When an employee feels appreciated they are more likely to have a vested interest in the company’s success and are more willing and motivated to perform to levels that exceed their responsibilities. Too often we forget to thank our teams for their hard work and this can lead to feelings of underappreciation.

Did you know?

“Praise and commendation from managers was rated the top motivator for performance, beating out other noncash and financial incentives, by a majority of workers (67%).

69% say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized.

78% said being recognized motivates them in their job.

When managers recognize their employees’ performance, they increase employee engagement by nearly 60%[1]

An increase of 60%! That’s huge! Employee recognition not only increases employee engagement, it also reduces voluntary turnover, builds a supportive network, and improves morale[i].  It really is the little things that make a big impact.  Below are ten easy (and cost effective) ways to say “thank you”.

  1. Praise. Recognize a co-worker who went the extra mile for you or a customer. Tell them the specific actions that were commendable, but keep it short! No need to draft a long speech.
  2. Personalized gift. Giving a small token such as a special mug, a festive pen or your co-workers favourite candy shows that you also know them on a personal level. The gift will have more meaning and shows that you have been listening.
  3. Celebrate the holidays – all of them! With our ever increasing multi-culturalism in Canada, there is also the introduction to new cultural holidays. Take this opportunity to celebrate with your co-workers and learn something new. It could be decorating the office or sampling new foods[ii].
  4. Handwritten card. With so many electronic communication options these days, it seems old fashioned to receive a hand written thank you note, but those are the ones people always keep.
  5. Start a mentoring program. By taking someone under your ‘wing’ you are not only helping to pass along your valuable knowledge, you are also showing a vested interest in your up-and-coming co-worker. Helping others succeed also has intrinsic rewards!
  6. You had me at ‘food’. Small events like morning bagels or pot luck lunches, to larger events like company BBQs, go a long way to make staff feel appreciated.[iii]
  7. Work from home option. If your company has the means, allowing your team this occasional flexibility will go a long way to them feeling supported.
  8. Post it. Create a recognition board (it can even be a virtual board!) where co-workers can recognize each other, it’s a new take on the longstanding ‘employee of the month photo’.[iv]
  9. Gift cards. Gift cards show not only your appreciation for your co-worker but also that you know their favourite coffee spot/clothing shop/restaurant.
  10. Group outing. If the team worked really hard on a project or everyone pitched-in and met a tight deadline, why not recognize them ALL with a nice break from work. Everyone loves bowling! Or maybe karaoke night! Positive reinforcement that the team works well together will build trust as well as community spirit.So go ahead, make someone’s day and tell them you appreciate them!
  11. To have the most impact, recognition needs to be timely, come across as authentic and explains why you are thanking them.

Thanks for reading!

Tiana Hanssen / HR Advisor / PEO Canada

[1] https://ideas.baudville.com/the-baudville-blog/top-12-employee-appreciation-statistics

[i] http://www.awardco.com/4-statistics-that-prove-employee-recognition-programs-work

[ii] https://www.thebalance.com/top-ways-to-show-appreciation-to-employees-1916807

[iii] https://justworks.com/blog/master-employee-appreciation-inexpensive-ideas

[iv] http://hrcouncil.ca/hr-toolkit/keeping-people-employee-recognition.cfm