How To Make Employees Feel Appreciated

Workers who feel valued often try harder to do a better job. Here are some tips for showing appreciation to your employees.

If you own a small business or if you supervise employees in a larger company, it is a good idea for you to understand the importance of showing appreciation to your staff members. While this may seem as basic as saying "thanks" or smiling while passing in the hall, employee appreciation requires a little more in-depth effort to become really effective. Here are a few ways in which you can help your employees feel as though they are making a difference in the company, which in turn can lead to even greater productivity and more of a positive attitude.

1. When conducting routine evaluations, add a section for noting strengths, improvement, or creativity that can come in the form of suggestions or innovations. This provides a written record of positive accomplishments in the employee's career. He or she will be more likely to feel as though management notices and cares about the efforts a person makes to improve quality at the job site.

2. Send written notes of gratitude. A simple handwritten note of thanks for effort that is above and beyond the call of duty will be valued by most employees. Knowing that a busy executive took time to notice and comment on a person's achievement makes the effort worthwhile. The note needn't be long, but should have a professional appearance by being written in blank ink with a quality pen on professional stationery. The employee may wish to keep the note in his or her personnel file and bring it out during the annual review if that procedure is conducted by someone other than the note-writer.

3. Publish good news in the company's newsletter. This publication can take the form of a print circular or an online e-zine received by both employees and customers. A staff member who reaches a certain quota, receives a high-ranking award or compliment, or completes the next level of training should be recognized in print for all to see and to become a part of the company's history in the archives. This intangible reward often provides incentive for employees to try harder to do a good job and meet or exceed standards.

4. Offer monetary incentives. Some companies offer annual $50 awards to the best suggestion or idea for organizational improvement. Host an annual recognition dinner and give out token amounts like $25 or $50 gift certificates to local restaurants or gift shops to employees who display unusual success or motivation. As a general rule, raises and bonuses should never be overlooked if at all possible.

5. Confer titles, designations, and other forms of nominal recognition. Even when a company can't afford to promote a person to the next level of job performance with an accompanying pay raise, changing a worker's title or adding a more descriptive designation or exciting new duty may be a reward of its own. Stay alert and catch employees doing things for the company's benefit. Then take time to find ways of rewarding them via a job title change or enhancement.

Employee recognition does not have to boil down to dollars and cents. You simply have to look for alternative methods of making people feel special in return for their special efforts on the company's behalf.

© High Speed Ventures 2011