If someone was to ask you what the most important part of your business what would you say? Your Customers? Your product? But what about your employees? The people who day in, day out work to make sure your business succeeds? I reckon these people are a pretty important part of the mix.
Employee Appreciation Day was founded in 1994 by Dr Bob Nelson as a response to “Boss’s Day”, where employees were reminded of the importance of respecting and appreciating their bosses. In turn it was thought that the recognition should work both ways and that it was important to acknowledge that a good employee is a vital asset to any successful business.
Whilst some businesses celebrate this day on the 3rd March, others just pick a day of the year to get to know their employees a bit better and thank them for the work they do. Some companies make sure that an e-mail goes out to all staff thanking them for the work they do, other bosses bring in cakes, just anything to show how much you appreciate their work.
Whilst a thank you e-mail or a cream horn is nice, wouldn’t it be nice if we showed appreciation all year round? I’m sure if you asked your employees what would make them feel appreciated the most, they’d say a pay rise, but there are some things that don’t cost money that you can do.
Praise can be one of the easiest things to give, but means a lot. If you notice that someone has done something well or gone above and beyond the call of duty, then tell them. If you can then praise them in front of others, if not then send them an e-mail.
Encourage and Listen
- Give your employees the chance to have their say on certain matters, it might be as simple as a suggestion box, or a team meeting.
- Encourage them to participate in meetings without fear of being made to feel stupid. They may see something in a different way to you and that might benefit the company in the long run.
Coach and Mentor
- Developing the skills of your staff can help with staff retention. There’s nothing worse than being in a job where you feel you’re not developing and have no chance of progressing your career. This is one of the biggest reasons staff move on to other jobs, meaning you have to start the recruitment process all over again!
- Make time to work with your staff to see where you can help them develop, it might be sending them on a training course, giving them a one-off project to work on or teaming them up with a more senior member of staff.
- These sessions don’t always have to be formal, sometimes taking a member of staff for a coffee is a great way of getting them to open up to you.
- Some companies run internal competitions for “Employee of the month”, where the winner gets a certificate, or a trophy.
- Others might do a prize for the first person to reach a certain target or secure a particular deal.
- These don’t have to be hugely expensive prizes, just something that shows your appreciation.
- Don’t wait for Christmas for your annual get together, maybe look at doing other things throughout the year, again these don’t have to be huge events. A night out bowling, a curry or maybe an office picnic one lunchtime, where each member of staff brings in some food and you all take an hour or so out to eat together away from your desks.
The right employees are such a vital asset for your business that a simple “thank you” can go a long way to making your staff feel appreciated.