A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
As a leader, it’s easy to get focused on results and on fixing employee issues. It is because of this tendency to hone in on the problems that we often forget to celebrate the successes and show our employees appreciation for all they do.
Just like with parenting children, it’s important to stress what employees are doing right along with addressing issues and problems. In fact, it is likely more important to celebrate success than it is to address problems. Here are some ideas to consider.
1. Employees who are praised and appreciated are more likely to stay with you. If you want to have low turnover, make sure your employees know they are appreciated and that you see the good things they are doing.
2. Employees who are appreciated are more likely to fix their own problems. Employees who are constantly criticized lose motivation to fix any performance issues, while those who are given praise for their good work will want to increase their success.
3. Employees who are appreciated are happy. Happy employees lose fewer workdays to sickness and are more productive overall.
How Can I Show My Appreciation?
Many employers who recognize the value of showing appreciation still struggle with the best ways to accomplish the goal of making employees feel valued. There are many ways to show appreciation, and each can have a place in the workplace.
1. Show appreciation verbally. A pat on the back is always appreciated, particularly when it is sincere and targeted to specific achievements. It can be especially rewarding to be recognized in front of your peers, so don’t forget to have awards and recognition programs.
2. Cash. Bonuses go a long way toward making employees feel appreciated. And, most employees agree that the best bonus is a cash reward, since it can be used in any way the employee desires. For bonuses to truly be effective motivators, however, these should not begin to feel “guaranteed.”
3. Special prizes. Restaurant and movie theater gift cards, along with other similar items are great ways to show appreciation for small achievements. These are tokens of appreciation that have little monetary value, but make employees feel valued.
There are many other ways to show appreciation, and you should choose those that best reflect your particular business culture. How you express appreciation to your employees is far less important than ensuring that you do show your thankfulness for their contributions on a regular basis.