10 Creative Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

So, as we all know ‘Employee Appreciation Day’ is approaching, but showing employee appreciation doesn’t only have to be on one day. There are several reasons and opportunities to show your staff how much you value them. However, with that being said, now is the perfect time to make an extra meaningful gesture to show your team how grateful you are for their hard work.

If you’re feeling stuck about what to do, here are a few ideas to help you get started with some employee appreciation… Let’s get started!

1. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Silly

We know and understand that an office is a place of work, but who says that we all can’t share a laugh or two. Researching national “holidays” is a good way to demonstrate this – National Cheesecake Day or National Jam Doughnut Day are some good ones. Be sure to celebrate with food and pictures, as we’re sure your staff will appreciate that. Even getting dressed up for Ugly Christmas Jumper day at Christmas or going on an Easter Egg hunt can bring the office together for some fun memories.

2. Let Employees Be Heard

Appreciation isn’t just a game and reward system. It should be built into your culture. One way to do that is to give your employees real choices and actual voices. It could be as simple as having an anonymous ‘suggestion box’ in the office that allows people to put forward ideas. They could be as simple as ‘more tea and coffee in the kitchen’ or as big as requesting a team to go to a three-day conference in London. It’s always good to get feedback from your staff on the workplace environment.

3. Celebrate Those Happy Birthdays

If your staff doesn’t mind (some may want to fly under the radar on their birthday), celebrate their birthdays!

Get a cake (or something they would enjoy if they’re not dessert fans) so everyone in the office can take part. Give the employee a day off that they can use whenever they want in the future. Birthdays are for gifts; what would your staff appreciate the most?

4. Give Out Bonuses

Not every company can afford to give out a big splashy cheque to each employee at the end of the year, but a little bonus as a reward for hard work throughout the year will certainly be appreciated. While money shouldn’t necessarily be your go-to move for getting staff on your side, an end-of-year bonus or gift certificate for completing a project can go down very well indeed.

5. Show or Express Your Gratitude

If an employee has done something well don’t be afraid to highlight it and talk about it. But rather than just saying “well done on [insert task here]”, get down to the granular detail of what they did well. Being specific gives your praise more depth and a lot more meaning to the receiver, and inspires the employee to do even better in that particular area.

Employee Appreciation | a smiling man in a white shirt holding a yellow book in a working office

6. Offer Career Growth Opportunities

Anyone who’s serious about their career – and those are the people you want on your team – will want to know they are heading in an upward direction. That they are coming into work every day and working towards a goal. You can send employees to leadership training or let them choose an online class they would like to take. Even if it’s not directly related to their current job, you can show your employees you’re invested in them and their career. 

7. Get to Know Your Employees

We’re sure you know their names and job titles, but how much do you really know about your staff? Do you know what says “I appreciate you” really well? Showing that appreciation in a manner that is unique to each person. If you want to show how much you appreciate an individual, the best way to do it is to find out what they really like, what they’d be interested in, their hobbies, or what they want the most.

8. Be Open, Honest and Transparent

When bad news happens within a company – which it inevitably does – senior management can often make the mistake of keeping this to themselves, and we understand why. For example, if you lose a client, you might not want to cause a drop in morale so you keep it quiet until it’s suddenly just common knowledge.

While there are, of course, some things that can’t be discussed, keeping employees informed of what’s really going on in the company can go a long way. It makes people feel involved and helps to create a “we’re all in this together” vibe.

9. Allow Employees Extra Time Off

When people take time off, it’s usually because they’re sick, need to catch an appointment, or on holiday. The employee has to be the one to initiate the time off, but what if they were told that they can take a day off just because? As much as your employees may love to work, a day away from the office can work miracles. Let them take the day off to do whatever they want, and they’ll come back refreshed and rejuvenated.

10. Say ‘Thank You’

We’ve already talked about praise, but it’s that simple. Now, one of the quickest, easiest and simplest ways to show your staff that you value them is to give them a little ‘thank you’ after a job well done. Demonstrating this face-to-face is better, but we know they’ll appreciate a little email too.

In a sometimes thankless world, just hearing another person acknowledge that they know we are working hard and that they are thankful for it is all the employee appreciation we need to get through the day.

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