6 non-traditional (but powerful) ways to appreciate employees
Appreciation | February 22, 2017
Looking for ways to appreciate your employees for their great work? While gift cards, candy bars, and movie tickets can be fun and are used often, many times employees just want to feel appreciated, even if they don’t receive anything. Genuinely feeling appreciated can extend past receiving a gift for good work. Here are 6 non-traditional, but powerful ways to show appreciation at work:
1. Start every meeting for an entire week with a cheer. Rather than diving into business right away, take 5 minutes to celebrate accomplishments and call out employees for their great work.
2. Stop a meeting. Yes, in the middle of the discussion, give appreciation immediately when someone speaks up with a good thought or idea.
3. Appreciate push back. Give appreciation when someone disagrees with an idea or an approach. It shows that different opinions are valued, and you encourage employees to speak up and contribute to the conversation.
Gary was a new employee at a consumer package goods company, and was meeting with executives from the company about a new ad video. The meeting was to decide on what the ending should be for the ad. There were 4 choices, and all of the executives picked the same ending… everyone except for Gary. He spoke up and voiced his opinion. In the end, the company went with the ending the executives wanted, but following that meeting Gary’s boss stopped him to recognize him for speaking up and disagreeing when it was important.
4. Appreciate the family. Employees spend a lot of time at work, away from their families, even sacrificing nights and weekends to meet deadlines. Send a thank you note or small gift to their spouses, kids, parents, etc. to let them know you appreciate their sacrifice. Or invite them to the office to witness a recognition moment for that employee, whether it’s for their years of service or a piece of great work.
Dave was celebrating his 25 years of service with his organization. His two young sons came in to watch the presentation. After hearing several peers speak about the great work that Dave had accomplished over the years, the CEO stepped up to make his comments. He looked directly at Dave’s sons, handed them a job application, and said “if you are anything like your dad, I want you to come work at our company when you get old enough.” Tears flowed and genuine appreciation was felt, not just by Dave, but by his family.
5. Post it. Post a running list in a common area of employee shout outs and accomplishments. Encourage employees to add to it every week. Spend a few minutes one morning reading through them together.
6. Have a meeting. Schedule a time for employees to tell you their ideas: how to improve a process or product, new ideas and innovations, build up the team, etc….and you listen.
True appreciation means feeling valued for your ideas, your opinion, your work, and your sacrifice. Try recognizing your employees in a new way, and see the difference it makes in your workplace and culture.