As more and more offices across the nation reopen, how we work is changing again. Whether your workplace is transitioning back into the office, going fully remote or trying a hybrid model, make sure your employees feel good about the change by showing some employee appreciation.
The Importance of Employee Appreciation
Not only does frequent employee appreciation help foster a happier workplace, it also increases engagement and productivity among your employees. According to research by Globoforce, employees who receive frequent and recent recognition are more engaged with their work and more likely to feel that their work matters. Plus, workplaces with strong employee appreciation programs tend to have lower employee turnover and a better brand reputation among consumers.
Since employee appreciation can benefit everyone, there’s always a reason to keep trying to build an even more appreciative workplace! Make your employees feel more valued with these impactful ways to show appreciation:
1. Encourage a Recognition-Rich Culture
Employee recognition is most effective when it’s frequent and comes from every direction, meaning workers should be receiving praise from company higher-ups, managers and from one another. Some of the most memorable recognition an employee can receive is from their direct manager. Peer recognition shouldn’t be overlooked either. Encourage everyone in the company to openly share their appreciation whenever possible.
One good way to do this is to have either a team or full company wind-down meeting at the end of each week. During this meeting, set aside time for your employees to share their personal successes and shout out one another for stand-out work.
Another good idea is to have thank you cards in the break room that are available for anyone to use. If some employees are more reserved and don’t want to participate in a public display during a meeting, they can feel appreciated and show appreciation through personalized notes instead.
2. Celebrate Milestones
Take note of your employees’ birthdays, work anniversaries and recent accomplishments and celebrate them! Just make sure you take the individual employee’s personality into account when you make the celebration plans. Outgoing employees might love an office birthday bash, complete with cake and singing. Employees that prefer to fly under the radar, however, might prefer a quieter and more personalized celebration, like a gift card to their favorite restaurant with a card signed by their coworkers.
If you’re working remotely, consider celebrating employees with digital gift cards delivered over email or a virtual happy hour hosted through Zoom.
3. Host Office Events
Hosting regular events for the whole office (plus their significant others, kids and even dogs if the event is outdoors) shows appreciation for their collective work and helps bring the whole team together. An office party, luncheon, educational conference or day out gives everyone an opportunity to get to know one another in a more relaxed environment.
For remote employees, try virtual events and team building activities throughout the year. That way you can save them travel time and only fly them out for the most important office events—the big end-of-year holiday party.
4. Have In-Office Perks
If you’re asking employees to start coming back to the office, make sure the office is a place they actually want to be! Offer in-office perks that make the workday more comfortable, so it never feels like a grind. Have healthy snacks in the break room and splurge occasionally on surprise donuts, pizza or other fun treats.
Drinking water and coffee should always be readily available too! Make it easy for your employees to refresh and re-caffeinate by placing Primo water dispensers around the office and having a Primo hTRIO dispenser at the ready (stocked with a selection of single-serve coffee pods, of course). To ensure your office never runs out of refreshments, consider having Primo pure drinking water and your staff’s other favorite beverages delivered directly to the office.
5. Offer Bonus PTO
After an especially difficult assignment or long work hours, a day off to relax and destress is the best reward. When you recognize particularly hard working employees with extra PTO hours, both they and your bottom line will thank you. Taking vacation time has proven to improve both an employee’s productivity and satisfaction in their job. In general, encouraging a healthier work-life balance among your employees, whether through PTO or work-from-home days or another means, shows you care about them as people, not just as workers.
Even little ways of saying thank you can make a big impact on the workplace culture and employee productivity (and keeping your staff well-hydrated helps too). So now that you know where to start, go show your employees some appreciation!