When employees feel appreciated, you’ll notice the difference in their performance. A happy, fulfilled workforce is naturally more productive, collaborative, and supportive. Yet, the opposite can also hold true when your employees feel overworked and undervalued.
Looking for a few simple ways to help your team members know you appreciate the work they do? Today, we’re sharing four useful tips to help you get started!
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1. Recognize the Good
As a manager, it’s all too easy for you to fall into the mindset that bad behavior is the only behavior to recognize. Yes, it is important to monitor employee performance and provide corrective actions when projects veer off-track. However, it’s equally critical to recognize and reward good behavior when you notice it.
The best leaders are those who actively try to “catch” employees excelling. You don’t have to go over the top with a lavish celebration or expensive token of your gratitude. Start by checking out these ideas for employee appreciation and go from there. Sometimes, a simple “thank you” can go a lot farther than you think!
Notice all of the accomplishments your teams are reaching and pay attention to the goals they’re meeting. Express your appreciation and make sure others know about it. Call out workers who are doing a great job, and allow everyone to participate in the celebration!
2. Ask for Their Input
One of the easiest and most effective ways to help your employees feel valued at work is to ask for their input and insights. Don’t simply schedule check-in and listen half-heartedly as they rattle off their pain points and lists of concerns. Listen carefully to what they’re telling you and try to make the changes or updates they suggest, if feasible and appropriate.
Don’t assume that your C-suite leaders are the only ones with great ideas. Your department heads, employees, and even interns are all filled with notions that could make your workplace better. The more open you are to receiving them, the more engaged and connected they’ll feel.
3. Make It Personal
As mentioned, you don’t have to give a tangible gift each time you notice an employee doing a good job. However, when someone goes above and beyond, you should have a system in place to reward that effort.
The only caveat? It shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all type of program. Each employee will their own way they’d prefer to be rewarded, and it’s important to listen to those preferences.
For instance, the working mom might want an extra day of vacation, so she can improve her work/life balance and spend more time with her kids. The entry-level intern may appreciate a bump in that week’s paycheck. Then, there may be employees who do want the attention and thought of an actual gift, such as a fruit basket.
Not sure what your teams would like? Ask them! Send out a simple survey asking each employee which types of rewards appeal the most to them. Then, save those answers and refer to them when it’s time to say thanks.
4. Encourage Professional Development
Want to show your employees that you care? Don’t expect them to stay stagnant in their careers, no matter how comfortable they might seem.
Share opportunities for training and personal development with them as often as possible. From networking meet-ups to large industry conferences, give them a ticket to success, even if it empowers them to grow beyond your organization. The future director of your company could be working down the hall, and all it takes is a little encouragement to give them that drive. Work with them to set long-term goals for the future, and equip them with the tools they need to get there.
Employees Will Feel Appreciated With These Tips
Too often, managers assume they have to pour tons of time and money into intricate employee appreciation programs. In reality, your team members are simply looking to be acknowledged in any way that you can offer. Release the expectation to be elaborate, and simply start recognizing a job well done.
Before long, those small acts of gratitude will have a snowball effect, encouraging your teams to work even harder. Start today and show them you care, one step at a time!