Incentives for employees seems to be a big trend these days. Companies don’t want to lose their most talented employees, so in order to keep them happy and satisfied, they go to very great lengths to make sure they don’t. Just last week Spark News discussed in an infographic the companies that do the most for their employees. Think: full concierge service, on-site laundry, free food, unlimited vacation days and access to a full company gym are just a few to name. These are all great incentives to keep employees happy, but what is it that employees really want? It seems as though the incentives are awesome, and no ones complaining, but at the end of the day employees just really want to know that they are appreciated. So how can companies show their employees they really care and appreciate their work?
Showing your employees you appreciate them and the work they do doesn’t have to strain the company budget. Of course, a concierge service would be a great thing for every company to have, but let’s be real here. On top of that, a company can give you all the perks you would ever desire, but if they don’t show you they truly appreciate you, then what’s the point? In fact, in an infographic on workplace incentives that employees want, employees placed the importance of feeling appreciated above good wages. On the flip side though, employers felt that what employees wanted most was good wages. Obviously there is a worker-employer disconnect going on here.
So if you are an employer, then you had better get to showing some appreciation! As stated earlier, genuine appreciation doesn’t even have to come from the wallet. Take a look at some of these genuine, simple ways you can show your employees you appreciate them and all of the work they do for you. It’s important- perhaps more than you might think.
If you are an employer at a very large company, it’s unrealistic to assume that you know everyone. However, everyone certainly knows who you are and you should realize that. If you run into any of your workers, a simple recognition of their presence can be just enough. When doing research for this article, I cam across a story that really alarmed me. The CEO of a company was in the elevator with an employee of theirs. The employee said “hello” and the CEO only grunted and looked away. To really stick the knife in the employee’s stomach, another employee hopped into the elevator and greeted the CEO and got a response. On top of that, they started talking about specifics of family and kids. Now, as I said it’s clearly unrealistic to assume you know everyone in your company. (Unless of course you work for an awesome start up like Spark Hire.) However, a simply hello and a smile never hurt anyone, now did it? Keep this in mind next time you peruse the office or end up stuck in the elevator with someone you don’t know. The employee mentioned in the story above left the company, because quite frankly, who wants to work for such a rude person? A simple “hello” would have saved this employee.
Thank You Notes and Letters
You’d be surprised how easy and fast it is to type up a thank you letter to your employees and send it along. You’d also be surprised to learn how good it can make your employees feel. It’s a small gesture, but it’s a small token of your appreciation for their hard work. If you have an employee that is doing stellar work, take the time to write out a letter expressing your thanks and that you noticed all of the hard work they put into your company or project. Receiving a thank you letter from your employer is an awesome confidence booster and you can be sure this employee will continue to work hard seeing as though you noticed their efforts.
OK, so for this one you may have to reach into your wallet a bit, but it’s not much. If you see that your employees are doing a great job then handing out gift certificates can really show them you care and notice. It doesn’t have to be a huge one and you don’t have to give them out to everyone. If you see that one of your employees has been going above and beyond, giving them a $50 or $100 gift certificate to a nice restaurant or a spa is a great way to let them know you value their work and their time. It’s a small gesture, but showing that you went out of your way to give something back to them will make them feel great and likely keep the awesome production up.
So you see, not all employee appreciation efforts need to equal out to dollar signs. Simple hellos and recognition can go miles.