Employee appreciation day is Friday, March 4th, but you should be showing your love to employees every day.
As a leader, you need to realize that it’s those under you that make you successful – not you.
Our research found that the number one reason people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated.
Your job as a leader is to make sure that your employees are as happy as possible, and one of the easiest ways to make employees happy is by showing them that you appreciate their work.
Show employees that you’re grateful for the work they do, and be specific about what you’re thanking them for.
A study1 conducted by Badgeville, a gamification company found that:
- 83% of respondents said recognition for contributions was more fulfilling than any rewards or gifts
- 76% found peer praise very or extremely motivating
- 88% found praise from managers very or extremely motivating
- 90% said a “fun work environment” was very or extremely motivating
You need to mindful of your employees’ feelings, which is easier said than done, but is so important. As you develop your emotional intelligence, one of the things you need to focus on is cultivating gratitude.
The Power Of Gratitude
Cultivating gratitude doesn’t cost any money, doesn’t take much time, and the benefits are enormous.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.Marcus Tullius Cicero
The research behind gratitude is hard to ignore.
People who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions, sleep better, express more compassion, and even have stronger immune systems.
Research3 by psychologist Robert Emmons shows that simply keeping a gratitude journal can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.
Emmons and his team at UC Davis at University of California have also found that:
- Grateful people report lower levels of depression and stress
- They tend to be more empathetic
- They are more generous and more helpful
- They place less importance on material goods
- They are less envious of others
Here are two things I would recommend doing to cultivate your gratitude:
- Keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down one thing that you’re thankful for.
- Meditate. Mindful meditation allows you to focus on the present moment, you can focus on things you’re thankful for in your life.
How To Show Appreciation
I’ve talked about this before, but there are two things you need to so to show appreciation to your employees.
- You need to genuinely care about your employees
- You need to practice gratitude and build it as a habit
Notice that both of these things require working on yourself before even thinking about doing anything with employees.
Once you understand that your focus as a manager needs to be making employees happier, you can slowly start to take an interest in employees and build a relationship with them.
Before you can do this, don’t do anything for your employees, because it will likely come across as being fake.
From there, you need to understand the power of gratitude and how it affects employee happiness.
Once you’re in the right state of mind, you can start to think of ways to show employees appreciation.
Remember that it’s the simple things that count, like noticing a night they stayed late or noticing a time when they helped employees.
Once you notice that, thank them for it right away, and be specific about it.
For example, instead of saying “thanks for staying late the other night”, say something like “I noticed you stayed late the other night, you really didn’t have to do that, that was very cool of you. Thank you for that! I love the dedication you’ve been showing lately”
Employee Appreciation At GSoft
Our parent company, GSoft has three separate teams. There’s the services side, a company called Sharegate, and Officevibe. With our three separate teams, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of the small wins on each team.
Using Slack, we can give team members the recognition they deserve to the entire company.
The Officevibe team now regularly goes out to lunch on Fridays as a team to Lord William, the local restaurant to create that team bonding.
It was an initiative put in place to show employees that we appreciate their hard work, and Fridays we can take some time to relax and enjoy.
Free Ways To Reward Employees
What always gets me confused is how easy, free and effective rewarding employees is, and how little some companies do it.
Why? It’s free!
Here is a list of 20 ways to reward your employees for free, so no more excuses!
The thing you’ll notice with most of these is that they’re about showing respect to employees. Many of these are simply allowing employees to do things that they in theory should be allowed to do regardless of a reward.
There’s an implicit trust and respect that is missing in so many organizations, that if it existed, would fix so many things wrong with the engagement problem.
Email To Send Employees
One idea you can use for employee appreciation day is to send employees an email thanking them for all of their work.
Here is a template you can feel free to reuse if it makes things easier for you:
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you do on our team.
Even if you don’t realize it, you’re a very valued and important member of the team, and we appreciate your hard work.
The fact that you always bring up good ideas and are always willing to help out makes all the difference and enables us to move quicker.
I look forward to continuing to work with you, and enjoy your weekend!
How Do You Appreciate Employees?
Let us know in the comments!