Different organizations have different ways of appreciating their employees. In the same way, employees share different opinions as to what constitutes appreciation. Some ways of showing appreciation can be more costly and complex than others.
I need to mention that the level and extent to which some of these can be effectively implemented may depend on the size of the organization and how management views its employees; beyond the cliché of them being their most valuable assets.
Here we go with my top ten (10) ways to appreciate employees:
- Say “thank you”
Saying thank you to an employee or a team is a very effective way of showing appreciation. It could be said when, for example, an employee exhibits positive work ethics, delivers on key performance indicators, saves cost or completes a project on time and within budget.
Sending a personalized email to the person with a copy to the team will be appreciated. Some employees prefer to be appreciated on the quiet but this should be done in the open, either through your intranet system or in the presence of other colleagues at departmental or company-wide events.
- Acknowledge/celebrate key employee milestones
Examples of these could be birthdays, marriages, birth ceremonies, employment anniversaries, etc. Say congratulations in person or via email or text. It is also important to express your sympathy in di‑cult times, such as when an employee loses a loved one or is having medical or emotional challenges. Provide a support system by making use of the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) to help you gather as much information as possible from them to help prompt you of some of these milestones.
- Provide feedback
Employees appreciate organizations that have systems or procedures for providing them with feedback on a regular basis. This requires that good performance management systems must be in place so that learning can be a continuous process. However, do not be afraid to face up to the challenge of dealing with non-performing employees, including the fact that you may have to manage them out of the organization if there is no improvement over a pre-determined time.
- Flexible working hours
It is very important to recognize that employees are increasingly looking for ways to balance work with their personal/social needs and they appreciate employers who provide them with such opportunities. Apart from annual leave and flexible working hours, structured time-o schedules are options that can be explored.
- Make information easily accessible
Daily updates or weekly news ashes via email or text messages can be an easy way of implementing this. Do not wait for staff durbars before you present to them a tall list of information, they should have known several months before.
- Participation in decision making
Create a work environment that empowers employees to be able to contribute ideas and take decisions that add to the benefit of the organization. Employees’ involvement in decision making makes them take ownership of it, which makes implementation easier. A simple way to do this is to create online suggestion portals or undertake periodic employee surveys.
- Involve them in hiring efforts
One of my best sources of finding great people to join our team is involving current employees in our recruitment efforts. Tap into their professional network to find great talents. Since your employees have a good idea of the work culture, they are more likely to introduce people from their networks who they know will be successful in the organization.
- Engage their other skills and talents
What you know of your employees is just one aspect of who they really are. They have other interests and organizations that make the effort to explore these interests and passions and create relevant community engagement efforts from them are likely to have a workforce that feel appreciated.
- Get Employees to share their stories
Get an employee to teach or share his accomplishments with others as a way of recognizing the person’s ability and role. By this, you are showcasing the employee to the rest of the team and he/she will feel appreciated.
- Make work fun!
Create a working environment that has high energy, is productive but also fun to work in. Occasional break-out sessions, nights out, “bring your family to work”, etc, can be a way of appreciating your employees.
by Alex Baah Inkoom