For managing partners, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of running the firm and forget about employee appreciation. However, recognizing people and showing gratitude positively impacts employee engagement and team performance.
According to Quantum Workplace, companies with formal employee recognition programs have 31% less voluntary turnover than companies without a program, and they're 12 times more likely to have strong business outcomes.
So let's explore some simple yet impactful ways to appreciate your employees and keep them engaged throughout the year.
10 impactful ideas to demonstrate employee appreciation
You don't always have to make grand, sweeping gestures to show employees you value and appreciate them. Consistent, small acts of appreciation can truly resonate and foster engagement over time. With that in mind, here are ten straightforward and impactful ways to demonstrate your gratitude to your team.
1. Start each meeting with a positive focus
Begin each staff or team meeting by asking participants to spend no more than 30 seconds sharing a positive experience or accomplishment from the past week or month. This process sets a positive tone for the rest of the meeting.
Set the example by sharing something you appreciate about a team member. Take care not to always select other leadership team members or star performers who already get lots of accolades.
2. Recognize employees for their achievements and accomplishments
Set up a system of recognition for your team that acknowledges employees' achievements. It could be as simple as emailing the entire group highlighting individual or collective achievements or giving them a handwritten note and a small gift.
Make the recognition meaningful and specific when possible. For example: "Cherise, I wanted to thank you for taking on that new project with such enthusiasm and leadership. I really appreciate it."
3. Show gratitude at team events
Organize an end-of-the-year gathering to celebrate the past year's accomplishments and show your appreciation for everyone's hard work. This could be a catered dinner, an offsite team-building event or even a potluck lunch.
4. Give employees the tools they need to do their job
Invest in your team's success by giving them the resources or tools they need to perform their job better. This also shows that you value and appreciate them. Whether it's a new piece of equipment, access to additional training or even just an ergonomic desk chair, these small things can show your team that you care.
5. Offer flexible work hours or telecommuting options
Giving employees the freedom to choose their working hours or allowing them to take advantage of telecommuting opportunities shows that you value their time and respect their choice in how they prefer to work.
In addition, a Gallup study found that employees with job flexibility are more likely to strongly agree that their engagement needs are being met.
6. Give employees a day off
Give your team members a paid day off with no strings attached. It's a simple gesture that goes a long way in showing your appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the firm.
7. Offer incentives or rewards
Set up an incentive system to reward employees for achieving specific goals. This could be a bonus, gift cards or even just verbal recognition of their hard work.
Whatever you decide to do, it should be meaningful and focused on rewarding your team's effort every day.
8. Give employees feedback and recognition in real-time
It's essential to give employees feedback on their performance. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to conduct a formal review, provide timely feedback and recognition throughout the year.
This doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming. A simple "Well done! Great work today!" can show your appreciation and let your team know you notice the effort they're putting in.
9. Take an interest in employees' lives outside of work
Make sure to take time to get to know each employee personally. Ask about their families, hobbies or weekend plans. Showing an interest in their lives outside of work will go a long way in making them feel appreciated and valued.
10. Celebrate birthdays and other special occasions in the workplace
Recognizing special moments in employees' lives is a simple yet meaningful way to show appreciation for them. Take time out of the workday to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions like anniversaries or work milestones.
It could be as simple as bringing in donuts, sending an email with well-wishes or just taking a few minutes to recognize the achievement in a meeting. Whatever you do, make sure it's meaningful and shows your appreciation for their contributions to the team.
There are many creative ways to show your team that you value and appreciate them, but it's essential to ensure that these gestures are genuine and meaningful. With a bit of thought and effort, you can create lasting connections with your employees, which will go a long way in creating an engaged workforce.
Sandra Wiley, Shareholder, President of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is a leader in the accounting profession with a passion for helping firms grow, adapt and thrive. She is regularly recognized by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her expertise in leadership, management, collaboration, culture building, talent and training.
Sandra’s role at Boomer Consulting, Inc. includes serving as co-director of the Boomer Leadership Academy as well as the Boomer Managing Partner Circle, the Boomer Talent Circle and the Boomer Learning & Development Circle. Her years of experience and influence as a management and strategic planning consultant make her a sought-after resource among the best and brightest firms in the country.