Employee Appreciation Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

Showing your employees you care about them and value their work is vital to company success. This is true all year, not just during the holiday season.

If your people don’t feel like you recognize them, it can lead to dissatisfaction on the job, disengagement, mistakes, and low productivity. It can also be toxic to your workplace culture.

When employees are recognized, on the other hand, they’ll be happier, harder working and more loyal to your company. This will impact the customer experience, as your people treat them better and go the extra mile to ensure satisfaction. Over time, this has a big impact on the overall productivity, profits, and growth.

That said, you’re on a budget and can’t go overboard with gifts and rewards. What are a few ideas that won’t break the bank? Here’s a look:

Talk impact.

Sometimes, employees feel like just another cog in the wheel. However, you know how important their work is to the company. Make sure they understand it too.

Meet with your team, both together and individually, and explain how their work fits into the bigger picture. Tie their goals and projects to specific company initiatives and explain how their efforts affect the company and customers. It’s easy for employees to grow apathetic on the job. But when they understand how important they are, they’ll be more inspired.

Touch base with employees.

If you’d like to create rewards and recognition, get insight and feedback from your employees first. Some people might like a bonus for reaching a certain milestone, while others will opt for extra perks, like more vacation days. Other employees might want the opportunity to choose their next assignment or to take on a stretch assignment that will set them up for a promotion.

The bottom line is by getting their take on what’s important to them, you’ll not only reward them in a way that’s more effective but also make sure they know their voices matter.

Ask for feedback.

Ask your employees about any areas where you could improve on. For instance, you might give each one a “thank you” card at Thanksgiving showing your gratitude for their hard work. But if they’re coming to you with problems and you’re not solving them, then a card won’t do much. If, however, you show your concern about solving challenges they are facing and take action to help, it will go a long way in demonstrating your appreciation and concern for them.

Create a star employee program.

Start recognizing and honoring one employee each month for their hard work, dedication, longevity with the company, or a specific accomplishment. Ask your employees to vote so they feel like part of the decision-making process and are more vested in the program.

In addition to the recognition, offer a simple reward, like an extra vacation day or a gift card to a local restaurant. Each time a new employee is selected, make sure you explain to your team why and what they did that was important. Publish it in the company newsletter, blog and news page.

Say “thanks.”

It’s easy to take good employees for granted. However, if they’re delivering consistent performance and not hearing any praise or thanks from you, they can get frustrated. It’s why stopping by their office or calling to thank them for a job well done is so important. Make sure you’re as specific and timely as possible, so the remarks are meaningful to the employee.

Set employees up for success.

When you offer continuing education opportunities to your employees, it sends the message that you care about their growth and individual careers. Whether it’s a monthly lunch and learn, in-house seminar, funds for college classes, or a company mentoring program, contributing to the growth and development of your employees makes business sense. Employees will be more engaged and loyal to your team and will also enhance their skill set, so they’re more valuable.

Make time for fun.

Whether you’re recognizing a certain employee or the whole team, get them out of the office and have some fun. Go to lunch, host a happy hour, bring in a food truck for lunch, or do something fun, like go bowling together. Whatever you choose, when you show your employees they are valued in a tangible way, they will be more likely to show up for you in the future.

Honor anniversaries, birthdays and other milestones.

The small stuff still matters. Employees want to be recognized on their five-year anniversary with the company or if it’s their birthday. Creating a culture where your people feel connected and supported is critical to overall company success. This is especially important for the younger generations in the workplace.

Give your break room a makeover.

Is the company break room or kitchen dated and dingy? Give it a makeover so employees enjoy spending time in it more. Simply by painting the walls and cabinets, and adding in some new furniture, you can go a long way in improving the space.

You can even go all out and completely renovate it. Before you do though, ask your employee what’s important to them and what they’d like to see in the space, like music or a vending machine.

Employee appreciation shouldn’t be a one-time thing. Considering people are your most important asset, it should be a part of your culture. The above ideas are just a few ways to get started with integrating.

Need more help with HR and staffing challenges?

Murray Resources is here for you. We’re experts in human resources and staffing and can work to customize a plan for you. We can help with sourcing candidates, screening them, conducting background and reference checks, skills testing, and onboarding and training. Meanwhile, you can focus on running your business and building a strong team. Simply contact us today to get started.