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Employee appreciation is just a good company practice

Jeff Benjamin

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American’s spend 8.7 hours per day working. At least one-third of your life is spent conducting job-related activities.

Shockingly, the latest Gallup Poll on Employee Engagement in 2014 reports that more than 70 percent of U.S. employees are not engaged at work.

One way to create a positive workplace that engages employees is through appreciating and rewarding people for their efforts. Acknowledging positive behavior is the best way to perpetuate it.



Here is a short list of ways to acknowledge and appreciate employees and co-workers:

• Send a handwritten note. A thoughtful handwritten note is often saved by being taped in a work area or saved in a drawer that is referenced many times over. In a digital era, handwritten notes are rare and can have a huge impact on the recipient.



• Offer a paid day off. Everyone can use a day to take care of personal issues or to enjoy a little more leisure time. A paid day off can afford a three-day weekend or other excursion.

• Say “thank you” often. It only takes two seconds. For some people, uttering these words is like an act of Congress. For others, they have simply fallen out of the habit of being courteous. Make it a point to say thank you when people honor your requests or when someone does or says something nice to you.

• Share a photo of the person. Display a Wall of Fame that highlights all of your employees. Add their photo on the company website and post it on company social media sites. Also, submit the photo with newspaper press releases.

• Hold an appreciation ceremony. This can be a formal event or as informal as part of an agenda item for your weekly team meetings where you take a few minutes for employees to verbally acknowledge the efforts of colleagues.

• Give away a gift card of choice. Offer a smorgasbord of gift cards to choose from ranging from free gas, free meals, free hotel stays, or whatever they want.

• Provide personal development training. Offering ongoing training in areas like team building, leadership, effective communication, goal setting, and time management are just some of the ways a company can help build a powerful work culture.

• Provide random gifts. Create an inventory that co-workers can grab from to give to each other anonymously or in person. Each item is accompanied with a note that shares words of appreciation.

• Implement a succession plan. Develop a mentor and mentee program to develop your next level of leaders. Match current leaders with a future leader to share and transfer knowledge.

• Provide autonomy. Set forth the expectations that are to be met. Provide the training to meet or exceed performance is necessary. Then, allow the independence and self-determination to fulfill defined expectations. Freedom to perform is appreciation in action.

• Go for the win/win. Successful negotiation is achieved when both parties’ needs are fulfilled. When fulfilling the needs of others, you are allowing them to walk away feeling good. Developing a win/win outcome establishes a positive connotation with the experience, which ultimately sets the tone for future interactions

• Support community outreach. Employees generally have a special cause they like to volunteer their time. Let employees use a couple hours per month of company time to give back to the community.

• Cater a monthly lunch. Have lunch brought in that allows employees to eat with other coworkers. Take a few minutes to let everyone know how much the company values their contributions.

• Ask instead of telling. Generally, people resent being told what to do. Exercise the habit of asking people to do what you would like them to do instead of telling them what to do. Remember, people respond much better when they are asked rather than told. Don’t you?

• Encourage collaboration. Create a culture that collaborates on projects and organizational goals. Allow for brainstorming and input from everyone on how to best achieve goals.

• Compliment more than you criticize. Search for ways you can compliment people. If you are only criticizing, it will be hard to establish a positive working relationship that is needed to achieve organizational goals.

You can create a culture of engagement. Use a few of these tips on how to acknowledge others and show appreciation.

Best of success to you!

Jeffrey Benjamin is the founder of Breakthrough Training that provides team building, leadership, strategic planning and effective communication skills training in Reno. Visit http://www.breakthroughtraining.com to learn more.