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Why Showing Your Employees Appreciation is a Good Idea (and the Best Ways to Do It)

Why Showing Your Employees Appreciation is a Good Idea (and the Best Ways to Do It)

Most small business owners put a lot of stock into picking just the right employees for their company. They take the time to interview them, answering any questions they may have about the business or position with a smile on their face. Then, once hired, they provide top quality training and supportive feedback so the person knows they are doing a good job in their new role.

Unfortunately though, sometimes this is where employee-related gratitude and recognition stops. It just becomes expected that the person will continue to do his or her work to the best of their ability, so the pats on the shoulder become fewer and further in between. If this is the case in your small business, you are likely losing out on some pretty great benefits that come from making staff members feel as if they are a cherished and appreciated part of the team.

Benefits of Showing Gratitude Toward Employees

A 2013 survey involving 6,000 human resources professionals conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce found that 84% of those surveyed felt that recognizing employees for their work-related accomplishments gave them a clearer vision of what the company was trying to do. This means that taking a minute and showing your staff some well-deserved credit could actually help you get closer to your business goals simply because they’ll have a better idea of what they are.

Furthermore, 94% of the responding professionals also felt that reinforcing positive behaviors was more effective than giving negative feedback. In other words, you’re going to get more out of your employees if you focus on what they do right versus concentrating on everything that they do wrong.

Additionally, employees who receive verbal accolades also tend to be more motivated. For example, another 2013 survey conducted by Make Their Day (a motivation firm) and Badgeville (a gaming platform) learned that approximately three-quarters of their respondents were motivated by peer-involved recognition whereas that motivation rose to almost 90% when the recognition came from a manager. Thus, making appreciation a part of your supervisory team’s roles is a great way to get and keep employees pumped up to do a good job.

They also discovered that 83% of the employees indicated that they felt more fulfilled by simply being acknowledged for their work as opposed to receiving any type of monetary reward. This means that you don’t have to go out and buy lavish gifts or expensive thank-yous, as a little acknowledgement will do the trick.

Finally, Florida International University (FIU) Division of Human Resources points out that employees who feel appreciated tend to work harder and “go the extra mile,” giving you more of their energy to get their work done. They enjoy their work more as well, which creates a happier work environment. And they have increased loyalty toward their employers. All of these are positive factors that could propel your small business to higher levels. How do you show your employees’ appreciation?

Some of the Best Ways to Show Employees’ Appreciation

FIU suggests that the three main ways to show employees that you truly appreciate all that they do for you are: 1) to tell your employees when you feel that they’ve done a good job, 2) to give them job responsibilities that challenge them so they have a chance to grow, and 3) to offer additional programs and trainings so they can meet their professional goals. They further suggest that you be precise about what you are happiest about in regard to their performance, that you don’t weaken the compliment with a “you did great, but…”, and that you make the appreciation part of their formal employee record so it is documented for their benefit.

Other rather small but effective ways to thank employees for their services, thus increasing the benefits they provide you and your business, include:

  • Simply saying think you
  • Sending them a handwritten thank you note
  • Mentioning their good work or stellar results at a staff meeting
  • Giving them an honorable mention in your company newsletter
  • Sending them a bouquet of flowers for their desk or to admire at home
  • Buying them a couple scratch off lottery tickets
  • Turning over your right-by-the-door parking spot to them for a certain length of time
  • Getting enough movie passes for their entire family to enjoy a night out (popcorn too!)
  • Create a “These Employees ROCK!” board in your office and put their name and accomplishment on it

These are just a few ideas to consider. Remember: It doesn’t matter so much what you do, just that you do. So, take the time to show your employees that they are appreciated and it will come back to you. Tenfold.

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by Christina DeBusk // Freelance writer, author, and small business consultant committed to helping entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of success.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.