“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” – Richard Branson.
It has long been known that the better employees are treated, the more loyal they will be, and the more loyal they are to a company or employer, the better they will do their jobs and serve their customers. Friday, March 3 is Employee Appreciation Day when employers get to show their employees a little extra love for the work they do.
While this is one special day, it can be the kickoff to a year-long effort to show employees how much you value their time and energy. Here are 10 tips of how to show appreciation to employees on March 3 and throughout the year.
- Praise in public. While the employee may feel slightly embarrassed to be singled out for their work in front of others, deep inside everyone likes to be recognized by boss and peers alike. On the flip side, if you have a criticism, do that in private.
- Gift cards. Randomly reward someone for a job well done with a gift card. These don’t have to be big – even a $10 card to a local coffee shop conveys that you are paying attention and appreciate what they’ve done.
- Invest in new technologies. Up-to-date hardware and software shows that you care enough about your employees to give them the best tools to do their job in the best way.
- Flexible schedules. If an employee can do part of their job from a laptop at a coffee shop or from home, give them the grace to occasionally do so.
- Summer Friday bonus. Let your employees leave an hour early on Fridays during the summer, especially in northern climates where the season for outdoor activity is shorter. This has been shown to improve productivity during summer months.
- Lunch dates. Randomly choose an employee or employees to join you for lunch. Talk about anything except work. Get to know them personally. Make sure all employees are eventually included.
- Remember birthdays. A card or just a personal note wishing happy birthday is a simple way to say you’re thinking of them. If you remember their spouse’s and children’s birthdays, that’s a bonus.
- Snack table. Provide free snacks for employees in the break room or other public area. Remember to include healthy choices for those on special diets.
- Share the company. Occasionally let your employees know what’s going well and what isn’t going well in the company, including some of the overarching financial goals. When done in an informative, non-critical way, this can give your employees a more vested interest in the company.
- The Golden Rule. The best way to show appreciation is to treat your employees the way you’d want to be treated in their shoes.