5 ways to improve employee engagement by showing your appreciation
If you had to describe your role as an HCM professional in one nice, neat simple nutshell, it’d probably be this – your job is to do the absolute best you can in terms of making your people happy, hardworking and willing to stick around for a long time.
Here’s one way to do that – appreciate them. It’s so simple, yet so effective, and very on topic considering today is National Employee Appreciation Day! People are more willing to work diligently for an employer that shows appreciation for what they do. So when your employees put forth high-quality work, don’t let it go overlooked – let your people know that you really care, and that you’re grateful for everything they do.
This seems so obvious now, and yet there are a great many talent leaders who struggle with it, according to Inc. magazine. Lee Colan, founder of consulting firm The L Group, illustrated this by pointing to a Harris poll showing that 65 percent of American workers say they’ve received no recognition for their good work in the last year. This can’t stand, he argued.
“Demonstrating our appreciation for employees and their efforts can put them on the fast track to excellence,” Colan noted. “We should not worry about recognizing our teams too much. To date, there are no documented studies – none, nada, nil – of employees feeling overappreciated.”
Colan also pointed out, however, that there is no “one size fits all” approach for appreciating employees. Different people have different needs. For example, some employees might be prideful and enjoy having their successes called out in front of a crowd, while others might prefer to hear appreciative words privately.
It pays to have a diverse arsenal of appreciation strategies, since just one won’t do. The following is a list of five that might be effective:
Just say “thank you!”
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or overcomplicated. When your employees do a good job, simply give them a prompt, honest “thank you!” for their work. Simple works.
Put it in writing
If your organization puts out a lot of corporate email blasts, memos, bulletins or newsletters, you can use them as an opportunity to thank employees for their work. Carve out some space for appreciation in your weekly newsletter.
Offer high performers dibs on projects
When certain employees perform at a high level in the office, you can thank them by giving them a crack at exciting new projects that will help further their careers. This gives them a chance to stand out even further.
Give opportunities for presentations
If you need to make a presentation – perhaps to the CEO or CFO, or to the whole workforce – thank your top performers by allowing them to present. Granting this opportunity shows how much you care about them.
Make a bigger appreciative gesture
Take your best employees out to lunch. Throw an office party to celebrate them. Do something big to show how much you care. It certainly won’t go unnoticed.
Read why Ceridian’s Chief People Officer thinks every day should be Employee Appreciation Day!