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How to Show Employee Appreciation in Your Small Business

9 min read

Small business owners and managers should not just show appreciation for their employees on Employee Appreciation Day in Canada. Instead, they should lavish praise and recognition on their workforce throughout the year.

Many individuals feel like they are not valued by their bosses for the work they do. As a result, employees leave a position for lack of recognition of contributions to the company. By showing appreciation for staff and recognizing their efforts, it benefits everyone involved.

Importance of Employee Appreciation

Showing appreciation and recognizing employee performance can go a long way in creating a positive work environment. It is crucial for business owners and managers to let their team know how much their efforts contribute to the company’s success overall.

There are many benefits attached to recognizing your workforce’s efforts in their everyday responsibilities, including:

  • Increased employee retention: The better you treat your employees, the more likely they will stay in your company. Lack of appreciation can drive away hard workers that would otherwise be satisfied with their current position. A high turnover rate of staff can make others wary of applying and accepting a place within the company.
  • Improved performance: When someone is recognized for a job well done, it can inspire them to work harder as they see their efforts are being noted by those who matter. Increased productivity, performance, and quality of output are all effects of positive affirmation and appreciation.
  • Fostering a positive work environment: People want to be happy where they work as they spend many hours a week within this environment. Positive acknowledgment and respect to employees go a long way toward fostering a fun and happy working environment for everyone.
  • High morale: When employee morale is high, they have a positive outlook, attitude, and confidence in their performance and the organization, elevating the whole company in the process. However, low morale can do the opposite, causing distress, low efforts, and bleak outlooks that will negatively impact all involved.
  • Attracting quality talent: An appreciated workforce is more likely to leave positive reviews of their place of business online. A positive environment will also be felt by customers, who in turn will also promote the business. A positive reputation can attract quality employees to your company, which in turn means your company improves its quality overall too.

With these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why recognition matters and how it can help all parties involved. Here’s how to show appreciation to your employees.

17 Ways to Display Employee Recognition

Appreciation can be used as a reward for good attendance, highlight the importance of an employee’s contribution, and acknowledge the business’s achievements and successes. If you’re wondering how to show staff appreciation and employee recognition at your company, then these employee appreciation ideas can help you do just that.

1. Provide verbal and written positive feedback

Both verbal praise and written praise can help employees feel valued and admired for their work. Even just a thank you every time your staff complete a task acknowledges their efforts. A handwritten note or card also does the trick.

As a business leader, if you don’t tell them what they are doing right, how will they know what to keep striving for? A workplace that does not show appreciation to its staff can negatively affect employees’ mental state and create a bad or hostile environment for everyone.

If you aren’t used to issuing praise and admiration, start small with micro recognition. A ‘great job’ written on a sticky note and placed on top of a report you are handing back to them can do the trick. A ‘thank you for your contributions at the end of a shift or workday is another easy yet powerful way to show your staff they are valued.

2. Get to know your staff

How can you appreciate your team members if you don’t know them as people? The human element is an integral part of creating an appreciated team and a positive work environment.

Getting to know your staff personally, what they like to do in their free time, their favourite foods, and their career aspirations helps to create strong working relationships. And the details you find out about them can be used for later recognition opportunities and gift ideas.

3. Always show respect

Staff appreciation starts with respect, always. If you don’t show consideration to your employees, how can you appreciate them? And how can they then respect you in turn? Acknowledging staff first as humans and then their hard work is necessary when managing people and owning a business. Without your workforce, how could you operate?

4. Deliver personal praise

Recognizing employee performance can be personalized for greater effectiveness. Pinpoint specific aspects of a project or report that stuck out as high quality and reference the worker responsible. Saying ‘Good job on those reports’ is nice, but saying ‘Good job on those reports, I liked how concise yet detailed they were’ is even better.

People are more likely to remember a word of acknowledgment when it is directly tied to something they have done. Personal praise can also help promote a continued high quality of work, as they see their work as valued.

Here are some ways to give effective praise to motivate your team to continue to perform at their peak levels.

5. Celebrate wins together

Celebrating little wins can be as important as the big victories. Coming together to celebrate your staff’s dedication and effort can go a long way in showing appreciation. If you don’t recognize the win for what it is, then employees might feel under-appreciated for all the hard work they did to make it happen. The next victory might not be so big or victorious if the previous win wasn’t given the celebration it deserved.

6. Learn from your employees

Learning from others is its own form of praise. Showing your employees that they have skills that you may not have, as the business owner, illustrates that they are vital to the team. Their know-how and abilities contribute to the business’s success just as much as anyone else’s, no matter what position they hold.

7. Display gestures of gratitude

A gesture of gratitude can take many shapes and forms- whether through spoken word, physical gestures, tangible items, or intangible events. Showing gratitude to your staff for a hard day’s work can make all the difference to how they view their efforts and whether they look forward to coming into their place of business.

8. Be timely with your appreciation

Showing appreciation too far after the fact can be just as bad as not showing appreciation at all. Being timely with your gratitude will have your employees’ associating their efforts with the good feelings that well up inside from a thoughtful compliment and praise. Leave it too long, and your appreciation will feel like an afterthought instead.

9. Provide free food for a job well done

Providing free lunch for employees is another way to show appreciation. Free meals don’t have to happen all of the time, but a complimentary tasty treat on the boss can brighten everyone’s day. And you don’t need to spend a fortune to make it happen. A pizza party team lunch or bagels and spreads for breakfast can show that you recognize your team and all the jobs they do for the company.

10. Offer recognition through tangible elements

Associate the feeling of a job well done with fun recognition gifts for employees. Giving a small token of appreciation to your staff after a project’s completion or career milestone can connect their hard work to that item. Every time they look at it, they will feel pride for their work, inspiring them to continue working hard.

Such employee gift ideas include:

  • Personalized mug, stationary, or tote bag with their name and the company’s
  • Branded company apparel
  • A plaque for their desk
  • Gift cards to their favourite coffee shop or café
  • A monthly subscription gift box for the office
  • Edible arrangements
  • Personalized trophy
  • A book with a personalized note on the first page

 

11. Showcase workers on social media

Don’t just display employee recognition in the office; take it to your social media platforms too! Showcasing employee efforts online benefits the organization in multiple ways. First, sharing praise through social media shows everyone the company’s positive company culture. It highlights the actions of those involved, and friends, family, and customers can all appreciate their efforts simultaneously.

The employee receiving praise will also feel that much more valued, seen, and appreciated. It also gives them something to link to for their own career accomplishments.

12. Recognize talents outside of the office

Hard work doesn’t just happen in a business setting. Acknowledging employee exploits outside of the place of business is part of getting to know your staff and appreciating them as people. Issuing praise for personal wins can be just as important and effective as career wins, as it fosters dedication, tenacity, and high efforts in all aspects of life.

13. Foster a cohesive workforce

Appreciation and rewards are easier to dole out when the workforce has a positive working relationship. Fostering teamwork and a strong support network between employees will create an optimistic atmosphere where people feel more comfortable offering advice, appreciation, and feedback that will help grow everyone involved.

14. Start a game night for team members

If you’ve noticed your team members are down or have been working extra hard, recognize and reward their dedication with an office game night. A social event like game night is great fun and fosters healthy competition and collaboration. Many large corporations implement an office-wide game night to bring joy and excitement to the workplace.

Board games and video games can foster team cohesion on top of creating an enjoyable work environment and social evening for your staff.

15. Take care of your employed with benefit packages

Benefits plans and packages are a great way to show your employees you care about their well-being. Offering health insurance and retirement benefit options promotes a healthy attitude toward a work-life balance. The private health service plan premiums that you pay for your staff can be claimed as a business deduction too.

16. Consider investing in employees

Investing in employees through tuition reimbursement programs and education funding can benefit both parties involved. Sometimes employers will pay for their employees’ education and certification fees to help them gain the necessary skills within the industry. By having a tuition reimbursement program in place, you are showing your staff members that their career development is as important to you as it is to them.

17. Go all out for Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day in Canada is a national day of recognition of the efforts of employees everywhere. Whether handing out fun recognition gifts for employees, providing a free meal, or giving shoutouts on your social media accounts, or all of them together, doing something on Employee Appreciation Day will show your staff how much you care about them.

No matter what ways you choose to use these appreciation ideas and show employee recognition, the most crucial point is acknowledging your team’s dedication and ongoing efforts.

Showing your appreciation to your workforce can help boost morale and productivity and improve your business overall. For further improvements, why not try QuickBooks Online accounting software to help ensure your company is at its peak performance in every way.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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