When you’ve got staff members who have been with you for years and years, it’s important to honor their service and respect their expertise. They add significant value to your organization, and can help to get new talent up to speed. If you’re looking for a quick and cost-effective way to show your appreciation, consider these options:
- Take the person out to lunch. Spending time hearing their thoughts about the company and getting to chat with them about matters other than business can be highly powerful. You may learn a lot about how your company can continue to grow and improve, and you’ll get to know this person as an individual.
- Have the entire office sign a card thanking them. Just knowing that their colleagues appreciate them and value them can be a highly effective way to reward a veteran staffer. Encourage everyone in the company to write a short message applauding the individual’s work, and then present it to them.
- Celebrate milestones: If someone celebrates a major anniversary within the business (five, 10, or 20 years of service, for example) don’t let it go unnoticed. Even if you just bring in donuts and coffee to celebrate, acknowledging these important moments shows that you appreciate the person’s loyalty and commitment to the business.
- Acknowledge them at the start of a meeting: Take a few minutes at the start of your next staff meeting and offer some words from the heart about this employee and what they mean to the organization.
- Send flowers: Brighten up their space by sending them a small bouquet. You can have other staff members chip in, and might consider including a thoughtful card offering words of thanks.
- Let them bring their pet to work: For a real animal lover, this special treat is a great way of saying thank you. Plus, it’s likely that your other team members will love having a dog hanging around for the day.
Remember that there are plenty of ways to show gratitude for an employee’s service without spending a lot of money. Simply offering genuine, appreciative words can be far more powerful than buying a Starbucks gift card and slapping it on the person’s desk. Take the time to articulate exactly how and why you appreciate this individual, and make sure you let them hear these thoughts.