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It is a sad truth, but all too often, employees hear only from the boss when they mess up or when it is time for the dreaded performance appraisal.
Employees should receive feedback more often about what they are doing right than what they are doing wrong.
Emphasizing positive behaviors can reinforce them and, in doing so, can minimize negative behavior patterns.
Employees are continually being asked to do more with less, which means work environments need to be positive and nurturing – if the goal is to meet corporate objectives.
Managers need to pay attention to front-line employees and do what they can to be a source of encouragement and support.
Research shows that employees find personal recognition more motivating than money.
This is evidence that employees appreciate the personal touch – thoughtfulness and recognition show genuine appreciation for a job well done.
Motivating and engaging employees can often be as simple as talking to them.
For instance, when you let employees in on new things that are coming for the organization, you can help get them excited, and the gesture makes them feel like they are an active part of the organization.
17 Ways Managers Can Show Employees Appreciation
1. Share positive feedback. If you hear a positive comment about an employee, follow up and thank the employee.
2. Have coffee with an employee. Schedule time to have coffee with an employee and just chat. Show an interest in them and ask them questions about their personal life. Employees like to know that someone genuinely cares about them.
3. Acknowledge life events. Take the time to acknowledge personal events in an employee’s life – wedding, the birth of a child, death of a loved one. This communicates that you are paying attention and genuinely interested in them.
4. Assign reserved parking. Reserve a special parking spot close to the door for an employee who performs well.
5. Give a day off with pay. Reward a job well done with a day or half-day off of work – with pay.
6. Highlight an employee on the website. Designate a page on the company website and share personal stories about employees. This does two things: it recognizes the employee but it also personalizes the website for customers to see into the heart of the organization.
7. Give a long lunch break. Allow a good-performing employee to take a long lunch hour to shop or run errands.
8. Employee photo on the website. Feature a stand-out employee and use the employee’s picture on the company website.
9. Ask employees to participate in training videos. Reward employees by asking them to help create a training video for customers or other employees.
10. Specialized training. Send a high-performing employee to specialized training that would interest them.
11. Acknowledge employee kids’ birthdays. Send a gift home for an employee’s child’s birthday.
12. Use first name. Don’t forget the magic of using someone’s first name – “Thank you, Vicki, that was awesome how you handled that angry customer today.”
13. Be friendly. Say hello to employees as you pass them in the hall or lunchroom. Don’t forget to use their name.
14. Recognize good ideas. Acknowledge an employee’s good idea at a public meeting with other employees. “We are using Steve’s idea for an expedited shipping process for our customers.”
15. Get employees involved in planning. Involve employees in planning meetings and incorporate their ideas into the decision-making process.
16. Thank employees. Use a notecard to write a personal thank you note to an employee. An email is better than nothing, but a personal handwritten note is something that employees appreciate and often keep.
17. Public acknowledgment. Publicly acknowledge an employee’s personal accomplishment at a staff meeting or other gathering of employees. This could be acknowledging completion of a degree program, holding a position on the PTA, or volunteering with a nonprofit organization.
The closer the acknowledgment/reward to the behavior, the more likely the employee will repeat that desired behavior.
These are just a handful of countless ways to show appreciation to your employees.
Meet with your leadership team and brainstorm ideas and creative ways to show employees how thankful you are for everything they do.
Just remember, employees yearn for acknowledgment, acceptance, and affirmation.
Schedule time to show your care and appreciation to employees and watch their engagement and performance improve!