Is it possible for a small business to show its employees appreciation and give back all year long? See what these small business owners think, and check out ways to say thanks!
Here's what you need to know about small business owners share how they show employee appreciation year round:
- Generic praise doesn’t give nearly as much satisfaction to an employee as personalized praise.
- One of the easiest ways to show appreciation is simply listening to employees.
- Benefits packages have become the bottom line for employee appreciation.
Employee appreciation is critical to a successful business, and small business owners know that better than anyone. Organizations are finding ways to give back to hard workers. According to 91% of HR professionals, recognition and reward make employees more likely to stay.
In the spirit of retaining today’s best employees, small businesses need to find better ways to show their employees that they care. They’re thinking beyond the holidays and remembering they can show their gratitude anytime.
Research has been conducted to determine how small businesses appreciate their employees. American Express recently surveyed a few business owners to get their perspectives on employee appreciation. Here is what these owners and CEOs had to say about their strategies.
Many businesses understand that making praise a personal cheer makes employees feel more valued. Generic praise doesn’t give nearly as much satisfaction to an employee as personalized praise.
This means you need to take the time to get to know an employee on a deeper level to understand what makes them feel respected. It could look like:
- Inviting a tech-savvy employee to a software seminar, or
- Giving a dog-lover a 3-month subscription to a dog food delivery service.
A hair restoration business owner says he believes “in acknowledging a job well done by understanding what motivates each individual and creating an environment for the person to excel.”
Managers should show their appreciation loudly, proudly, and as often as possible.
This strategy genuinely shows appreciation for a person’s skill set and drives them into more professional development.
Give praise often
It’s not just enough to give praise every once in a while. Managers should show their appreciation loudly, proudly, and as often as possible. Every little thought matters, and this is a small ask for excellent outcomes.
Showing an employee immediate gratitude motivates others to receive praise as well. This creates a cause-and-effect cycle of appreciation and hard work. Even the founder of a public relations company agrees that perks are not enough. Their business believes “public praise and immediate – and frequent – positive feedback are the best ways to show employee appreciation.”
This doesn’t always have to be in person. Managers can praise employees on their social media or website. This shows customers that their employees are the best of the best. Likewise, it shows the prospective talent that the company values its employees.
Treat employees to events
Employees spend 8 hours a day or more trying to be their best at work. A popular saying is that they spend more time at work than home. Small business owners could invite their team members and families to after-work outings to show appreciation.
When it comes to year-round entertainment, this can be a great way of showing appreciation. Businesses could pay for holiday events, like parades or concerts. They could also sponsor marathon admission. This helps enlist a feeling of fun and lightheadedness after a long day of hard work.
The CEO of a tax company takes his employees on trips to Vegas for sporting events. He says it “keeps morale high in the office by giving everyone something to look forward to in the future.” This makes a lot of sense from an employee’s perspective. They work more efficiently, knowing they will receive a reward in the form of a short vacation.
Use effective communication and active listening skills
One of the easiest ways to show appreciation is simply listening to employees. Knowing they can voice their opinions without backlash helps foster more open communication.
Effective communication skills help build trust and break down walls between employees and management.
A car loan company founder agrees. He declared, “An office where ideas are heard and taken into consideration can prove to be a constructive and progressive workplace.” Employees get to see their ideas come to fruition, which raises their level of satisfaction. This attitude leads to employees who are more invested in their contribution to the business.
Other ways small businesses can show appreciation
Small businesses may be intimidated by the ways other companies show appreciation. Extravagant vacations and expensive dinners may be too much for a small business budget.
Company swag is a great present to give employees to show gratitude.
As companies start to scale, they can find fun and frugal ways to still show their employees that they are valued.
There are many ways to show monetary gratitude. Employees could receive gift cards to their favorite restaurants or retailers. Even if the care only holds $20, a gift card shows employees that management listens to them. Their personalized gift card allows them to spend a little free money on the things that make them happy.
Employees could also be thanked with free prizes from the company store. Company swag is a great present to give employees to show gratitude. It helps advertise the business and favors beloved staff at the same time.
Remembering employee birthdays can be small tokens of care. Small businesses can take this knowledge to the next step and throw parties for their staff. They can go all out decorating their desks and throwing a potluck for employees.
It doesn’t just have to be about birthdays. These in-office events could be because of a:
- New house
- Adoption or new baby
Parties can be as extra or subtle as suits a small company or individual employee. Managers could go all out with balloons and streamers or have an intimate setting with coworkers. This is a great time to give valued employees gift and thank you cards.
Have an employee of the month
Regularly recognizing employees is a great way to keep them engaged. This type of periodic reminder of employee significance could result from naming an employee of the month. It doesn’t always have to be a single employee that gets this praise. Team awards could be delegated to uplift “shining stars” in a group.
Regularly recognizing employees is a great way to keep them engaged.
Employees of the month (EOM) may appreciate the recognition. For starters, a placard with their posted award could be placed in a common area. Recognition as a company EOM could come with some perks as well. This group of employees could receive reserved parking for the month or first access to featured products.
Offering benefits and perks
Benefits packages have become the bottom line for employee appreciation. Workers want to know they can still work and handle their business without repercussions. The least a company can do is offer star employees a few perks for working so hard.
For small businesses, benefits packages may come in small sizes. With correct planning, benefits can spread far and wide to please team members. Benefits could include:
- Vision insurance plans
- Paid vacation days
- Sick leave policies
Benefits like these make employees feel better about coming to work, which diminishes absenteeism.
Employee appreciation is an integral part of any successful business. Small businesses don’t need to be intimidated by massive holiday packages for employees. Instead, they can show their gratitude all year round through small but meaningful methods. The business owners highlighted above prove how beneficial this simple exchange can be.
Small businesses throw small parties. They toughen up their voluntary perks, and they reward people publicly. This is satisfying for everyone in the end. Workers become more responsive, and businesses achieve a healthier working environment.