“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected.” Author unknown.
Your employees are the heart of your business. You’ll find that a little gesture of gratitude goes a long way in keeping them happy and engaged.
A recent study found that companies that scored in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates than organizations with ineffective recognition programs. When employees are valued for their contributions, they in turn feel connected to the organization and want to perform their best.
In the spirit of the season, we’ve identified 4 ways to show employees some appreciative “love” this Valentine’s Day.
Be generous with praise
Employees respond to praise because it confirms that their work is valued. Rather than telling an employee they did a good job, give them specific reasons why. If possible, explain how their efforts impacted the company’s overall goals.
Make praise, not criticism, part of your company culture. Employees benefit not only from recognition from management, but by acknowledgement from their peers. Taking a collaborative approach to praise has benefits: It instills a sense of team spirit, motivates employees to do great work, and promotes transparency.
New technology makes it even easier for managers and colleagues to send virtual rounds of applause. Apps like iAppreciate and Give a Wow enable you to celebrate employee milestones, acknowledge good work, and reward results. Better yet, employees can send one another inspiring messages too.
Get comfortable with PDA
Take praise to the next level by sharing news of a job well done with your entire staff. This can be accomplished through a company-wide email or an announcement at a staff meeting. Have a company newsletter? Blog? These are perfect venues to take your praise public.
Consider making public recognition a regular practice. While it shouldn’t be a substitute for the daily accolade, naming an Employee of the Month is a concept that works well for most organizations. Up the ante by awarding a small token, like a gift card to a local lunch spot, or some extra time off.
It’s best to vary the criteria for achieving Employee of the Month status so that it’s not always the same few who are named. Also make sure the credit is warranted to avoid turning it into an “employees’ take their turn” contest.
Let them make important decisions
If you love them, set them free—free to make their own decisions. When you empower an employee to make an important decision on their own, what you’re saying is, “I know you’re capable and will do a good job.”
Encourage employees’ professional growth
Show your appreciation by taking an interest in furthering their careers. The Balance Point team recently benefited from a day of development. The goal was to strengthen our interpersonal skills, an advantage when interacting with clients and with each other.
Did we feel the love? According to our follow-up survey, almost everyone agreed that it was time well-spent. Responses like “Sessions like this demonstrate how committed the company is to a great culture” and “I’m so happy we did this! Thank you!” made it clear that our employees have no fear of commitment.