If you’ve ever felt like your employees’ morale is low, it might be because you aren’t recognizing them often enough for their accomplishments. Researchers have found that people in any kind of human group or relationship, from sports teams to sales teams, feel responsible for a disproportionate amount of the group’s work output and successes. The result of this is that the percent of the work each employee say they did often adds up to more than 100%. Obviously, this means that there is a disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to work, but how should you deal with this as manager or boss? If you truly want your employees to feel appreciated, you must ensure that the amount of recognition they get matches their perception of their contribution, not yours. Of course, that is easier said than done, especially on a small budget. Read on for ways to deliver meaningful employee recognition without breaking the bank.
Don’t Ignore Great Performance
Rewarding employees for jobs well done starts with noticing the contributions, both small and large that they make to the company. We’ve already covered the fact that people are more aware of their work and worth than you are. The next step is for you to start making a point to notice when employees go beyond what is required, display outstanding judgment or present your company in a great light to the public. When possible, give recognition in front of other people and watch your employee glow with pride. Giving your staff the chance to shine for their work is a free and effective way to give meaningful employee recognition.
Give Employees Personalized Rewards
Rewards are about more than their monetary value. You wouldn’t give your partner a gift card on your 10-year anniversary, so why would you settle for giving an employee a check and a handshake when they succeed at something? Take the time to learn about what your employees like and choose a gift that shows you care about them as a person. This kind of personalized reward will be remembered with fondness long after the gesture was made.
Offer Opportunities to Advance
Another way to thank your employees is to give them the opportunity to attend valuable classes, seminars or conferences on the company’s dollar. Not only will they feel important, but they will also return from the event with valuable new skills and knowledge to use at your company. This option is a great investment in your company as well as a unique way to show meaningful employee recognition. For ultimate employee satisfaction, make sure the class or seminar is something that they have expressed interest in attending, not just something you think they should learn.
Remember That Some of the Best Gifts Are Free
Mark Twain is quoted as saying: ïI can live for two months on a good compliment.ï While it is possible (given Twain’s famous dry wit) that this was said with a touch of sarcasm, the underlying message there is true. Don’t underestimate the power of giving meaningful employee recognition in the form of a compliment. This free gesture can make someone feel much more valued than any monetary reward. Another one of the most powerful and coveted gifts won’t technically cost you a thing. Giving your employees more time, which can be done in many different forms, is one gift that you can guarantee anyone will love. Try implementing flex Fridays where employees can leave early if they want or allow employees to work flexible hours during slower periods. Letting employees work remotely, in addition to being a growing trend, can also be seen as a reward. Did an employee work over the weekend on a big project? Give them a weekday off to avoid employee burnout and show them that you appreciated their drive.
It Truly Is the Thought That Counts
Employee gifts, even if you spend money on them, don’t have to be wildly expensive. Little things, a fancy coffee, flowers or something else small, can be very effective. You can also provide meaningful employee recognition on a budget by taking your employees on group outings. Remember to be respectful of your employee’s time and don’t schedule too many events outside of working hours. Though well-meaning, this may cause employees to see an event as an obligation rather than a reward. Your employees are what keep your business afloat. Don’t forget to recognize them often for their great work with these creative, low-cost methods. Looking for more ideas for motivating and appreciating your team? Read through the other articles that Mighty Recruiter offers for business-minded individuals.