Is employee appreciation a priority for your business?

By Robert Half 6 March 2020

People don’t outgrow their desire to receive praise from those around them, particularly those familiar with their work.

Regularly praising your staff for a job well-done can do wonders in terms of employee morale and retention, but just handing out compliments may not be the way to go.

Even small gestures, such as a handwritten thank-you card or cupcakes can make a difference in how an employee feels about your company’s recognition habits.

In recognition of Employee Appreciation Day, here are some tips on what to avoid when it comes to recognising your staff, and how to go above and beyond to make your employees feel appreciated in their roles.

Employee appreciation mistakes to avoid

A colleague just came through for you in a big way and you want to thank them for their hard work. Showing gratitude is great, but it’s easy to goof it up and send the wrong message.

Don’t overwhelm them

Recognition doesn’t need to be extravagant to be effective. Small, everyday things like saying “thank you” or giving credit for good ideas can be powerful.

Don’t underwhelm them

The form of recognition should fit the degree of achievement. Sending an office-wide email for their five-year anniversary, for example, sends the message the milestone is insignificant.

Be specific

Just telling a coworker that they did a good job is too generic. Properly give thanks by tying acknowledgments back to specific actions so people know exactly what they did well.

Recognise all involved

Although some workers naturally gravitate toward the limelight, don’t forget to also celebrate unsung heroes who help behind the scenes.

Going above and beyond

Don't be afraid to get creative when it comes to saying thanks! Here are some simple ways managers can make an impact with employee appreciation:

Award them

Nominate staff for external or internal accolades, such as “employee of the month.” Company awards may come with enviable prizes like a reserved parking space.

Encourage professional development

Reimburse employees for participation in industry associations and conferences. Also consider giving them subscriptions to work-related publications.

Give a little

Everyone appreciates tangible awards. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean your staff appreciation efforts have to break the bank to make an impact. Rewards such as a gift card to the local coffee shop go a long way and cost relatively little.

Look into monetary rewards

Few things have a bigger impact than extra pay. So provide spot bonuses, raises and other financial rewards if budgets allow. You may decide to save this type of employee recognition for only the most exceptional of achievements, so establish criteria that separate outstanding effort from other activities.

In competitive markets, good employees often have ample occasion to find new and potentially better opportunities.

Giving them due recognition and making them feel appreciated can sometime make the difference between them sticking with you or joining forces with your competition.

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