Did you get the memo? Today’s Employee Appreciation Day! Not that you shouldn’t be doing this every day, but today is a special day to show them you care.
Here are a few ways companies show gratitude on a continual basis:
- HP empowers employees, personalizes rewards, and does good. Through leveraging Good Cards®--gift cards for charity—the company rewards all-star employee volunteers with a gift that gives back. Employees who have met their quarterly volunteering goals receive a $50 Good Card.
- OfficeMax supplies appreciation with its surprise parties for teachers. A Day Made Better, a partnership with Adopt-A-Classroom, is a one-day-only event that awards over 1,000 teachers +$1,000 each in school supplies. 98% of OfficeMax employees strongly agreed the program made them proud to work for the company; the remaining 2% simply agreed.
- Network for Good gives gratitude notes. When one of my colleagues collaborates with me on a project, gives me a brilliant idea, and/or goes out of their way to help, I can do more than just say thank you. Network for Good’s staff writes little notes of appreciation and slips them on our colleagues’ desks.
Here are three ways to improve thank yous:
1) Publicly praise your team via email or at a staff meeting. Provide one example per employee of an attribute or initiative you’re grateful for, and don’t forget to get specific.
Example: Kim is a hard worker.
Better: I see how hard Kim has been working on closing the deal with our ideal client. She’s been employing creative tactics to answer all of their questions and pre-emptively address their concerns. I’m grateful to have her on my team, because she makes me think outside the normal business development tactics.
2) Gossip. For good. Spread all the good work your colleagues are doing via an informal-but-enthusiastic game of telephone.
Example: Saying, "Sam has helped me think through new ways to illustrate our lead funnel."
Better: Exclaiming, "Sam’s talents are far reaching—he’s envisioned our lead funnel in a new way, allowing me to better communicate our goals to the marketing team! If you see him in the hallway, be sure to give him a thumbs up or high five."
3) Give the helper's high. Show employees you care by giving them the ability to spread help and hope wherever they choose.
Example: Write a check to the company's preferred charitable partner. Send an office-wide memo sharing the good news.
Better: Decide the donation amount, then give your employees the keys to making the company's donation. By empowering your team with corporate-branded charity gift cards, they get to make a donation to the cause of their choice, feel good about making a difference, and enhance their affiliation with your brand. Everyone wins.
For more ideas, check out Forbes’ list of ways your company can show appreciation (disregard the holiday messaging) and Quantum Workplace's 40 way to show employees your love.
Question for discussion: How do you show appreciation for your employees?
Image is author's own.