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Employee recognition isn’t limited to special occasions. Rather, it should be at the core of your workplace culture. You can – and should – tell your employees how much you appreciate them and their contributions any time during the day, week or year.

In a recent study, more than 80 percent of employees said they were motivated to work harder when their boss showed appreciation for their work. More than half said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciated.

Say Thank You
Along with “please,” this is still one of the most powerful verbal stimulants in our language. Identify the specific employee action that you found admirable and thank your employee for it in an appropriate manner. Do this consistently and don’t be surprised when morale, engagement and ultimately productivity, are enhanced as a result.

  • Make it public. The most meaningful form of employee recognition happens when others, namely coworkers, supervisors and executive leaders, are present – if not personally, then via other means of communications. As appropriate, recognize team members during team meetings and in newsletters and other company media.
  • Show them that others need them, too. If a client or co-worker makes you aware of an employee’s extraordinary contribution, be sure to share the details – not only with the employee themselves, but also with other key stakeholders.

Recognize Employees as Individuals
The more you acknowledge employees’ specific contributions, the more irreplaceable they’ll feel. Throughout the year, show a genuine interest in your team members by getting to know their interests, hobbies, passions and motivators.

  • Be intentional with everyday conversations. Ask about employees’ families, hobbies, weekends or events they attended. Get to know their interests well enough to present relevant, personal recognition gifts such as gift cards to their favorite restaurant or tickets to see their favorite sports team play.

Money Really Does Talk
Cash incentives are not the be all and end all, but they can be highly effective as incentives for continued improvement, engagement and performance. They can be in the form of a bonus or perhaps a coupon book offering free or discounted company apparel and related items.

Above and Beyond the Cash
Among employees who responded to the above-mentioned survey, 46 percent said they would feel more appreciated if their managers gave them unexpected treats such as lunches, dinners or even simple thank-you notes.

  • Time can be the greatest gift. So can telecommuting, flexible scheduling or even just a few hours off on a Friday afternoon.
  • Celebrate with food. Take the staff to lunch for a birthday, other occasion or no occasion at all. If a particular employee is being recognized, ask them to pick the restaurant.
  • Provide growth opportunities. Encourage valued employees to participate on committees where their talents will be utilized and noticed. Provide time off and pay for them to attend professional meetings and workshops.

Need more ideas for employee appreciation and other areas of workforce development? Read our related posts or contact the team at Alternative Staffing today.

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