Employees are only people. They react emotionally when being underappreciated or not receiving recognition for their actions and contributions to the company. In recent decades, the term “employee retention” has become of the most important aspects of business, valued both by the staff and outside observers. It tells a lot about an employer’s ability to have the lowest employee turnover possible and retain those that bring growth and success to the business.
Whatever incentives and strategies they decide to use, employers possess great ways to show employee recognition and increase retention rates. Salary boosts and advancement opportunities are not the only things that matter and companies can do so much more. More than likely, the following can do a lot to improve productivity, and performance, and nurture positive work culture.
1. Ask them for opinions
Team meetings or brainstorming sessions are perfect to include your employees in the idea process. Ask them what they think of certain approaches or strategies, and see whether they have suggestions to do something differently or to add something.
Even if you can’t use their suggestions, thank them for taking the time to voice their opinions and invite them to do it again. Be polite when rejecting their ideas and make sure to explain why you can’t use them and how they can improve their thought process.
2. Include them in your website
Including each of your employees in the About Us section of the company website will make them feel like part of the team. Such exposure will be a public announcement that your company is not only about profits, but also about the people who work there. Hire a professional photographer or see whether someone is a pro with a camera to take pictures of all employees.
See that images are processed so every employee is satisfied with how they look and get their approval to publish it. Ask them to write their favorite quote or philosophy they go by instead of presenting them with their hobbies and bios. This will be comfortable even for shy employees and help them feel relevant.
3. Introduce Casual Fridays
If your company has a dress code, consider introducing Casual Fridays. This will be the day when your employees don’t have to wear suits, ties, or uniforms unless for their safety. However, if you don’t have any special dress code at work, turn Fridays (or any other weekday) into a special dress-up day.
For example, October can be inspired by Halloween, July by Hawaii, and February by Valentine’s Day. It’s a fun way to cut the tension in the office, help employees relax, and be more themselves.
4. Take care of snacks
Your employees may be too busy to eat or not motivated to go out for lunch. They may buy processed food and stuff their face with sugary sweets. Appreciating your employees means you care about their well-being and nothing says that more than providing a healthy diet.
Order snacks for the office every day that will include fruits, veggies, vegan options, and other healthy food. You can set up a food station with cereals, dried fruit, and nuts for breakfast, too. Showing you want your employees to eat regularly and properly will make them feel important and respected.
5. Praise their non-work activities
Some employees may have activities outside work that show off their talents, like playing piano or drawing comic books. See how you can help them promote their creative side and help them achieve wonderful results with their interests and hobbies.
For example, if you have a published writer on staff, organize a book signing and reading where they can present this side of themselves. If you have an artist, commission an artwork from them you will hang in the office so everyone can see. Not only will this let those employees value everything they represent, but you may inspire others to pursue their talents as well.
6. Be a pet-friendly office
Pets make office hours better, improve productivity, and lower stress levels. Some employees may not be fans or are allergic to certain animals, so see if anyone has a problem with having a pet-friendly work environment and why before making a decision. If this idea proves to be too much of a hassle, find a way to make it work to everyone’s satisfaction.
For example, organize a pet care center for those employees who can’t leave their pets at home. Provide a special spot for pet parents so their animals don’t bother anyone else in the office. Alternatively, pick one day in a week or month that will be a “bring your pet to work day.” The key is to find a balance that will make everyone feel comfortable and seen.
7. Give company swag
Your employees are your best brand ambassador so shower them with company swag. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, but appealing enough for them to love it. Many companies order branded swag to gift to their clients, partners, and customers.
Give it to your employees first and make it more special than the things you give other non-employee people. Think in the line of water bottles, mugs, hats, backpacks, clothes, and footwear. However, if your budget allows it, splurge on some more attractive items, like iPads, smartphones, or notebooks.
8. Install a suggestion box
Employees may not feel comfortable stepping forward with complaints, ideas, and suggestions. An anonymous suggestion box will help them be heard without feeling exposed. It creates a safe space where everyone is equal and every suggestion will be taken into consideration.
Place the box in a spot that is not crowded so people don’t feel uncomfortable because of everyone watching them. Once a week or month open the box and read its contents with other managers or in the staff meeting for bigger transparency. By doing so, you allow your employees to speak up without being judged or shamed, no matter the topic.
9. Introduce an employee appreciation day
Everyone loves holidays so why not come up with one of your own, like an employee appreciation day? Come up with a catchy and fun name, choose a date, and have everybody mark that day in their calendars.
You can celebrate it with a day off, organize a team-building event, gift your employees with spa treatments and massages, or have a barbecue. It may be a wonderful opportunity to get everyone together and help them get to know each other (and you) better. Think of it as no-titles day, when everyone is called by their first name or at least less formal than usual.
10. Celebrate their birthdays
Birthdays are perfect opportunities to show your employees how much you care and appreciate them being part of your business. Even those not that into their birthdays will appreciate small gestures, like a colorful flower bouquet or a Lego set and a cake at the office.
Those thrilled you remembered their special day can have a small party after working hours with balloons, refreshments, and maybe even a speech from their peers. Or, you can gift them a day off to use whenever they’d like during the year. Talk to your HR about how to handle everything so no one feels less special or left out when it comes to birthday celebrations.
11. Go public about their accomplishments
If your employee has reached a milestone, finished a project successfully, or otherwise made your company proud – give them public recognition. You can post this news on your company’s profiles on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, or publish it on your internal network.
For example, let’s say your employee came up with an amazing design that impressed your clients or customers. Post pictures of that employee and their work praising them for their success, dedication, and hard work. People in your company want to know that they are not just numbers or names on projects, but that their actions are acknowledged and admired.
12. Invest in their training
Nurturing talent is one of the best ways to increase loyalty, productivity, and satisfaction in your company. Give special rewards by covering expenses for their continuing education or sending them to training seminars with travel and accommodation costs covered.
Ask them what they would like to learn new, like a language or skill that can help them advance in your company. Then organize regular lectures and training programs for all interested employees who want to expand their knowledge. Moreover, introduce mentoring programs that will have senior employees teach those less experienced how to do certain tasks, projects, and other necessary assignments.
The company culture has improved over the years with employers paying more attention to making their employees comfortable and respected. With so many great ways to show employee recognition, you can’t fail to improve the working environment in your company, too. Keep track of the little things, like birthdays and anniversaries, and make sure you don’t miss grandiose gestures, such as the celebration of employee appreciation day.