The logic behind employee appreciation is a simple concept—make employees feel appreciated, and they’ll work harder and be more loyal. But complexity comes into the situation when there is a disconnect between the type of appreciation managers come up with, and the type of appreciation employees respond to. In a recent California study, managers responded that cash-based bonuses and promotions were the most effective methods, while employees preferred a “job-well-done” comment in person, or having their well-done efforts reported to upper management.
You’re probably thinking, “Well that’s much easier than raising their pay,” but you’d be surprised. For a significant amount of companies, especially large ones that can afford it, a simple pay raise is the easy way out, rather than creating a company culture of making thank-yous a common occurrence.
Founder of a Missouri IT Services company, David Brown came up with a few ideas that go above a simple thank you. He found that a high performing employee responded better when not only their immediate superior, but also fellow employees, thanked him/her for their efforts. He also began setting aside time every week to hand-write thank you letters to employees that had exemplary performance each week. Brown says, “At a tech company it’s all too easy to just write emails. It takes time to sit down and write out a note, but it goes a long way.”
It is important to make sure your management team is also on board with this culture of appreciation. If the leaders aren’t going the extra mile to acknowledge hard work, neither will other employees. And the more people that are in on the appreciation process, the more effective it will be.
Employee appreciation is key in a healthy workplace. Go the extra mile to make sure your employees are appreciated, especially when they are going the extra mile for you.