Even though many times we are now considered an instant gratification society, how many times do you (as a boss) show gratitude to your employees? What do you do for them to recognize that you understand that they’re busting their butts – or that they’re showing great progress, or are doing a really good job?
It can be as small as a “thank you” at the end of the day when they leave the office, or you can go bigger. There are a lot of companies out there that offer “employee appreciation gifts” – but that’s so 2000. These days it’s all about personalization and fun. Even in a bigger company, you should get to know your employees as people and not just as keyboard monkeys or corporate robots.
Yeah, really – gift baskets. You may be thinking that gift baskets these days are quite stale, stuffy, and even more corporate than the generic gifts you find online. But not if you throw in a dash of humor – include their favorite beverage of choice at the office (though none of the alcoholic kind) and remedies for the things that you always hear them complaining about – if they always talk about how their back hurts, get them a handheld massage (you know, one of those ones that looks like a futuristic spider) – or if they’re known as the office enforcer, always keeping people on task – include a miniature baseball bat, if they’re the office gossip, get them a megaphone…and the list goes on.
Now, these don’t have to be monetary upgrades, but if it’s deserved, an out-of-the-blue raise can really floor your employee…but these are smaller things, like if they’ve been talking about how their computer has been running really slow, upgrade their RAM or buy them a new system – if you have seen them lusting after an ergonomic keyboard or a standing desk, do it.
Lunch on You
It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive way to show appreciation to your employee(s) of choice, but don’t underestimate the power of a free lunch. And if you take them and actually sit down, speak with them and get to know them, it validates the investment of the employee in the company – it lets them know that as much as they are investing themselves in the company, you’re taking the time to invest in them as well.
These are some very specific (and often quite big) ways to show employee appreciation for a specific action or event, but here are a few ideas on how to show employee appreciation on a regular basis at your company:
- Make a habit of randomly showing your appreciation for your entire staff, whether its breakfast on Fridays or a casual office environment, or cupcakes on a Wednesday afternoon.
- Make a habit of saying “thank you.”
- Create fun traditions around holidays and birthdays.
All in all, creating an atmosphere like this and actively rewarding progress creates a company and an environment that lends a feeling of greater satisfaction and reward for your employees, which makes them more likely to stick around and cultivate strong loyalty to you.
About the Author: Amy is a freelance writer who frequently works with Saratoga Gift Baskets, a company that offers employee gift baskets, among many other completely customizable options. She hopes that everyone works in a rewarding environment that recognizes their contributions.
Image: woodleywonderworks / Flickr