How to Thank Your Staff? Count the Ways

By Robert Half on November 5, 2016 at 9:00pm

Would you give yourself a gold star for your staff recognition efforts? If so, hooray! Odds are, though, there are more ways to thank your staff than you’re doing now.

Did you know that feeling appreciated is one the biggest drivers of happiness for professionals? You can read about that in Robert Half's first-of-its-kind study, The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees.

A recent Accountemps survey shows 63 per cent of Canadian accounting and finance professionals are happy with their supervisors, but almost a third of the respondents said they could use some more recognition.

If you can count on one hand the number of times you’ve endeavored to thank your staff this year, you might be in need of an employee appreciation primer. The main thing is to show gratitude for a job well done and announce accomplishments to boost morale.

Check out the 12 tips we’ve compiled to help you give your recognition efforts a boost.

1. Make it timely

Don’t wait to thank your staff members until they go above and beyond the call of duty. Express your gratitude in person or with a hand-written note or thoughtful email. The sooner you acknowledge the achievements of those you supervise, the greater the impact.

2. Make it personal

It’s good to keep in mind that not everyone enjoys the public spotlight. Get to know your staff members ahead of time to determine what type of acknowledgement they'd find most satisfying.

3. Say it with food

One way to give thanks is to keep the company kitchen stocked with your staff’s favorite snacks or beverages as a daily reminder of your appreciation. Also consider hosting a thank-you lunch to honor the achievements of team members.

4. Offer monetary recognition

If your budget allows, look for opportunities to provide additional compensation through a pay increase.

Visit the Accountemps’ Salary Centre, where you'll be able to adjust salaries for different accounting and finance positions in your city with the Salary Calculator, and get a copy of the Salary Guide.

5. Hand out a reward

Cash isn’t the only reward that carries weight. Vacation days, movie tickets and gift cards to coffee shops can show you made an extra effort.  

Here are some of the popular employee appreciation gifts that businesses may want to consider.

6. Publicize achievements

A heartfelt “thank you” may be enough for smaller accomplishments, but truly outstanding performance should be acknowledged more ceremoniously.

Give your standout employees a shout-out at a staff meeting or company gathering, and feature them in department-wide emails or corporate newsletters.

7. Track accomplishments

Take note of employee achievements so you can highlight them during feedback sessions and performance reviews.

Find out if your performance reviews are as effective as they can be.

8. Build a culture of appreciation

Praise from colleagues is often as meaningful as a nod from a manager. Be sure to support a workplace culture that encourages members of your team to commend each other openly for a job well done.

9. Provide leadership opportunities

Another way to thank your staff members is to give them the chance to lead a meeting or training. Also asking a valued employee to mentor others sends a vote of confidence and positive recognition.

10. Offer flexibility when feasible

Flexible scheduling and occasional telecommuting can be great ways to thank your staff, if it will work for your business.

11. Give them a promotion

A job promotion or updated title can also be a powerful recognition tool. While not everyone shares the same career path, look for opportunities to amplify an employee’s stature through a title change — such as the addition of “senior” to a title.

12. Support their goals

Help them with goal setting, and consider offering reimbursement for participation in industry conferences or for subscriptions to work-related publications. You could also offer tuition assistance for courses that will help them with their jobs and subsidize the cost of exams that will help them attain professional certifications. 

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