16 Clever Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

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You don’t need to wait for Employee Appreciation Day to recognize employees. Showing employees they are appreciated by their employer and office colleagues boosts morale and increases workplace effectiveness. This infographic by Work.com indicates that 69% of employees worked harder when they felt they were appreciated, and 54% of employees would quit working at a company where they didn’t feel appreciated. It’s time to recognize employees!

Whether you are interested in budget-friendly tips or you want to do something quick and easy, here are some clever ideas to jumpstart your employee appreciation efforts.

Pinterest Takes the Prize

Take to the Pinterest boards to find dozens of easy and cost effective tips, including:

1. Candy gifts with crafty tags, such as “You’re a lifesaver” (Lifesavers), “You deserve a break” (Kit Kat bar), “You are so Flippin’ Awesome” (Flips Chocolate Covered Pretzels), or “Thanks a Million for Being Such Great Employees” (Million bar).

2. Create buttons or decorated knickknacks that showcase employee appreciation, with slogans like “My Boss Thinks I’m Kind of a Big Deal.”

Craft style gifts can be made up in advance, require little personalization, and are quite cost effective. These are ideal for small tokens of appreciation and for group appreciation.

Give the Gift of Gold

Who says monetary rewards can’t be creative? Consider the following ideas:

3. Gift cards to favored stores or online retailers, i.e. Starbucks or Amazon.com

4. 20 random unscratched lottery tickets

5. Tickets to see a movie, local sporting event, or entertainment, i.e. theater tickets or tickets to the zoo

6. Create a reward system allowing employees to earn tickets, which can be redeemed for major prizes ranging from cash to extended vacation time.

7. Voucher for a professional cleaning services to clean their house or vehicle

Monetary gifts are best suited for individual employees who have shown promise, leadership, and the willingness to go above and beyond for their job. This type of award is best when promoted across the board so that everyone is pushed to go that extra mile.

Gifts that Keep on Giving

Growth opportunities are highly prized in workplaces. By expanding your employees’ opportunities, you are boosting their abilities, in addition to increasing their workplace effectiveness. Here are some inventive ways to enhance personal growth while rewarding employees for their hard work:

8. Send the employee on a business retreat that involves R&R and training

9. Offer free tuition to courses related to the industry, i.e. UX courses for online marketing firms

10. Free passes to attend national or international conferences related to your industry

11. All expenses paid trip to a regional lecture or assembly to listen to professionals or industry experts

These rewards offer employees the chance to unwind and get away from the rigors of the office, while expanding their professional horizons. Your HR department increases its effectiveness by showing compassion, respect, and consideration for your employees’ livelihoods. It’s a win-win situation.

Simple Manners Suffice

Sometimes you won’t need to make, purchase, or give the employees anything to show your thanks. As noted on Forbes, here are some simple changes you can make to show your general appreciation:

12. Give employees a Bring Your Daughter/Son/Spouse/Pet to Work Day

13. Allow extra time at lunch or for breaks

14. Send out an employee-wide email noting appreciation for specific employees

15. Note your appreciation in a newsletter that goes out to clients and customers

Finally, a simple way you can recognize employees doesn’t have to have any bells and whistles at all. The cleverest and easiest way to show appreciation is to:

16. Regularly tell your employees that you appreciate them — in meetings, in the halls, at the end of the week, whenever!

Don’t just assume that employees understand how much they are appreciated. Let them know!

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