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Employee Appreciation 101: The Basics of Staff Recognition

You rely on your staff to keep your business humming along. So how often do you recognize their efforts?

Studies show that employees who feel appreciated are more productive and engaged. Regularly recognizing employee contributions boosts morale, increases staff retention, and builds your company's culture and reputation.

If you could use a refresher course in Basic Employee Appreciation, or if you're just getting started with an appreciation program, consider these five tactics.

Just Say 'Thanks'

Do you ever thank your team for a good day's work as they walk out the door? Offering a few words of thanks is an easy – and free! – way to show staff you noticed their hard work.

Even better, be specific with your praise. For instance, "You really handled that difficult customer well today. Thanks!" or "Our client complimented the thoroughness of your presentation. Nice job!"

According to Indeed, a written thank you note is a great option "when you can't show your appreciation right away or when the magnitude of the accomplishment deserves more than a quick 'congratulations.' Take the time to write a personal note or an email that conveys your genuine appreciation, including recognition of their hard work and acknowledgment of their professional growth."

Feed Them

Who doesn't like free food? Bring in morning coffee and donuts once a month. Schedule a food truck visit. Host an after-work happy hour. From a fresh fruit and bagels breakfast to Pizza Day lunch to a yearly appreciation dinner, there are countless edible ways to acknowledge your staff.

Bonus: Because most of these options are social, they can help develop your corporate culture, build up your team and boost morale!

Tokens of Appreciation, Rewards & Incentives

Quarterly or annual bonuses are a tried-and-true measure of rewarding employee efforts, but they aren't the only way to say "thanks." Use paid time off as an incentive, suggests Hoppier. Consider half-day Fridays in the summer or an additional eight hours of PTO for reaching a goal.

Given regularly, tokens of appreciation like company swag or department store gift cards serve to both recognize and motivate your workers.

Try planning an Employee Appreciation Day featuring massage therapy services or a puppy playdate.

"When the Humane Society of Boulder Valley visited Bonusly HQ with puppies, it was basically the best day of our lives," says marketing team member Andrea Stutesman.

Share Their Milestones and Successes

Above all, share their accomplishments in the company newsletter and on social media.

And while positive recognition from the boss is always a morale booster, don't discount the value of peer-to-peer recognition, notes a CEO quoted in Business News Daily.

"We all set aside some time at the end of the day every Friday to give props at our 'TGIF meeting.' Anyone on the team can give 'props' to anyone else on the team, which fosters an atmosphere of appreciation, respect and teamwork," says Steven Benson, founder of Badger Maps.

Formal Recognition Program

A formal employee recognition program helps saying "thanks" or "nice work!" become a habit. Capabilities of some of the top online platforms include manager-to-peer and peer-to-peer recognition, with ways to track kudos, earn reward points and share recognition on your social channels.

Everyone likes their hard work to be acknowledged. Incorporating an employee recognition strategy at your company can improve your relationship with your workers – and your bottom line.


Need to add employees to your roster? Get in touch with our team at TPD!

Filed under Top Talent, Management, Employee Retention, Employer, Workforce Solutions, Remote Work Best Practices

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