The results are in. Just over 50% of people say that feeling appreciated at work is a “must-have.” Yet, 65% of workers feel unappreciated at their jobs, and it’s a significant reason why 2 in 5 employees plan to leave their jobs after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
The pandemic blurred the line between work and home, and as a result, employees are putting in more hours than ever before. It’s no wonder why they want to feel appreciated for their commitment.
Appreciation is no longer optional. It’s a must-have for employers who want to be among the winning companies in the next decade.
So, how can companies bolster appreciation in the workplace?
The Challenges With Work Appreciation Programs
Workplace appreciation programs aren’t new. However, they have historically had some common problems. For one, these programs are hastily thrown together or poorly organized. It’s not uncommon to have one supervisor doing one thing while another does something totally different.
These programs, while well intended, often lack reports, visibility and follow-through. In other words, there’s no way to see if they’re actually making employees feel more appreciated.
Many programs also suffer from a lack of meaningful means of appreciation. They just toss gift cards out indiscriminately or throw an occasional office party. These tactics don’t usually resonate or make people feel valued.
Even successful appreciation programs have to be reexamined now that so much of the workforce has gone virtual. How can supervisors say “thank you” or acknowledge good work if employees aren’t in the office?
The challenges to bolstering appreciation in the workplace can be overwhelming. However, they aren’t insurmountable. With a bit of attention and focus on strengthening relationships, companies can create healthy and effective employee appreciation programs for their organization.
5 Creative Ideas for Improving Employee Appreciation
Here are five unique ideas to bolster appreciation in the workplace:
1. Recognize Day-to-Day Wins
A huge part of helping employees feel valued is by recognizing them for the work they do. Supervisors should get in the habit of practicing daily micro-recognition. This is simply recognizing and acknowledging employees in real-time. This can include things like sending an email or Slack chat, giving a handwritten note or card, or even a simple verbal “great job.”
2. A Social Media Shout-Out
Companies can give their people shout-outs or kudos on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to really show their employees (and the world) how much they appreciate them. A simple post acknowledging who the employee is, their position, what they’ve done to deserve recognition, and a bit about how their contribution helps the company is all it takes.
Social recognition allows companies to show off their employees and culture publicly. Plus, the recognized employee will often share the post, increasing brand awareness. It’s a win-win.
(Note: Companies should check with employees before they do this, because some employees would prefer private praise.)
3. An Off-Site Day
Companies can show employees that they value them by allowing them to work in another location other than the office for a day. Now that more employees are remote, this could be providing the employee with the means to work somewhere other than their home office.
Companies can pay for a pass for a coworking space for the day or cover the cost to drink coffee and work at the local coffee shop. Using this method to show appreciation is effective because it also shows the employee their company values flexibility.
4. Make Appreciation Part of the Culture With Peer-to-Peer Recognition Programs
Appreciation doesn’t always have to be top-down. Companies should consider including peer-to-peer recognition as part of their appreciation programs. Allowing and encouraging employees to value and recognize each other is a terrific way to make sure no one gets overlooked or feels unnoticed.
5. Custom-Tailor Appreciation to the Individual
People are vastly different and need to be shown appreciation in a way that fits them; otherwise, they may not feel that acknowledgement.
Customized fringe benefits and perks are perfect for this initiative. Fringe allows companies to give employees points every time they want to express appreciation. Employees can use those points toward perks that benefit them. It’s a great way to make sure employees feel valued and acknowledged in a way that is meaningful to them.
Getting Started With Workplace Appreciation Programs
As the workforce continues to evolve in the post-pandemic world, appreciation programs are becoming all the more vital to employee satisfaction.
Companies who figure out how to appreciate their employees today will be the ones who are booming in ten years. The one fundamental key to running a successful employee appreciation program is testing.
Companies have to take the time to do employee appreciation surveys regularly. Then, take that information to improve the program. Any new initiatives should have traceable metrics and results, so supervisors can course-correct until they find the perfect appreciation program for their team.
The Fringe platform is a fantastic addition to any employee appreciation program. It allows supervisors to recognize employees in real-time with points and can be used in peer-to-peer programs as well. Ultimately, the employee gets to use those points toward perks that improve their life.
As a bonus, the Fringe platform solves the appreciation gap that has been happening with newly remote companies.