No matter what role an employee plays within your organization – answering the phones, closing sales deals or managing a large team – there is one characteristic that they all have in common: the need to be recognized and appreciated for their work.
Many say that appreciation is just as important as other critical factors like compensation and career development. In fact, for the Millennial generation, feeling appreciated is an absolute must-have to remain engaged.
Regardless of which generation they fall into, employees want to know that you are grateful for their contributions. What’s more, beyond simply making everyone feel good, ensuring your employees feel valued has tremendous benefits for your company’s bottom line.
Spread the thanks all year long
According to a survey from Glassdoor, four out of five employees are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work, and more than half of employees say that they would stay longer at their company if they received more appreciation from their boss.
At a time when employers are concerned not only with finding top talent but also holding onto it for the long run, finding ways to show appreciation for employees’ work and dedication is clearly an important part of driving employee engagement. That’s why organizations shouldn’t limit employee appreciation activities to just one day. (Check your calendar by the way – today, March 6, is Employee Appreciation Day.)
Instead, cultivate an attitude of gratitude within your organization all year long by ensuring that your people regularly receive appreciation for their contributions and practice doling out their thanks to others as well. Creating a corporate culture that values gratitude and appreciation typically is driven by employees with the visible support of leaders within the organization.
The power of peer-to-peer
Peer-to-peer recognition is a powerful form of motivation, driving employees to greater heights of achievement. For example, how much more special is it when a coworker singles out a colleague to recognize their efforts and dedication? When a person is sincerely thanked by a peer for a job well done, it encourages the employee to continue to work hard and also contributes to their overall job satisfaction.
In addition to a formal employee recognition program, you should ensure that colleagues can easily connect with one another to say “thanks.” Your formal and informal programs will inspire a reciprocal culture of kindness and gratitude among employees and leaders.
Enabling simple forms of appreciation via email, public thank you’s or an internal recognition tool can take your employee appreciation program to the next level and instill a culture of gratitude within your company.
Establishing a corporate attitude of gratitude
When it comes to creating your company’s attitude of gratitude, the possibilities are endless. Here are just a few ways, both big and small, that you can begin to promote a culture of appreciation at your organization all year long:
- Have employees recognize co-workers during regular meetings. At GuideSpark, we hold weekly wins meetings, where employees can recognize each other for a job well done.
- Encourage your teams to reply with a simple “thanks” to emails when their colleagues have been helpful.
- Provide employees with thank-you coupons that can be collected and traded in for small gifts or gift cards
- Consider implementing a formal “employee-of-the-month” program.
- Support the use of handwritten thank you notes to show appreciation.
- Encourage employees to publicly recognize a colleague’s hard work using social media channels.
- Sponsor a quarterly lunch or group activity to foster team building.
- Make sure your leaders are modeling a high standard of gratitude and appreciation.
- Consider spreading the thanks with this special “thank you” video (here is an example of one), which can be shared with employees and colleagues today or any day.
Building satisfied and productive workforce
Your employees are the lifeblood of your organization. They not only carry out the mission of your company, but they form and define its culture.
Without them, you wouldn’t be in business. Show appreciation to them today and every day, and you can be sure that you will reap the rewards of a more engaged, satisfied and productive workforce.