Office morale is one of the most valuable currencies in your business. A culture that’s dry, untrusting, and lacks respect easily creates more work for management and significantly damages the bottom line. In fact, over half of employees around the world don’t feel respected by their bosses, according to a study from Harvard Business Review. According to the study, “those that got respect from their leaders reported 56% better health and well-being, 1.72 times more trust and safety, 89% greater enjoyment and satisfaction with their jobs, 92% greater focus and prioritization, and 1.26 times more meaning and significance.” Appreciation goes a long way in building up your workers and gaining their buy in to your business. If you want to get the most out of your employees, you can’t miss the opportunity to celebrate and appreciate how hard team members are working, or taking advantage of the chance to encourage someone that needs a little extra boost. Here are four ways you can creatively reward and appreciate your employees.
Recognize them in front of their peers.
Even among the humble, everyone likes to receive compliments. It’s invaluable to brag on someone in front of their coworkers. At J.D. Frost & Company, we have the “Captain Crushin’ It” award that we give out at our monthly all hands meeting. The stuffed Captain Crunch doll sits on that employee’s desk all month long. If it’s a token or silly item, or a round of applause at the start of the week, public recognition will lift a worker up and inspire their coworkers to both rally around them, and strive to do the same kind of good work.
Write them a hand-written note…to their spouse…and mail it!
Sure, this only works if they’re married, but man is it awesome! The only thing better than bragging to coworkers is bragging to family. Hand write a note and address it to your employee’s spouse. Talk about specific things they’re doing well and how much you appreciate them. You’ll make them into a hero in their own home. It also shows that you care about your employee’s family and not just their work.
Give them additional one-on-one time outside of the office
Office culture requires some coaching, both as a group and one-on-one. You already know which employees are going above and beyond. If someone is showing initiative, reward that with additional mentoring. Take them out to lunch or break the day early for a drink before they head home. The topic doesn’t have to be (and we’d argue that it shouldn’t be) regarding your day-to-day interactions. Ask them about their goals and take time to listen to their feedback. You don’t have to share all the personal details of your lives, but showing that you value them outside of their work will go a long way.
Provide extra opportunities for additional continuing education
Sometimes you can tell that employee is on the right track for upper management, but they’ll need some additional certifications or continuing education. Consistently provide opportunities for employees to invest in themselves and your company. If an employee is showing initiative, honor that and leverage it for both them and your business. It’s important to let them have some ownership in this area so that this is viewed as a reward, not an additional task. Let them choose what will help them grow, and give them some input on where that will fit best for your business. You’ll see this pay off as you invest in both your employees and your work environment!