out their concerns.
Here is a tough pill to swallow: your actions to show appreciation will mean nothing to your employees if they do not feel valued by the organization on a normal day. Words of encouragement and gratitude do little if people are generally unhappy at work.
Many times, the best way you can show your employees that you appreciate them is by asking them how your organization can improve. Give them avenues to share their feedback and suggestions and take action where appropriate. A superior can personally discuss with employees, or you can send them an anonymous online feedback form if they are more comfortable with that.
Regarding the questions you should ask, keep them simple. A straightforward Start Stop, Continue usually gives them enough room to express their thoughts and recommendations for the company.
Your Words Still Matter
But while actions do speak louder than words, words still hold weight. Do not withhold praise from your team members, especially when they did well on something. Make sure to mention employees by name when you thank them to make your statements more sincere.
When you are working remotely, mention people in your work messaging channels and talk about what they accomplished. You can even turn this into a habit by designating one day of the week as one in which you celebrate employees with exemplary performance.
The best way to assure employees that you truly see their work and acknowledge their efforts is to have your words and actions work hand in hand with each other.