Feb 15, 2012

10 Ways to Appreciate and Acknowledge Your Staff

When employees participate in employee engagement surveys, one area that often receives a low score is employee appreciation and acknowledgement.  Staff often express how some managers are quick to point out when something goes wrong, and rarely show appreciation for, or acknowledge, their extra efforts. 

While the expectation is that employees do their job and do it well, there are those times when an employee goes above and beyond, without being asked.  What can you do to help increase employee engagement? Show your appreciation and acknowledge your staff.  Giving positive reinforcement will encourage a higher level of performance.  To get started, touch base with your Human Resources department to see if an employee rewards program currently exists.  If one does not exist, create a line item in your department’s budget for rewarding employees. 

Here are 10 easy ways to show your appreciation:   
  1. Say ‘Thank You’. These two words are underrated, yet they go a long way.  I know a Vice President who always says “Thank you for all that you do”. Her statement tells her staff that she recognizes, and appreciates, what goes into getting the job done and making the team successful. 
  2. Write an email and copy your manager.  Your manager may be far removed from the day-to-day operations of the team.  Loop them in to who is doing what and how well.  Give specific examples. 
  3. Hand-write a ‘Thank You’ note. Yes, it takes a little more time than typing an email, but isn’t your staff worth it? Give a specific example. 
  4. Give specific feedback.  Instead of saying “You did a good job on the project.” give specific examples.  Did the employee manage a difficult relationship? Take on additional tasks to complete the project on time? Use limited resources creatively?  Be specific so the employee knows what your feedback is based on. 
  5. Give kudos in public.  It is always nice to acknowledge an employee during a team meeting.  However, be sure to ask the employee's permission beforehand.  Not everyone is comfortable being in the spotlight.  For some employees, the fact that you have acknowledged them may be the only acknowledgement they need. 
  6. Give something the employee likes and values.  Get to know your staff and learn what they like.  How do you do that?  Ask them, and then listen.  The moment is lost if you buy an employee coffee and a toasted bagel, only to find out they prefer tea and is allergic to gluten. 
  7. Give a spot bonus award.    Check with your Payroll department to see what the tax rate is for bonuses.  If possible, get approval to gross up the bonus amount so the employee nets the full amount.  If that is not possible, be sure to explain to the employee that taxes and other lawful deductions were withheld from the bonus. 
  8. Take the team out to lunch.  Taking the team out to dinner may prove challenging depending on their obligations after work, and may infringe on their time.  However, lunch is part of the normal work day.  Celebrate over lunch. 
  9. Give a gift card.  A gift card that can be used at any retailer or restaurant allows the employee to use it when and how they choose.  Gift cards for specific retailers can be given if you know the employee shops or eats at that establishment.  Note:  Check with your Payroll department to ensure the gift card amount will not be considered taxable income. 
  10. Give movie passes.  Some of the major movie theater chains sell movie passes in bulk at a discounted rate.  Unrestricted passes allow the holder to see new releases as soon as they hit the theaters.  Restricted passes require the holder to wait until a new release has been in the theaters for 10 days or more.    
Acknowledging your staff and showing how much you appreciate them does not have to be a big ticket item.  A little effort often goes a long way.  For a list of creative low cost or no cost ideas, 1001 Ways to Reward Employees is a good resource.    

What are some ways that you have shown your appreciation?

1 comment:

  1. "Say Thank you" - this is so true! It is a wonder what those simple words can do for everyone, from business to employees to teachers. We don't say it enough. It certainly boosts my morale when someone tells me Thank You!

    Thanks for sharing!


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