Employee appreciation is one of the things that a lot of entrepreneurs take for granted. After all, appreciation is something that should be innate and come naturally, which is why you can’t miss an opportunity to show it, right? Well, not necessarily. The art of employee appreciation is subtler than you may assume but there are some methods that can help you use it more effectively. Here are four of them.
1. Investing in the common area
The first thing you need to understand about investing in office equipment is the fact that it A) makes life easier for your employees but B) still feels like something that you do because you are productivity-driven. Sure, your employees may pester you with infinite requests for a new printer but once you finally get it, you’ll hardly get any credit for it.
Things are completely different when investing in the common area. Getting a new TV for the breakroom, a new coffee maker for the kitchen or a new pinball machine for the lobby are all things that can really make a difference. By doing this after a successfully completed project, you can make this feel like a group reward.
2. Award night
One of the reasons you need to stop rewarding people for the duration of their service is due to the fact that you’re not actually rewarding performance or efficiency – you’re simply rewarding perseverance. The problem with this idea is the fact that, while it’s a nice gesture on paper, in reality, it can feel kind of empty, seeing as how the person in question knows that they’ve earned this by not quitting and not getting fired for a full year. Instead, start rewarding the real contribution that they’re making in the company. Every single person in your employ has that one thing that they bring to the table. So, host an award night, order some custom corporate awards and distribute them to those who have earned it.
3. Give them some time off
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that giving people some time off might be a far better reward than you expect. Of course, we’re talking about a single day of paid leave which won’t make their absence in the office felt, nor will it make a disturbance in your budget. Keep in mind that a lot of your employees need some time to recharge their batteries but they may be reluctant to leave their colleagues without proper help or need the money that they would lose from not working. Sometimes, you can even offer them a chance to spend a day or two working from home.
4. Peer appreciation
Every single member of your staff needs some appreciation from their coworkers, which is why, when you want to congratulate them, it might be for the best to do so in front of others. Just keep in mind not to push your praise too far, seeing as how you might get an adverse effect and cause some unnecessary office envy. Like we’ve said before (in the award night section), in order for this praise to be truly meaningful, your employees must feel like they’ve really earned it. Therefore, don’t praise them for unimpressive things, seeing as how you’ll quickly make the gesture meaningless.
As you can see, one of the most important things you need to understand about your employees is the fact that they do not want to get your appreciation – they want to earn it. This way, they can feel accomplished and proud of what they’ve achieved. The biggest problem here lies in balancing out the right amount of praise and the right criterions for this praise. You can’t be too hard to impress either, which is why you need to think this through.