Creating an optimal work environment that enables employees to be successful can be challenging. While performance appraisals, benefits, and team-building activities are great for showing that you value your employees as people first and contributors second, they’re not very personal or memorable.
Traditional employee recognition programs address these concerns by providing impersonal benefits (e.g. cash bonuses, fully paid holidays) that employees don’t take personally. However, there are many other ways to show your employees you care about them as individuals and not just their contribution to the company.
Here are creative employee appreciation ideas and strategies to help you demonstrate your gratitude in a much more meaningful way than simply writing a check or handing out gift cards.
Plan To Recognize Your Staff
Before your employees are even hired, you can develop a reputation for being a company that actively recognizes its staff. It’s important to let candidates know that you value your employees and show appreciation to your team members. This will help you attract and retain the best employees available.
Offer A Gift Card
A gift card can show your appreciation for employees hard work and allow them to choose something that means something to them. You can offer gift cards to stores or restaurants that your employees like.
Otherwise put some money in a gift card account that they can use for any store or service. This is a great way to show appreciation without being too personal or spending too much money.
If you have a small team and want to offer gift cards, one way to do so is to put the gift cards in a jar and let them draw a card when they do something that warrants appreciation.
Be sure to communicate why you’re giving the gift card and make sure that employees understand that they don’t have to do anything special to receive one.
Start Every Meeting With Appreciation
This is something that we’ve been doing at Myprotein for a few years now, and we’ve seen the value in it first hand. Every meeting at Myprotein begins with a round of gratitude, where each person on the meeting begins by thanking the person in front of them. This has a number of benefits.
When people see that you care about them, and you’re grateful for what they bring to the table, they feel valued, and it helps them do their best work and feel better about their day and the work they do.
Express Your Gratitude On Social Media
There are a number of ways you can express your gratitude on social media, such as Creating company and employee recognition-themed posts on your company’s social media pages.
Employee-created social media posts are a great way to show your employees that you care about them as individuals and not just their contribution to the company.
Employee Of The Month
This is one of the most traditional ways to show appreciation for employees. The employee of the month is recognised for the work that they do above and beyond, and you reward them for it by giving them a trophy.
Choose one employee per month to be recognised and make it count. Make sure that everyone knows who the employee of the month is, why they’re being recognised, and what they did to earn the award.
You can also change up the way that you choose the employee of the month to make it more personal. For example, you can choose the employee who cared the most about their work in the past month, or the employee who did the most to improve the company.
Give The Gift Of Fitness
If your company has a gym or wellness center, you can partner with a local gym to give employees discounts or free membership. You can also partner with a walking or outdoor activity group in your area and give employees two free tickets to every event that the group has.
If you don’t have a gym or wellness center on site, you can still give the gift of fitness. For example, you can offer to pay for a fitness coach to come to your office or a nearby park and lead a walking or outdoor activity class. You can also give employees gift cards to fitness stores.