Recognition isn’t optional! Be sure your company’s employee recognition programs don’t go dormant because budgets are tight.
Companies that forego gratitude risk losing employees. According to survey cited by Fast Company, a majority of surveyed employees say they would leave their current jobs immediately for a company that clearly recognizes employees on a regular basis.
The good news is, rewarding employees and motivating performance “does not always require a tremendous outlay of money,” according to Inc. Even modest recognition programs have an impact when objectives are strategically aligned with corporate business goals.
Maybe you’re thinking: But my company’s budget is really small!
Don’t worry! “The real answer is there is no budget too small. Even if you have no budget funds, a thank-you note, paid time off or a company-wide email recognizing an employee’s efforts can make an impact on employee engagement,” according to the UsMotivation blog post, “How to Budget for Employee Recognition Programs.”
Read on for six ways to thank employees effectively — and still keep your accounting department happy!
6 Sure-Fire Ways to Thank Employees
1. Just Say It: ‘Thank you’
When we’re out of practice, saying “Thank You” can feel awkward and vulnerable. But flex that gratitude and it’ll grow stronger! When it comes to gratitude, words make a huge difference in behavior. People who share gratitude are more likely to get helped, and recipients of gratitude are more likely to be helpful to others in the future. Listen to Derek Halpern of Social Triggers explain the science behind saying “thanks” in this video.
2. Start a Fun Weekly Tradition
It could be as simple as bringing in bagels and juice for everyone on Monday mornings, reserving a basketball court for employees at a nearby rec center every Friday over the lunch hour, or hosting a workplace book club twice a month. You know what works best for your company culture and people. The point is to organize a regular, fun activity that gives employees a well-earned break and gets everyone connected and talking. For tips, check out our recent post, “Savvy HR: Build Your Own Workplace Celebration.”
3. Send Thank-You Notes
A handwritten thank-you note costs at most ten minutes, a stamp and some stationary, but it creates a document of gratitude worth saving. Especially in the digital age, a handwritten note stands out (read “The Comeback of the Employee Thank You Letter”). A personal, sincere note of thanks is worth pinning to the wall or saving in a photo album.
Don’t over think your thank-you note. Keep it short. Even three sentences is fine, as long as you explain in specific why you’re grateful and include a positive send-off that has an eye toward the future (“I look forward to seeing you work your magic on the next project!”). Make note-writing a regular part of your workweek and it’ll get easier and faster with time.
4. Take Advantage of Social Recognition
Social media dominates our daily lives. It’s how we connect, share and communicate – especially for the younger generations. When you harness the power of social media to recognize employees — a shoutout on Twitter, for instance — you invite them to share the recognition with their network, too. Socially shared recognition spreads gratitude, positivity, pride, and name recognition for your company.
5. Offer Flex Time or Time Off
Give the gift of time. Giving an employee an afternoon off for a job well done or allowing temporary schedule flexibility demonstrates appreciation and trust. Time off is also good for the brain and productivity, even a few hours at a time. So don’t be surprised if you recoup the cost of an afternoon off when your employee returns to work the next morning refreshed and energized!
6. Share Small, Meaningful Gifts
Go for inexpensive gifts that are practical and meaningful.
What’s a crowd-pleasing gift that doesn’t break the budget? Food. Whether you’re bringing in homemade brownies for your team or sharing gift certificates company-wide, the gift of food has broad appeal and evokes togetherness. Food “is the sincerest demonstration of gratitude you can find,” writes Today columnist Laura T. Coffey in a post about office gift-giving.
And remember, even the smallest gift conveys appreciation when you combine it with a heartfelt and personalized “thanks.”
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of engagement and recognition, be sure to download our free e-book, “The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should be Reading.”
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-484-1658.
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