5 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

Every business owner wants their employees to be happy. Most of us strive to create a pleasant work environment where our staff enjoys coming to work every day. Studies show that happy employees are 10% more productive than unhappy employees. If you’ve neglected to recognize your employees throughout the year, the holidays are a great time to start.

So what will motivate your staff and keep them happy? Research shows that employees find personal recognition more motivating than money. While money often makes an immediate impact, its long-term effects are not as beneficial as other ways of showing appreciation. If you find ways to engage with your staff, you’ll produce more loyal, harder working employees than if you simply wrote them checks.
Here are 5 ways to say, “I appreciate you and all your hard work,” without breaking your budget.

1. A Day Off – Who wouldn’t like getting paid for not coming to work? Give your employees a paid day off when they’re most deserving. It will not only help in showing them appreciation, but it will also help them recharge.

2. Flexible Hours – Who says a workday needs to be 9 to 5? Show your employees you value their time by accommodating their schedule. Many companies offer summer hours where you can work longer days Monday through Thursday and take Friday off. Another option is to allow employees to come in earlier than 9 so they can leave the office by 3.

3. Send a Note – Saying thank you about a specific task is a subtle, yet powerful reward. The personal touch shows true appreciation for your employee’s work.

4. Public Acknowledgement – Acknowledge an employee’s business or personal accomplishment at a staff meeting or gathering.  In addition to recognizing someone for a great job at the office, you could also recognize the completion of a degree program, joining the board of a nonprofit organization or celebrating a personal milestone like an engagement or the birth of a child.

5. Give a Gift – Show your thoughtfulness by giving employees gifts that have personal connections. If you know an employee needs a night out with their spouse or friends, a gift card to their favorite restaurant or the movies is a great way to say thanks. If you have employees that like a certain coffee shop, a bag of coffee or a gift card will go a long way.
So the next time you think your employees want you to “show them the money,” what they really might be looking for is a little recognition.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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