Anyone can show up to work and do their bit with the expectation that they’re going to get paid for their efforts at the end of the month. However, it is not enough that people feel obliged to do whatever it is they are required to do; if they do just that—and only that—they’re going to burn out before long. Along with the hard work, people should also feel passion for their job. This kind of passion can be instilled and encouraged in your employees when you give them constant positive affirmations.
While you can always say “thank you” or recognize your employees for a job well done, there are many more creative ways you can show your appreciation and respect for them. Here are some of them:
- Give your employees a voice.
When your employees are given validation for their thoughts and ideas, that’s when they feel that they actually matter in your company. It doesn’t mean you have to go to the extent of adding a training event to their already busy schedule; sometimes it can be as simple as requesting them to share their ideas and effective work practices in a brainstorming or a company meeting. Moreover, you should also make your employees feel that they are free to approach you or the management if they have any ideas that they think would be beneficial for the company.
- Involve them in the important decisions.
If you allow them to make decisions about the company—decisions that matter and can actually impact the company—you let them feel that you are trusting their opinion and expertise. The is the ultimate sign of validation that you can give to a person. With some people, this matters more than verbal recognition and material perks.
- Give them some pleasant surprises.
Everybody likes unexpected treats every now and then. Aside from the typical treats like shortened workdays and team lunches, you should also look into activities that give both the employees and the company an advantage, such as education courses and team-building events.
- Dish out specific praise.
A “thank you” is nice, but what has more impact is praise that details what it is you are recognizing your employee for. For instance, “You’ve done such a good job explaining your presentation and fielding follow-up questions from your coworkers in our meeting” is more gratifying than a mere “Good job.” Not to mention, it’s music to your employee’s ears.
- Reward them with extra time off.
Besides the stipulated number of vacation leaves that they’re entitled to by law, employees appreciate having an extra day off in return for an exceptional performance at work. You might think paid time off is counterproductive, but it’s actually the opposite. When your employee has more time to engage in his interests and to spend with his family, the more he feels energized and enthusiastic about his job when he comes back.
- Maintain a transparency policy.
Don’t leave your employees out of the loop when something is going on with the company. Although there might be some things that are confidential and can’t be fully discussed, at the very least you have to give them an idea about the situation. When you keep them informed, you make them feel involved in the matter. It instills a united environment in your workplace.
- Reward their stomachs.
Sometimes it’s like this: well-fed employees are happy and productive ones. You can have catered lunches on a regular or semi-regular basis. You can provide treats like chocolate, ice cream, and cake in the pantry. You can offer unlimited coffee in a disposable cup for those who want their regular caffeine fix. Food is an easy but effective way to thank your employees for their hard work.
Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. If they are happy and satisfied with their jobs, they can perform better at it. This leads in return to better customer and client satisfaction and good returns.