Employee Appreciation Day next falls on Friday, March 1, 2019. However, if you limit your appreciation to only that one day, your employees may not feel appreciated every other day of the year—when it counts. For this reason, it’s best to make it a regular practice.
Workers deserve to feel appreciated every day they walk into the office. After all, without these team members performing vital tasks, your organization wouldn’t be able to do business. Not to mention, employees who feel valued are more likely to work harder and be more productive.
Looking to boost morale and output at your workplace? Follow these four tips to help your fellow employees feel appreciated on a daily basis.
1. Listen to Your Colleagues
The first rule is simple: Treat your coworkers with respect! Employees who feel they are being listened to will perform better. According to the Harvard Business Review, there are specific steps you can take to ensure your team members feel heard. Here are five effective strategies:
- Make listening a priority. If you’re the one who does most of the talking, you’ll need to learn how to sit back and listen.
- Put down your phone and all other distractions. If you’re multi-tasking during the conversation, your colleagues won’t feel heard and, in fact, you probably aren’t fully absorbing what they have to say.
- Look for nonverbal cues. This can be hard if you have remote coworkers, but consider using video conferencing over phone calls and texting. How someone says something can tell you a lot more than the words they use.
- Control your reactions. When someone disagrees with you, do you immediately make a face? Don’t let your mouth say one thing and your facial expressions say another.
- Validate and verify. Ask questions! Echo back what you think the employee has said. Actively listening helps your employees feel valued, even if you ultimately decide not to go with their ideas.
2. Remember to Say Thank You
This may seem overly simple, but it can really make a difference. “Thanks for getting me that document,” takes just seconds to say, and lets employees know that you appreciate their work. Whenever someone goes above and beyond, praise them! If you don’t make a regular effort to do this, employee appreciation could become something you talk about but don’t actually practice.
3. Respect Their Time
Remember, employees have a life outside of work. That’s why it’s important to respect their time. Avoid bombarding your employees with busywork or forcing them to adhere to a rigid schedule if it’s not necessary for the job. Value your employees as human beings; don’t let them feel like they are simply cogs in the machine.
If a hardworking employee asks to leave a half-hour early on Tuesdays to pick up their child from school and it’s not absolutely necessary that they stay until closing, offer them that freedom. It shows that you appreciate their hard work and respect their time!
Also, don’t make your procrastination their responsibility. If you put off reviewing a report, don’t always expect your coworker to stay late to make the changes. Sure, you’re busy, but their time is valuable as well!
4. Offer Rewards and Recognition
Everyone wants a good-sized paycheck—and an occasional bonus would be nice—but employee appreciation goes beyond the conditions outlined in their offer letters. Does your organization promote employees when they’ve earned it? Do you raise salaries to midpoints or limit their increases to no more than 5 percent? Do you give your team credit for work done at meetings, or do you present the information as your idea?
Such recognition is incredibly rewarding for employees. You don’t need to regularly hand out gift cards or certificates (although, from time to time, that wouldn’t hurt). Your employees simply want to feel like they are making a difference.
If you can do these things well, your fellow employees are more likely to be happy in their roles, feel appreciated, and work hard. Which, in the end, benefits your organization! That’s a win-win.
Looking for other effective ways to engage and support your fellow employees? Take some time to explore United Concordia Dental’s expansive Employer Toolkit.