Your employees perform essential functions, without which your company couldn’t thrive. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate their successes and milestones and show your appreciation. Employees who feel appreciated and celebrated are more engaged with their work, more productive, and less likely to experience burnout.
But how can you celebrate your employees? Here are some strategies that can help your employees, and your company as a whole, succeed.
Incentivize Good Performance
You shouldn’t underestimate the role incentives can play in encouraging better performance from your employees. Eighty-five percent of employees say they feel more motivated to do a good job when their employers incentivize good performance. Offering incentives keeps morale high and keeps employees happy, and that means higher productivity for your work force and healthier profits. Happy employees are at least 12 percent more productive than unhappy ones.
Call Out Reliability
Reliability is one of those things that you just can’t teach, and it’s also one of the most valuable qualities you can have in an employee. But it’s also one of those qualities that often doesn’t get recognized – and employees notice that.
Be sure to recognize your most reliable employees. Let them know that their reliability has been noticed and that you’re grateful for it. Tell them all the ways they help the company and how their dependability makes it easier for you to do your job. Recognizing your most reliable employees for their reliability will go a long way towards encouraging them to stay reliable.
Express Your Gratitude
Showing gratitude to your employees is as quick and easy as saying “Thank you,” and it’s something that employees really appreciate. When you express your gratitude to your employees for their hard work, it puts you all in a more positive frame of mind and that can improve workplace morale significantly.
Expressing gratitude lets your team know how much you appreciate their hard work. Write personalized thank-you notes to your employees, offer them free lunch once a week, or print out awards for each of your employees and host a small awards ceremony.
Encourage Breaks and Vacations
Employees who don’t take time to recharge can easily become burnt-out and lose their motivation to do good work. Taking breaks from work is important to maintaining your productivity, whether it’s a couple of 15-minute coffee breaks and a lunch, or a two-week vacation.
However, 55 percent of employees across the country don’t take all of their vacation time, leaving hundreds of millions of unused vacation days on the table nationwide. About one-third of those unused days are lost forever, unable to be banked, rolled over, or cashed out.
Don’t be one of those bosses who pressures your employees to never take a day off. Don’t allow team members to guilt trip other team members about taking time off, either. In the post-COVID world, we’ve hopefully all learned a thing or two about how important it is to stay home and rest when sick, but employees deserve time to relax and unwind, too. More than that, employee productivity decreases more and more the longer employees go without a break. Offer your employees more vacation time and encourage them to take it. Insist that employees take their mandated breaks during work. You’ll find that they’re happier, more productive, and more satisfied with their jobs.
Recognize Achievements and Milestones
Ninety percent of employees surveyed have said that receiving recognition for their achievements at work inspires deeper trust in their bosses. Don’t let an employee’s achievement go unrecognized. Tell your employees when you think they’ve done a good job.
Recognizing your employees’ life milestones is also important. Through recognizing milestones like births, deaths, marriages, and adoptions, you can get to know your employees better and they’ll feel more connected to the people they work with. Don’t forget to recognize employee work anniversaries, either – these days, staying with a company is an achievement in itself, and most employees want some kind of employee anniversary recognition to acknowledge their years of service. Consider offering additional benefits, like more days off, or other perks to employees to reward them for years of service.
Define Each Employee’s Career Path
Career stagnation is one of the top reasons why employees leave otherwise good jobs. You could be paying a fair market rate and offering great benefits, but if employees feel like there’s no way to advance or even move laterally within the company, they’re going to leave for other companies where those opportunities for advancement are available.
Sit down with each of your employees regularly, and put together an individualized career trajectory plan. Encouraging employee development can get you more qualified staff without the need to hire anyone new, and that can improve your bottom line. Employees who are moving up in the company and experiencing regular title changes and raises are less likely to look elsewhere for opportunities.
Be Positive to Encourage Positivity
When you put out positive vibes, you’re more likely to get positive vibes back. Show the positivity you want to see in your employees. Be upbeat, happy, and engaged in your work. Employees will be happier and more cheerful if you greet them with a smile, and radiate positivity throughout all your interactions with them.
Workplace bullying can be hugely detrimental to the health and safety of your staff, and can leave victimized workers looking for a way out of your organization. Employees who experience bullying and harassment at the hands of supervisors or peers or even, rarely, subordinates take 26 percent more sick days than employees who do not experience workplace bullying.
Workplace bullies may exhibit signs of a disordered personality, such as the so-called “dark triad” of Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. People with these traits may either seek to harm others or may not understand how harmful their words and actions can be to others. Perform personality screening during the recruitment phase to try to weed out the worst offenders – and when employees complain of bullying, take them seriously.
Getting up and moving around once in a while during the day keeps workers alert, engaged, and healthy. Build your workspace so that employees feel encouraged to stand up from their desks once an hour and get some steps in lapping the room. Invest in sit/stand desks so employees can enjoy the many health benefits of standing more during the day, which can include improved mood and higher energy levels, as well as less back and neck pain from sitting hunched over a keyboard, peering at a screen.
Take things one step further and offer to reimburse your employees for a gym membership. Or, if you invest in on-site gym facilities, your company could get a tax break. Employees are more likely to hit the gym regularly if you make it an employment perk, and that means they’ll take fewer sick days and be peppier and more engaged at work.
Get to Know Your Employees
The better your communication with your employees, the better you’ll get along. As you get to know one another better, mutual respect forms. Employees will feel more loyal to the company if they feel their bosses care about them as people, so spend at least 20 percent of your time getting to know your employees. Talk about their strengths and weaknesses, ask about their families and hobbies, and discuss their pets. When you take this time, you can improve communication with your employees, work better together, and earn your employees’ appreciation.
If you want your employees to remain engaged with their work, you need to celebrate their successes and make them feel like their hard work is seen and appreciated. The work you put in to celebrate your employees will pay off in increased productivity, lower turnover, and higher profits – so start putting your employees first today.