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Building a Better Workplace: Employee Appreciation

Let’s imagine your business is a car. It’s not just any car, though. It’s a best-in-class model with all the bells and whistles to really make it soar. But what happens when you don’t have any fuel? This fancy automobile may look great and sound great, but it’s not going anywhere. Here’s where employee appreciation comes in.

employee appreciation

What is Employee Appreciation?

Think of employee appreciation as the fuel that drives your business. You can have a car built with all the best parts, but without fuel, it won’t move. We need to continuously keep our employees full by “refilling their tank” with appreciation and recognition for their achievements. Eighty percent of employees say they are motivated to work harder and stay at their jobs longer when they receive recognition for their work. That’s why making employees feel valued and appreciated is one of the best things we can do to build a better workplace.

How Can You Utilize Employee Appreciation?

So, your business is the car. If you’ve successfully recruited, onboarded, and trained the best talent for your organization, then you’ve definitely got all of the best parts. But as we mentioned before, without fuel, you’re not going anywhere.

Make It Regular

Refueling a car once will only get it so far. Eventually, that fuel runs out and the tank is empty. Recognizing employees is similar. While being recognized once is great, for employee appreciation to be truly effective, it needs to come regularly. At PerkSpot, we strive to recognize employees at least once every two weeks, and more if we feel it’s deserved!

Make It Valuable

If you’re driving a car all day, every day, it’s eventually going to need a break. The same goes for your employees! We all need a break every now and then, and a great way to utilize recognition is to give out those breaks. Offer a collective day of rest for your employees or recognize someone’s hard work with an additional day of PTO, allowing them to refuel and reenergize themselves.

Make It Useful

We may love adding new trinkets and fun embellishments to our cars, but the fact of the matter is, they won’t help the car run any faster or more efficiently. Similarly, employees want recognition in the form of something that feels useful. Skip the desk tchotchkes and find something that shows both your appreciation and a better understanding of your employees’ needs.

Build a better workplace with employee appreciation that matters and you’ll have the best car out there.

7 Affordable Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Get ready, HR professionals, because Employee Appreciation Day is March 5! While you should be recognizing and appreciating your employees throughout the entire year, this day is the perfect time to go the extra mile and show your employees that you care. Check out some of our favorite ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with options that won’t break your recognition budget.

employee appreciation day

1. Volunteer Day

Surveys show that a workplace that encourages and even organizes ways for employees to volunteer can help improve employee morale and the overall workplace atmosphere. Yet, many employees find it’s difficult to volunteer simply because they can’t find the time. This Employee Appreciation Day, organize a day dedicated to volunteering. You can find hundreds of volunteer opportunities, both remote and safely in person, via Volunteer Match. From there, choose to volunteer as one organization or give employees the day to volunteer in their own individual ways.

2. Remote Game Day

Inject some fun into your Employee Appreciation Day celebrations! Organize a remote game day that allows employees to stay safe, yet still socialize and compete against their coworkers. Trivia, bingo, or online games like JackBox are all great ways to kick off a virtual game day with employees. Don’t forget some fun prizes too!

3. Personalized Gift Bags

Show your appreciation with a fun and personalized gift bag that shows your employees you care. If your budget allows it, you can outsource this option, but filling and delivering gift bags yourself is also a fun option that allows you to interact with your employees and say hi in person. At PerkSpot, we went for this option ourselves! Gift bags filled with toys for children or pets, plus branded items and tasty snacks were delivered safely by hand to PerkSpotters and proved to be quite the hit!

4. An Appreciation Video

At the core of it, Employee Appreciation Day is about saying thank you. Do so with a fun video compiled of your leadership team delivering some personalized thank yous to their team members and other employees. Us PerkSpotters tried this idea out to great success! We gathered via Zoom to watch the video together and employees chatted about the various fun, appreciative, and kind words for days to come.

5. Floating Day Off

Every employee appreciates a day to themselves. This year, surprise employees with the opportunity to take a day off at a time that works for them. This is both a way to show appreciation for employees. Plus, it gives helpful encouragement to practice self-care for employees struggling with their work/life balance.

6. Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Employee appreciation shouldn’t just come from leadership! Encourage employees of every level to provide recognition and appreciation for their fellow coworkers, managers, and team members. This kind of recognition is incredibly effective as well. Reports show peer-to-peer recognition is 36% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than recognition that only comes from the top. Plus, studies show 44% of employees will offer peer recognition with an easy tool that allows them to do so. Psst—PerkSpot’s Reward & Recognition platform easily allows for peer recognition!

7. Personalized Recognition

Simply providing recognition via gift cards is a popular choice for employers who want to tie a monetary reward to their recognition. However, why not go the extra step to personalize your recognition? Make it feel customized for each employee by offering them monetary recognition that can be redeemed on a gift card of their choice! With PerkSpot’s Reward & Recognition program, employers can send a value of their choice that employees can redeem on more than 200 different gift cards, from travel to experiences and local favorites to nationwide brands. Plus, PerkSpot’s R&R Program includes options like sending non-monetary recognition and adding a personalized note to the employee’s reward, where the sender can explain what specific actions an employee is being rewarded for.

Employee Appreciation Day is a wonderful day to remind your employees that you recognize and value their hard work. This year, try one of these great and affordable options that will show your appreciation. Plus, if you’re interested in offering your employees even more this Employee Appreciation Day, fill out a form and learn how you can partner with PerkSpot to give your recognition efforts a boost!

What Culture Is (and Isn’t)

We throw the word around a lot but many of us don’t really spend time thinking about what company culture really means. You may think of unlimited vacation days, ping pong tables, outings with coworkers, or fun office events. These things may be a part of your culture, but is that all there is to it? What makes a company culture good or bad? How do we define what culture is (and isn’t)?

company culture is perkspot blog

Culture Is… the Feeling Before Work in the Morning

We all get the Sunday Scaries so we’re not talking about a total escape from the actual work aspect of your job. But, the way you feel before work in the morning does speak a lot to your company culture. Do you dread seeing people when you get to the office? Are you overwhelmed with pressure from your boss? A great company culture knows how to motivate you to be your best and gives you work that challenges you in the right ways. It means waking up in the morning with an excitement for what lies ahead and anticipation for your future at the company.

Culture Isn’t… All Play and No Work

Sure, ping pong tables and beer on tap are great and can be a piece of your culture, but they aren’t the true meat behind what makes a company a great place to work. Perhaps you notice that more people seem to be extending their lunches but the number of new projects is slowly dwindling. If that’s the case, you might be in danger of having a sinking culture. What started off as an opportunity to motivate employees has become a distraction and there may be something deeper going on beyond the surface. Maybe these perks are nothing more than workplace traps.

Culture Is… Freedom to Express Ideas and Concerns

True company culture values transparency and honesty in the workplace. You should have open forums to discuss ideas and opportunities to ensure employees are heard. Great company cultures don’t pretend like everything is going well when it isn’t. Great cultures embrace the challenges and find ways to create solutions. They know how to include employees in solving problems and moving the business forward.

Culture Isn’t… Meaningless Perks

There are some crazy perks out there. From breast milk shipping to helicopter rides, not all perks are created equal. That’s why it’s important to provide benefits and perks that will apply to every employee. Culture doesn’t mean adding to your long list of (unused and unwanted) company perks. Provide perks that matter to everyone. Because 48% of employees are worried about their current financial state, providing an employee discount program that puts cash back in your employees’ pockets is a great way to add perks that make an impact for any employee.

Culture Is… Saying Thank You

One of the best ways to create a great company culture is by saying two little words: thank you. In fact, 80% of employees said they are more motivated to stay at a job longer and work harder when they receive appreciation for their work. Cultures with built-in recognition programs know how to reward employees the right way.

How would you define culture and what makes your company culture great?

What’s Your Employee Appreciation Language?

A popular book has circulated about relationships entitled “The Five Love Languages”. In his book, the author, Gary Chapman, discusses the different ways we give and receive love. He calls these various styles “Love Languages” as they provide insight into how we should communicate with our partner.

Every person is unique and has their own style (or language). As strange as it sounds, it got us thinking. Do we have workplace “love languages”? Does each individual have a preference for how they give and receive appreciation?

employee appreciation languages

We’ll break down Chapman’s these love languages and how they impact the workplace.

Words of Affirmation

Do you like when people write you a kind note or recognize you in a public forum? This love language goes way beyond romantic relationships. Kind words are incredibly impactful for employees who crave words of affirmation. A quick message on Slack, a short sentence in your weekly stand-up, or a handwritten note gives these employees the fuel they need to stay motivated throughout the week, or even, month.

Acts of Service

On the flip side, for others, actions speak louder than words. Do you feel most appreciated when someone offers to help with an assignment or better yet, finishes a project because they know you don’t have the time or energy to complete it? Acts of service can be big or small, but for many employees, this is the best way to show you appreciate all that they’re doing. Especially during busy season, managers who pitch in make all the difference when it comes to retaining their talent.

Receiving Gifts

This language can get a little tricky in the workplace, depending on your policies around gift giving and receiving. But, we’re not talking about diamond necklaces or new cars. Gifts can be as small as a cup of coffee when your employee comes in early or a non-tangible, like an early release when they’ve been pulling extra hours. Make sure you gauge which employees actually appreciate and desire these types of gestures. The last thing you want is to make them uncomfortable with your good intentions.

Quality Time

This is quite possibly the hardest language to weave into your work culture. That being said, for many employees, it’s also the most meaningful. Spending quality time getting to know your employees can not only show that you care about them, it can also provide powerful insights into their needs. Maybe it’s a quick walk around the block every month just to check-in. Or, you could schedule in time to really dive deep into what’s going on. No matter what your schedule allows, taking time out of your day to spend with them can make the difference between an engaged or a disgruntled employee.

Do you know how your employees prefer to be appreciated? Or better yet, how do you most often communicate your appreciation? Make sure you’re choosing the appropriate channel based on the employee to make the most of your recognition.

Recruiting Star Candidates Without a Star Salary

We all want the best for our businesses, which includes the best employees. But what happens when you just can’t afford to pay big bucks for the best candidates? How can you recruit without the enticement of a fancy corner office or large salary?

recruitment-without-a-big-salary

Here are three things to consider:

Celebrate Your Culture

It should come as no surprise that employee engagement really pays off (literally). In fact, a Gallup survey reported that 54% of workers who are disengaged would leave their company for a 20% raise or less, while only 37% of engaged employees would make that same decision. Your company may not have a multitude of resources, but there’s one currency that’s undeniably valuable – your people. When interviewing for a new position, don’t forget to highlight your culture. There are many ways to educate interviewees about your culture, but it all starts with asking the right questions and highlighting what makes you unique. You’ll end up finding someone who not only is excited about the role, but is a fabulous culture fit to boot.

Promote Your Perks

Salary is only one piece of the puzzle. Does your company offer an above average vacation plan? What about work from home policies? No business is created equal so be sure and highlight the added perks that a new hire would receive. Maybe you’re even saving them money with exclusive discounts. Whatever the case may be, studies show that happy employees are better employees. Win-win.

Invite Their Input

In a recent survey, 80% of millennials said they want regular feedback from their managers, and 75% yearn for mentors. Highlight this in your interviews and you’re guaranteed to stand out among the crowd. 85% of everything we’ve learned comes from listening. Which means, if we want to know how to effectively lead employees well, we need to provide a platform for them to speak. Do you offer performance reviews every quarter? What about a weekly touch base? However you provide opportunities to listen and learn, showcase this in your recruitment efforts.

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The One Perk

It’s no secret the 21st-century work environment looks a little different. From beer on tap and unlimited snacks to nap pods and open time-off policies, companies are striving to capture the attention of millennials with their extensive list of perks.

one-perk

But, you don’t have to be a hip start-up or a trendy tech company to give employees what they want. There’s one highly underrated, but seriously important perk.

Every Employee Wants to be Appreciated

Each of us is born with different talents and skills. In fact, chances are you’re in your position because someone recognized your talent in one specific area and pushed you to pursue it. A quick “job well done” can go a long way in shaping our futures, especially when it comes to our careers.

Business Insider reports the average person spends over 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime. It’s no wonder we crave appreciation for the work we dedicate our lives to completing. No one wants to go through life wondering if they made a difference.

Treat employees like they make a difference and they will. 

                            Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS

Appreciating Employees means knowing their names.

One of the most obvious ways you can appreciate employees is learning their name. For those of us in a small office like PerkSpot, this isn’t a huge challenge. However, for larger companies, it’s even more important to take time to call employees by name. A simple “How’s your day going, Karla?” or “Nice work on the stats, Miles!” goes a long way. By giving positive, personal feedback the employee feels heard and believes their work is important to the success of the company.

Appreciating Employees means giving feedback.

One of the great things about appreciation is that it also provides an opportunity to correct as well. When you consistently and genuinely give praises, employees receive negative comments with more understanding. A well-balanced employee experience includes both corrections and commendations.

Appreciating Employees means significant ROI.

Employee recognition is free, making it the cheapest perk you can offer your employees. Plus, it’s also one of the most effective for productivity, employee happiness, and overall results. Undoubtedly, employee recognition is key to keeping employees engaged. We love Forbes’s definition of employee engagement: “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.” The emotional commitment an employee feels comes from recognizing their accomplishments and attributing company success to their achievements. Increasing employee engagement through recognition can drive results as employees see the pay-off for their hard work.

Show your employees you appreciate them by providing exclusive discounts and recognition through PerkSpot!