More than 70% of employees don’t feel appreciated or valued by their employer. It’s a hidden problem with a big cost. A bit of gratitude goes a long way towards promoting employee satisfaction, company loyalty, and even job tenures. Following are a few tips to let your employees know that you really do appreciate the work they do:
Just Say Thanks
Simply making a point to tell a staff member when you appreciate something about his personality or the work that he’s done makes a big impact on an employee. In too many workplaces, supervisors and managers don’t show employees that they even notice their performance and their individuality until something goes wrong.
By reminding your leaders to make a point of speaking or writing a one-sentence acknowledgment of their teams, you let your staff know that they’re valued, and you can cut down on the massive costs of turnover and recruiting.
When sharing your appreciation with your employees, say more than just "thanks for your great work" or something similarly non-specific. While hearing "thanks" feels nice, it loses its meaning if you hear "thanks for a great job" every day without receiving thanks for anything in particular.
If you’re going to go through the motions of recognizing an employee, you’d might as well make it count. Be as specific as you can: "Thanks for putting in extra hours today. You really helped us catch up, our sales are up 5%, and people know that a lot of that is thanks to you."
Know When to Go Public or Keep it Private
Recognize when to thank someone privately and when to thank someone publicly. Staff members with more reserved personalities might appreciate checking with them before you make something public, while employees with more outgoing personalities might appreciate an even louder public acknowledgement. For employees who are extra-shy, giving them kudos along with a group of their colleagues can bring the benefits of recognition without causing them to feel like they’ve been singled-out.
Give Them a Little Something Extra
In addition to giving your staff a verbal or written thank-you message, give them something tangible to show your gratitude. While big monetary rewards are nice, you don’t need to be elaborate. A small gift card or a cup of coffee can be a greatly appreciated unexpected treat. And if your something extra is not a consumable, it can be a lasting and on-going reminder of your appreciation—the gift that keeps on giving.
Say It with Responsibility
Gifts, cards, and public declarations say “thank you for what you’re doing.” But extra responsibilities say “you’re good at what you’re doing, but we believe you’re good at other things, too.” The former is motivation to continue at the current rate of production, while the latter is motivation to increase production.
For hard-working and ambitious employees, nothing increases retention like opportunity. Employees who feel like they can grow with your business don’t seek out opportunities elsewhere, because they’re already reaching their potential with you.
Shoe employees that you value their work and their positive attitudes, and encourage your leadership teams to do the same. When staff feel noticed and appreciated, their performance reaps the benefits. And once you begin to recognize your employees’ great qualities and significant contributions, they’ll do the same for their colleagues, creating a powerful culture of success. It’s an all-around win.