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Employee Appreciation Ideas

Recognizing your employees should be top-of-mind for every business owner and team manager.  Employee appreciation helps to increase team morale and is a perfect way to further incentivize your most hardworking and dedicated employees.  Employee appreciation ideas and gifts can be given at any time and you don’t need to wait until a birthday, holiday, or Employee Appreciation Day to give them.

Nearly 39% of employers are nervous or worried that their top performers will leave in the upcoming year.  This fear is justified.  With more-and-more companies expanding their suite of benefits and employee perks and offerings, you need to begin to think outside-the-box to retain your best and most dedicated employees.

In a similar vein, by not recognizing all your employees, not just the top performers, you risk alienating and discouraging them from giving their best every day.  Nearly 40% of employees state that if they do not feel recognized at work, then they will not go above-and-beyond their core role and responsibilities.

Clearly there is a disconnect here.  While employees are hired to complete certain tasks and functions, they should do so in an environment and atmosphere that is warm, welcoming, and encouraging.  The relationship between employer and employee should be one that is mutual and respectful and the employer should ensure that the employee feels that respect and appreciation.

Recognizing and showing employee appreciation frequently and often has been shown to increase productivity, increase retention rates, and increase revenue.  These simple steps can positively impact your business and your team and will pay dividends immediately.

Celebrate Birthdays

An easy way to show your employees that you appreciate them is by remembering their birthdays and throwing a small party.  Keep it simple with cake and some decorations and have everyone gather together to celebrate.

Bagel Tuesday’s

Pick one day from the week and bring in bagels from the local bagel store. 

Employee Thanks

Encourage employees to thank and appreciate one-another.  A simple email from a colleague thanking them for their help and assistance can go a long way.

Track Team Wins

Competition can be healthy.  Track wins against different teams and departments and provide a small reward to the winning team.

Give Thanks Individually

Personal appreciation can go a long way.  Thank your employees individually and let them know how their help and assistance was impactful.

Utilize Your Manager

Sometimes, it’s good to have your manager or the director of the department show their appreciation.  Have them come to team meetings and express it!

Call Out Accomplishments and Wins in Team Meetings

Start all team meetings discussing small and large accomplishments and wins.

Send Out Emails on Big Wins

Big wins and accomplishments should be shared.  Send it out via email and call out the employee who was able to accomplish it.

Bring Lunch

Catering or ordering lunch is an easy morale boost.  If budget allows, try to make it a frequent and expected thing.

Half-Day Friday’s

Offer half-day Friday’s to your staff.  If the work can be done remotely, this is a great way to treat your staff to an early start to the weekend.

Unlimited Vacation Days

Offer unlimited vacation days.  Studies have shown that employees appreciate the flexibility and time and are likely to utilize less days than if they had a set number.

Coffee Runs

Grab coffee for your team.  A nice 2:00 pick-me-up can help with productivity, especially towards the end of the week.

Games in the Break Room

Put some board games and cards in the break room.  It’s a great way to encourage relationship building and offers your employees something to do on their breaks.

Department Potluck

Plan a department or team potluck.  Have everyone bring something in and meet in the breakroom to eat together.

Stock the Breakroom

Stocking the breakroom with candy, drinks, and sugary sweets are nice treats for your employees.

Institute Flexible Scheduling

Allow your employees to have flexible schedules.  If you’re able to, let your employees know that you’re not a micromanager and trust them to get the work done.

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