As the holiday season quickly approaches, it's a great time to reflect and show appreciation. As an employer, it's a perfect opportunity to recognize employees for their efforts and give something back. Employees that receive appreciation for their work are much more likely to work harder and stay with a company longer. You don't necessarily need a big budget or elaborate perks to keep high-potential employees around - a little appreciation goes a long way. Time spent showing appreciation can save time recruiting and onboarding new employees down the line. Remember, all it takes is a few minutes to make your employees feel appreciated any day of the year.
1. Recognize your employees and say thank you. This seems like a simple one to start with, but just saying "thank you" for a job well done can go a long way in an age where many things are taken for granted. Everyone values a simple thank you. Be sure to be specific and authentic about what you admire about them. A hand written note can be a great way to demonstrate genuine appreciation when someone goes above the call of duty. If they are comfortable with it, public recognition can be even more effective. Showcase an employee on the company blog or newsletter, recognize them during a staff meeting, or hold a small event to celebrate their accomplishments. This will help to build a healthy company culture as well. Other initiatives could include changing an employee's role or title, having the CEO or president stop by to say thanks, or showing genuine interest in their personal life.
2. Give them a raise or bonus. There are few better motivators in the business world than money. If you can afford to, give your high potential employees raises or bonuses at the end of the year.
3. Take them out to lunch. Pretty much everyone appreciates food; taking an employee out to a nice lunch can provide you with an opportunity to both treat an employee and get to know them better. Another option is to organize something for them at the office. Order pizzas or a cake for the staff in an employee's honor or snacks you've baked at home to make your employees feel valued.
4. Provide perks. Small extras provided as a token of gratitude can have a tremendous effect on employees. Here are some ideas for your staff.
•Allow employees to work from home for a day
•Offer flexible scheduling during the holidays
•Casual dress day
•Offer to swap tasks with an employee for a time
•Allow selected staff to sometimes start later in the day than normal
•Give an employee a small gift or gift certificate that relates to their interests
5. Provide opportunity. Your employees all want a chance for upward mobility within the company. Ask your employees questions to determine how they would like their careers to grow. Offer opportunities for additional training or new and exciting projects. Ask for their input on a high level decision to make them feel respected. Having an employee represent your organization at a conference or client meeting can be very effective as a confidence builder as well.