LinkedIn rocked the world of Human Resources when they announced a rather substantial employee appreciation program – giving away shares of the company to all of their employees.
CEO, Jeff Weiner, declined his annual “equity package.” Instead, he opted to put the $14 million stock bonus in a fund to be distributed to his 9,200 employees. Once divided across his team, each employee received a rather substantial thank you gift.
“The really big names in tech all focus on the same idea, that employee happiness has to come before everything else,” Weiner reportedly told the Washington Post.
The $14 million stock bonus account for the employees is a little more lavish than many companies are able to give, but there is still a lesson to be learned from LinkedIn on how to show employees appreciation.
Continue to Show Appreciation No Matter How Your Company is Doing
Many people raised eyebrows when the bonus was announced. That’s because LinkedIn’s stock recently took a nosedive after the company published their latest earnings, which were less than impressive.
Weiner could have punished his employees for not doing more for the company. Instead, he chose to inspire them by giving them stock options. He continued to show his appreciation for their employment with his company, regardless of the performance.
This is a far cry from typical employee appreciation programs when employees are only rewarded when things are on the upswing.
In your company, you can do the same. Show appreciation to your employees by giving them a reason to buy into your business’s success. Say thank you for their hard work, even when things aren’t going as well as you would like. By showing you care about your employee’s well-being, you could spark motivation and ultimately make your team more productive.
Choose a Thank You Gift Based on the Company’s Success
Weiner didn’t choose a thank you gift of pure cash. He chose to give shares away. In other words, if the company does well, his employees do well.
You can do the same in your business by rewarding employees in stock options or in a percentage of sales. Don’t mistake this option as that of commission for sales people. That’s a different type of payment. An employee appreciation program should include something above and beyond what is expected or outlined in the employee’s contract.
You can also think beyond financial incentive and offer employees more paid time off work for doing their job well. Add this to the schedule for top performers and let other employees see to motivate them to work harder.
Employee appreciation programs should happen regardless of what’s happening in your firm. In down times, they can be used to motivate employees to work harder, making them feel more invested in the company.
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.