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10 Employee Appreciation Ideas For Employees

Employee Appreciation

Newsflash: More money isn’t necessarily the best way to recognise your employees.

Recognition doesn’t just mean a pay-rise.

But why is recognising you employees vital? Here are two big reasons that will make you stop in your tracks:

Retention. CareerBuilder did a recent study that found 50% of employees would stay if they were tangibly recognised.

Performance. Another study by Bagaville showed that 40% of employees who “do not feel meaningfully recognised will not go above their formal responsibilities to get the job done.”

1. Birthdays.

We forget sometimes how profound birthdays are to people. It is basically a celebration of their existence on the planet. Accordingly, creating a culture where birthdays are celebrated in the workplace will do amazing things. Organise a cake and sing happy birthday, organise a quirky gift or simply give the employee a paid day off to enjoy.

2. Employees Calling Out Stars.

For any organisation to function well, all employees must pull their weight and support one another. Why not create a forum where employees can recognise their co-workers who have been superstars? It could be as simple as a whiteboard in the office where staff can write awesome feedback about each other or something more formal like a monthly peer nominated award for the best employee.

3. Go Public.

Private recognition via an email or a one-on-one conversation is nice, but public recognition is worth ten times as much to employees. Next time you want to recognise an employee, do it in front of as many employees as you can muster. Not only will it make the star employee feel fantastic but it will help others realise why the employee has done a great job and how they can achieve a similar level of recognition.

4. Write a Note.

In these days of emails, voicemails, Facebook messages, the impact of a handwritten thank you note is amazing. Chances are, if you take the time to write a genuine note of thanks to an employee, it will end up living proudly displayed in their home for some time.

4. Be Silly.

Saying “hey thank you, you’ve been awesome” in a funny way is a great way to recognise and also have fun in the workplace. I remember back in my days of running a Mexican restaurant, we came up with the “Golden Burrito”. On the first day of each month, an employee of the month was formally presented with a large golden burrito trophy with their name on the plaque which was then proudly displayed for customers to see (and have a giggle at).

5. Unexpected Treats.

We all love surprises. Simply coming in early and shouting your 5am shift employees a hot coffee or making the whole team stop for a round of pizzas for lunch can’t be underestimated.

6. Lunch with the Boss.

This is my favourite. As we grow in our careers and become mangers or business owners ourselves, we can forget how special those handful of times when our boss at the time asked to take us to a one-on-one lunch to recognise our achievements. It means the world to employees and won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

8. Education.

Got an employee who is a wonderful asset, would like to embark on more study, but can’t afford it? Offering to support the costs of further training and education shows your star employees that you not only appreciate them, but that you think they have the ability to grow within your business.

9. Early Home Time.

It’s been a busy week. Your staff have been working hard and pushing through. Nothing feels sweeter in this situation for exhausted staff than to hear the boss say, “hey guys, thank you so much for all your hard work. I know everyone is shattered. Let’s call it a day so you can all have a well deserved afternoon off.”

10. “Thank you”

This is easy. Every time you employee does a wonderful job at something, stop, look them in the eyes and say the magical words. Priceless.

So there you go. 10 great ideas, that don’t involve a lazy pay-rise, to recognise your employees.

Like all great intentions, unless you actually work out a plan to implement employee recognition in your workplace, chances are you will read this article be full of enthusiasm and nothing will happen. Instead....why not pick 2-3 ideas from the list above which resinate with you and your business, and go for it. A business culture filled with employee recognition will make your staff happy, reduce turnover and most importantly make your P+L smile :)


Simon Ingleson


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