No Small Thanks: 5 Tips for Improving Employee Appreciation

No Small Thanks: 5 Tips for Improving Employee Appreciation

Would you give yourself a gold star for your employee appreciation efforts? If so, hooray! For some managers, however, employee recognition is an occasional thing. The balloons, flowers and cards come out for events like September's National Payroll WeekThanksgiving, or for staff anniversaries. It’s business as usual the other days of the year.

But staff appreciation shouldn’t be limited to these times. For it to have maximum effect, employee recognition can and should take place year-round. Done right, an effective employee recognition program can provide the following benefits:

  • Provides greater motivation to administrative staff members
  • Typically translates to better customer service and increased efficiency on the job due to higher employee engagement
  • Reinforces positive behavior
  • Helps employees feel more connected to the company rather than just someone who receives a regular paycheck
  • Lowers stress levels by allowing team members to focus on positive actions and behaviors

If you can count on one hand the number of times you’ve thanked your staff this year, you might be in need of an employee appreciation primer. Here are five tips that can help you easily incorporate employee recognition into your daily activities so your team receive the kudos they deserve all year round.

1. Make it timely

When employees go above and beyond the call of duty, don’t wait to acknowledge it. The sooner you recognize the achievement, the greater the impact.

2. Consider a variety of options

Cash isn’t the only reward that carries weight. Vacation days, movie tickets and even handwritten cards can mean just as much. Ask employees what type of acknowledgement they find most satisfying to ensure your recognition program remains relevant to them.

3. Scale recognition to fit the achievement

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

4. Track accomplishments

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

5. Build a culture of appreciation

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