Your business depends on your employees and you rely on their time and expertise. Life is busy and you may think about how much you value your employees but not actually show them. Once a year, at bonus time, is really not enough, especially if your employees have been working through a difficult time or putting in lots of extra hours.
Recognising your employees doesn’t always have to be about money. In fact, research shows that many employees are made as happy (or even happier) and more productive by other forms of recognition.
Ready to show your employees that they’re appreciated? Here are five creative ways was to show your employees that you noticed their hard work and that you value their time and input:
- The gift of time: Time is a valuable commodity and most of people feel they don’t have enough free time. Give your employees time off during the work day that’s over and above their annual leave. Or consider giving employees a chance to nominate a ‘duvet day’ at the end of a project or quarter – this is a day they can use as they choose to have off from work, without having to offer an explanation.
- Tokens of appreciation: There are loads of ideas on the internet for cost-effective yet clever gifts to give your employees. Just look at Pinterest and you will see a number of ways to make up sweet treats guaranteed to make your employees smile without breaking the bank. For example, add a gift tag stating “Have a break… you deserve it…” to a Kit Kat and leave it on your employee’s desk. Or buy all your employees Lotto tickets or tickets to a show or movie. Or perhaps give them a dedicated parking spot for the month… the list goes on. Token ‘gifts’ don’t have to be big to make an impact.
- Make it public: Recognition can feel even better when it is in a public forum. Praise your employee and their hard work in front of their peers, for example, during a staff meeting or in the company newsletter, or send out a group email to say thank you for all the hard work. This also has the added benefit of boosting team morale and motivating others to do well as they will see that hard work is acknowledged and appreciated.
- Take it outside: Organising group activities outside the office can be a real reward. This will it take your employees away from their desks, allowing them to enjoy their reward without worrying about work. It also shows that you have taken the time to think about and organise a special activity just for them. A group cooking course, an afternoon golf game, a spa visit, a trip to the beach… activities such as these add to the value of the reward and, if they are as suited to the team as they should be, show that you truly care about your employees, their interests, and well-being.
- Let them choose: Sometimes it’s best to let people choose their own reward. Would your employees like a day off? A lunch out? Or a gift voucher to spend as they like? Not everyone wants a cash bonus or a gift card limited to a particular store. And rewards should ideally give the recipient what they want or would enjoy most. Or take it to another level and offer to pay to further your employee’s education with an online or night course of their choice. This will make the reward doubly sweet as your employee’s new expertise will add value to your company while enriching their own lives.
Don’t just assume that your employees know how much you appreciate them. Find ways to show them!