You’ve probably heard the sentiment before that people who feel appreciated will always do more than what’s asked of them. Especially Millennial employees. It’s a popular expression because there’s so much truth to it.
Consider this: When was the last time you poured your blood, sweat and tears into a job? How did you feel afterward? Did the person you were working for say thank you? Or did she fail to recognize your efforts?
When an employee feels like her efforts are acknowledged and appreciated, she’s more likely to want to keep up the hard work.
But do you need an appreciation strategy to say thank you?
In short, yes. But before you start ordering plaques for your top performers, consider what that appreciation strategy will look like.
For example, “employee of the month” clubs tend to oust other hard workers making them feel as if their efforts haven’t been noticed and only the one, single employee is getting the praise. Here are a few other ideas that you can incorporate to show everyone on your team who deserves it, praise for a job well done.
1. Surprise Your Employees
One way to truly knock the socks off an employee is to surprise her with a reward of some kind. This can be as small as buying her lunch to say thank you and having some one-on-one time, or as big as giving her a fancy gift. No matter what you choose to do, make it unpredictable so your employee feels like her efforts are truly acknowledged and appreciated.
2. Personalize Your Thank Yous
In addition to making your signs of appreciation unpredictable, you should also aim to make them personal. This does not mean adding a name to a plaque. Instead, it means getting to know your employees and showing your thanks with a gift that’s personal to them.
For example, if an employee has kids at home, you might want to give a gift certificate to a pizza parlor, whereas if an employee loves wine, you might buy a nice bottle of wine as a thank you.
3. Give ‘Em a Break
What do employees really want? A little rest and relaxation after expending a lot of energy to do their job well. To give this to them, offer extra paid time off for reaching their goals. Schedule this in your scheduling app so everyone on the team can see the reward given and knows not to bother the employee who is enjoying her extra R&R.
Mind Your Manners
In business, saying thank you can go a long way. By adopting an employee appreciation program that’s flexible and personal, you will ultimately get happier, hard working employees.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.