The science has come in and it is indisputable: happy workers are more productive. Happiness helps increase productivity because happy employees are more present and engaged, among other reasons. Business owners are tasked with the important role of keeping their employees happy and, therefore, productive. But with a third of our lives spent at work, it is not always an easy task to keep employee morale at its peak.
Fortunately, employee appreciation strategies are a great way to invest in your employee’s long-term happiness and engagement. Employee appreciation takes many forms. From paid company retreats to custom engraved award plaques from EDCO to team-building exercises, there are plenty of ways to show your team that you appreciate the sacrifices they make for YOUR company each and every day.
You can incentivize employees to participate in recognition activities with low-stake competitions and fun awards, or you can go the extra mile to make an event out of your employee’s appreciation. The choice is yours and limited only by your budget and your imagination.
Here are 3 ways employee appreciation plans increase employee productivity.
More importantly than ever with remote work becoming the norm, you need to focus on maintaining strong engagement amongst your employees. Working outside of the traditional office paradigm can send your employees for a tailspin—especially those older employees who might prove more technologically challenged than their younger counterparts.
Working from home allows employees to spend more time working rather than wasting it commuting. However, we all know that working from home presents its own challenges. Most notably, your employees will contend with distractions coming from family, friends, and unique challenges presented by the most recent COVID-19 pandemic.
An autonomous workforce is ideal, but to keep your employees at their peak productivity, they need an incentive to keep their attention squarely on their work.
The key to incentivizing them? Engagement. And the only way your employees will feel engaged in the day-to-day operations of your company—regardless of how mundane or boring they prove to be in the short term—is to make them feel as though they have a vested interest in your company’s success.
And this vested interest needs to be developed beyond the fear of keeping their jobs. Your employees need to feel as though the company’s success ensures their OWN success.
Reminding your employees that their jobs are not consistently on the chopping block is a good first step. But employee appreciation brings that idea further. It is an active recognition that the time they spend working for you is not in vain. Plus, increasing employee retention saves your company money in the long term. After all, signing on a new employee is one and a half times more expensive than keeping an existing employee.
Rewards Risk-Taking and Creativity
A supportive environment is an environment that fosters intelligent, ambitious risk-taking. If you want your employees to perform at their highest level, first you need to ensure they feel a vested interest in the company’s success.
Then you need to cultivate a company culture that rewards risk-taking employees…even if they fail. Of course, you do not want to make a habit of rewarding silly mistakes or carelessness. But when employees put great thought into taking chances that do not pan out, the focus of your leadership should be recognizing that effort. Send a clear message to your employees that creative problem solving is encouraged.
After all, if your business isn’t operating outside of the box, how are you providing unique value to your clients and customers? Exactly. If you are not pushing the envelope, your business will not be able to compete in the long term.
When a risk-taking employee drops the ball, you do not need to go overboard in rewarding them with an employee of the month plaque or something over the top. That said, you can show them you recognized their vision and appreciated the effort they put in regardless of its success.
With this in mind, it’s important to foster a creative environment and one of the best ways to do this is by setting the stage for brainstorming. In addition to day-to-day tasks, lean on your team to answer questions too, “How can we do XYZ better?” As them to solve complexities that actually make a difference to the company. Is there another type of software you could be using that will help you better achieve your goals? You don’t need to make these questions a mission or another item on the to-do list; instead, always encourage an environment where your team is free to present better processes, and let them know you appreciate their efforts in doing so.
Your employee recognition policies do not need to reward only individual accomplishments. In fact, your company’s divisions or separate offices might benefit from being rewarded as a whole team rather than rewarded as separate entities.
By rewarding a group for their efforts as a unit, you are reinforcing the sense of camaraderie amongst the group’s members. They will feel a sense of pride and be eager to exceed your expectations the next time around because it is not their own success that is at stake—their team is relying on them, too! And that is a powerful motivator.
At the end of the day, good communication in a team setting is a skill that can be honed over time. When your employees learn to succeed in any team environment, they can take those skills elsewhere and teach others by example.
When you appreciate your employees openly and both individually and as a group, they are more likely to join forces for the betterment of the company. That being said, it’s important to show that you encourage collaboration by making it easy for members of your team to work together. Doing so not only makes it easier for them to feel comfortable joining forces, but also prevents unhealthy competition in the workplace.
Lastly, be sure that your team has access to tools that make it easy (and fun) to collaborate, including premium versions of project management tools and other relevant cloud-based software.