The saying ‘little things go a long way’ wasn’t just plucked out of nowhere; it is often true and can even be applied to the workplace.
Little gestures of appreciation towards employees has proven to:
- Increase employee motivation
- Increase employee retention rates
- Boost team morale and overall workplace atmosphere
- Improve employee mental health, well-being and happiness
The best thing about little gestures is that they will cost your business very little (if anything at all), they take no time out of your day and they can be implemented right now.
Here are some suggestions of a few simple and thoughtful actions that could make a huge difference.
Acknowledge Employee Birthdays
When an employee starts work they will have to provide some personal information including their date of birth. Use this opportunity to make a note in your diary of all your employees’ birthdays so you’ll be aware of the big day when it approaches.
Some companies go as far as to offer an extra day annual leave if your birthday falls on a weekday, but if that isn’t something you can provide then distribute a card around the workplace or buy a cake and some balloons.
The fact that you have remembered and acknowledged their birthday is enough to make them feel special on what’s an important day for many of us.
Ask for Employee Feedback
As we’ve explained in previous blogs such as The Most Effective Ways to Communicate with Your Employees, asking your employees for their feedback and suggestions on things at work is important. It shows your employees that you trust and value their opinion, even if you don’t always agree with it.
By allowing your staff to have a voice and encouraging them to share it, they will grow in confidence and feel as though they are not part of a hierarchy where their thoughts and views are disregarded.
Praise Your Employees
Even something as little as a ‘well done’ or a ‘thank you’ when your employees complete a task on time or go out of their way to help a colleague can be hugely gratifying.
It shows them that their hard work does not go unnoticed even if it may be considered as just “them doing their job”. It will encourage them to continue to work hard and strive for more praise.
Implement Employee Rewards
When an employee goes the extra mile, or your team hit their target, make sure they are given a bit more than a ‘thank you’.
Some companies have ‘Employee of the Month’ scheme in place where they highlight and reward one employee who has done something exceptional that month which can work well as long as there is a fair system in place.
Again, it doesn’t have to be costly or extravagant; anything from an extra day of annual leave or a small gift is enough to show your appreciation and make your employee feel good.
Get to Know Your Employees
Your employees do have a life outside of their 9 to 5 and it’s important that you take some time to learn a little about it – as long as you are not being too intrusive.
It’s polite and thoughtful when you, as an employer, acknowledge your employees’ personal lives by asking them what they’ve got planned for the weekend or how their holiday was.
This is even more important when an employee may be going through some difficulties outside of work such as a bereavement or illness. Be sure to check in with them regularly and let them know that they have your support when its needed.
Introduce Workplace Treats
Not only is it important to let employees know, individually, that they are appreciated, but you should also have the occasional team ‘thank you’ by bringing everyone together for a treat.
This could be buying lunch for the whole office one Friday, taking them out for a meal or an activity one evening or, doing something a bit different for the day like a team outing or a workplace treasure hunt for treats.
Spend Time with Each Employee
As mentioned in the previous blog post, Preparing for Staff Appraisals, having regular reviews and 1-2-1’s with each of your employees is not just important for keeping on top of staff performance and workplace issues. But it also lets your employees know that you genuinely care about what they are doing, especially if you can set some personal development goals and discuss their achievements and plans for the future.
Encourage Training at Work
By allowing your employees to go on training courses or to networking events and exhibitions, you are showing them that you support their growth and development which can be a huge motivational boost.
Not to mention it will improve their skills and connections which could have great benefits to your business too.
Mark Those Milestones
Rewards and kind messages don’t have to be saved for good performance at work, hitting targets or birthdays, you should also take the time to celebrate the personal wins and achievements too.
For example, sending a gift to an employee who has just had a baby or passed their driving test is thoughtful and something that employee’s will appreciate a little more because you have gone out of your way to recognise an accomplishment outside of work.
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