10 Ways to Appreciate Employees
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. It’s such a basic need, the most proactive companies create employee recognition programs to make sure to express employee appreciation – and it pays off! Companies with an “appreciation rich” culture have 31% lower turnover rates, and companies that have employee recognition programs also report 71% higher levels of staff engagement. In the workplace, when a company culture prioritizes employee appreciation, the results show: employees are happier and more motivated, they work harder and more productively, and they’re statistically more likely to stay longer.
The most effective employee recognition programs use a variety of ways to show employee appreciation. That gives more people a chance to be recognized, and it takes into account the fact that different people respond to different types of recognition.
We’ve compiled a list of employee appreciation ideas that are easy to implement and really pay off in the long run. Try a few that fit your company culture and develop an employee recognition program that works for you.
Regular Employee Engagement
Some employee appreciation strategies give team members an occasional boost that isn’t tied to performance or any particular achievement. Instead, these actions are designed to show ongoing appreciation for employees and to build employee engagement.
1. Free Food in the Workplace
Free food is one of the easiest ways to show employees they are valued. Whether it’s a monthly cake to celebrate birthdays or a sporadic pizza party to bring the team together, a little food and fellowship goes a long way. At The Job Post, we hold an Employee Appreciation BBQ to bring staff together and honor the hard work of team members.
2. Paid Perks
Some companies show how much they value employees by investing in their development with free training or education benefits. Programs that take care of employees, like a safety program, also show employee appreciation. At The Job Post, we make a point to visit worksites to monitor safety and working conditions, to make sure team members are working in healthy environments and have the safety equipment they need. Other perks like fitness programs, yoga, or meditation can help employees feel valued.
3. Contests and Giveaways
Giveaways and contests allow all employees to have a chance at rewards. Giving away something as simple as company logo gear on water bottles or soft-sided coolers helps to solidify team membership and sparks enjoyment of the item at the same time. At The Job Post, we like to give team members things they can use like t-shirts and gift cards.
Another option is to hold a monthly drawing for movie tickets, massages, or a coffee shop gift card. To encourage company values, you even create eligibility rules for when employees can put in a ticket or add a ticket in recognition of something they did.
4. Subsidized Transportation Costs
While few employers think of offering reduced or subsidized transportation costs as a potential way to show appreciation to their employees, this can be a much appreciated perk for workers in the right situation. Employers can sign up for the Wheels to Work program, or offer reduced bus tickets, free parking for a set period of time, or gas gift cards. At The Job Post, we have found that employers who offer the Wheels to Work program can access a pool of employees unavailable to those who do not offer the program.
The cost of transportation can pick away at one’s income or even prevent someone from working at all. Since this type of incentive directly affects an employees wallet, its positive impact can be substantial.
Occasional Recognition for Achievements
Individual incentives are a way to show your appreciation for team members and milestones like employment anniversaries. They can also be used for individual or team contributions that go above and beyond normal expectations.
Special cash bonuses can be tied to rewards for length of service or for achieving company goals. Here at The Job Post, we offer a $250 bonus to recognize employees who achieve the milestone of working at a site for 90 days.
6. Gift Cards
Gift cards can be even more effective than cash because cash tends to go through payroll and gets absorbed into the regular budget. At The Job Post, when we see or hear about someone going above and beyond their responsibilities, we offer rewards like gift cards to recognize those extra efforts. A carefully chosen gift card can encourage employees to enjoy rewarding themselves, especially if you choose cards that promote fun experiences like dining, entertainment, or shopping. As a bonus, employees often share these fun experiences with friends and family, which further supports the employer relationship. Another favorite among our employees are Visa gift cards which can be used for anything from gas to catching up on bills.
Low-Cost and No-Cost Ways to Show Employee Appreciation
Employee appreciation doesn’t always require a budget! Low- or no-cost ways can be just as effective, if not more effective, in showing employee appreciation.
7. Employee of the Month
Offer a premium parking space for a month to recognize someone who has gone above and beyond.
8. Bring the Pets
Let employees bring their pet to work if that’s possible, or offer a special reward day when they can bring their pet.
9. Praise Publicly
Give social media recognition on the company page, or a shout-out from the company executive in an internal meeting.
10. Praise Privately
Encourage supervisors to write thank you notes. Sometimes the best way to show appreciation is with an old-fashioned heartfelt statement, whether that’s written or spoken, directly to the employee.
Bonus: Another Way The Job Post Shows Employee Appreciation
Here at The Job Post, people are at the center of our mission. Although we use a number of ways to recognize employees, we find that to really show appreciation, genuine words of affirmation go a long way. We make a point to know people and recognize what they do and how they contribute. They even hired yours truly as a retention specialist. My main responsibilities are to call people to touch base on a weekly basis. This is a good time to offer encouragement and remind them how important they are to us as well as the company they work for. What a great job!
For companies that develop an employee recognition program, the results can be seen in employees who are happier, more motivated, more productive, and more likely to stay.