Wouldn’t it be terrible to go to work and never hear a thank you? Unfortunately there are many of you reading this article that live that reality every day in your workplace. If you aren’t experiencing it now then you have most likely experienced this at one time or the other in your career. Recognizing employees seems to be at an all time low these days. This is a mistake if you want high performing employees or plan on keeping any of your staff for the long term.
According to Globalforce, a global provider for employee recognition, “fifty five percent of survey respondents said they would leave their jobs for a company that clearly recognized employees for their efforts.” As an employer you may not be as concerned in today’s economy of losing your staff, however there is a bigger question; at what level are your employees performing if they are not feeling recognized or valuable? If employees are not happy then most likely it will affect their moods, customer service, inter-office relations and motivation as a whole. Consequently, recognizing your employees as a vital part of running an effective and successful company is a key role in any manager or administrator’s job.
Here are a couple ways to get started on the path to making your employees feel valued and appreciated:
Tell them, “Thank You”—This approach may seem simple, but goes a long way. There is a bit more strategy to thanking someone then just uttering those two simple words. After saying “thank you,” follow up with them by being specific on what behaviors you want them to continue doing. Let’s say that you see Sarah in the lunchroom, and you say at the soda machine, “Sarah, thanks for staying late the other night.” Sarah probably is thinking to herself, “Yeah sure, you probably don’t even know what I was doing.”
A better approach is to be a bit more specific: “Sarah, I am so thankful to have you as part of the team. I noticed the other night you were staying late getting our printer back in order. I know there was a lot of printing scheduled for the next day, and without your help we would have run behind all day today. Again, thanks.” As you can see taking the time to go the extra mile in a “thank you” does take some intentionality, but is well worth the investment in the long run. Thank of each compliment you pay an employee as adding a coin to a piggy bank.
Give a gift—Giving small gifts to your employee makes them feel valuable and appreciated. There are several different ways of making an employee feel valuable without spending a ton of money. There are online websites that even allow you to purchase bulk items you can brand with your logo or slogan. These items not only help your employee feel special, but they also contribute to your employee taking ownership of your company. These items include coffee cups, pens, promotional bags or even t-shirts and bags.
Special occasions are a great time to show employee’s they’re appreciated. Offering them a small gift on their birthday, as a wedding or engagement present, or after the birth of a child shows them that you thought enough of them to remember this special time in their life.
Thanking an employee is something that is easily done but often overlooked. Whether a simple compliment, or a small gift of some sort does the trick, employees have to feel appreciated if you want to get the most out of them. For some, the feeling that they are an integral part of the team, and that their hard work is appreciated means more than even a significant raise. Keep this in mind when dealing with your employees in the future.