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10 Employee Appreciation Ideas You Can Start Today

27 Feb 2019 - Blog

10 Employee Appreciation Ideas You Can Start Today 

Friday 1st March 2019 is a chance to celebrate and thank your employees for their energy and commitment. But what does ‘good’ employee appreciation look like? And what really matters to employees? We’ve gathered the most impactful ways to show employees you care. 

Credit: HR Grapevine


  1. First: Build appreciation into business

We can’t underestimate the importance of the human ‘thank you’. Look at your employee lifecycle and assess when the key moments are to check in, surprise them and thank them for their hard work and effort. No, its not a new idea… but how many of us actually, consistently do this?  Mentioning employees in team emails, handing out thank you notes, recognising their ‘work’ anniversary and sending out birthday cards/ presents are great examples. Another effective strategy is praising employees for their successes outside of work like volunteering, charity work, hobbies and sporting achievements.


  1. Prioritise learning and development opportunities

Development opportunities are frequently the number one item correlated with employee engagement in our surveys. Employees want to find their work interesting and challenging so create a ‘Culture of Learning’ by offering lunchtime talks, access to courses, shadowing of other teams and allowances towards qualifications. Your employees will feel fulfilled and motivated when they feel inspired in their role.


  1. Perks and rewards

Offer interesting rewards, based on what your employees want (not what you think they want). PPL overhauled their benefits package after only 43% of employees thought it compared favourably with other industry employers. New benefits include annual expense claims towards music and social activities, additional holiday days and extended access to health and life assurance policies. Overall engagement has improved considerably, with the belief that PPL benefits are good compared to other employers increasing by 18 points.


  1. Consider the different groups in your organisation

Avoid grouping your employees by typical demographics such as age or offering everyone a one-size programme. Instead focus on providing support for working parents or flexibility for employees with a longer commute. Speak to your employees and find out the benefits that will most benefit them.


  1. Build in your brand values

Reinforce your values to align employees with your brand. Cancer Research UK developed the ‘Our Heroes’ recognition scheme to show appreciation for employees displaying the organisation values. Winners are invited to a VIP party. Live streaming of the awards to all offices ensures everyone is involved. Follow up surveys have shown a 7% increase in employee recognition, with their Brand Beliefs embedded into the day-to-day business.


  1. Crowdsource nominations for awards

Encourage teams to recognise and praise each other using a nomination system over email, branded postcards or an online portal. Treats and prizes for employees with the most nominations could include free lunches, vouchers and a shout-out in team meetings or newsletters.

Credit: Pexels


  1. Knitting circles

Forget bar-tabs and spa treatments. Employees are looking for alternative experiences where they can learn new skills such as knitting, painting, cooking and jewellery making. Activities like these will have a minimal impact on your budget too; employees just need the chance to develop new skills and engage with each other.


  1. Look after employee wellbeing

With the growth of emotional and mental health awareness, it’s important to assess the risk of stress and burnout in your surveys. Flexible working, wellbeing support, massages and mindfulness training can all support employees.


  1. Trust your employees and show it

Give your employees the autonomy of where and how they work. 75% of employees would prefer flexible working, and millennials are most likely to look for flexibility when applying for jobs. Where possible, allow employees to work remotely and make sure they have the right tools to complete their work effectively. Ensure you achieve a balance between communicating through team chats and social activities and offering remote workers space to fulfil their role without guilt or pressure.


  1. Ask for feedback and then do something about it

Offer employees a platform for feedback by using People Insight’s surveys and 360 feedback services. Many employees don’t believe change will happen after a survey, so keep them updated with regular communication from your leaders, your managers and employee task-forces. Invite them to give further feedback and ideas at open offices and town halls too, to keep up momentum before the big changes are ready to introduce.

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