On the first Friday of March each year, companies across the US of A celebrate and reward their team’s hard work.
And, considering the fact that 49% of UK employees apparently feel underappreciated, I think it’s high time we followed suit.
So this week, I’ve pulled together a list of my 10 favourite ways to show employee appreciation.
NB: if you’re not actually involved in employee engagement or management, you can still always take these suggestions to someone who is!
1. Fish and chips.
I stumbled across this idea on LinkedIn the other day. A company had actually hired a fish and chip cart for the office! Click here to see what I mean.
A fish and chip cart, in your very office?! That’s amazing!
Even your employees who are on a “health-kick” right now are bound to get stuck in once they smell those chips cooking.
2. The coffee machine.
If you haven’t already got a great coffee machine (I’m talking Nespresso or similar here) then it’s a great reward for hard-working, caffeine-drinking staff.
We have one at our office (complete with milk frother) and it gets used, an awful lot.
It’s probably best to find some top-notch, luxury teabags too – else your tea-drinkers won’t be best pleased (machine tea is just never as good!)
3. Free Massages.
There are a variety of companies and one-man-bands out there at the moment offering mobile massaging services at your office. Here’s an example.
And it really is a great little perk; decreasing stress and boosting wellbeing.
(And don’t worry; your employees don’t have to take their clothes off)!
4. A volunteering day.
This week, The Sunday Times revealed the “top 100 companies to work for” in the UK so I spent the week researching these companies to find out what made them so special.
And do you know what almost all of them had in common?
They encouraged their employees to volunteer and give to charities.
Whether by giving them (extra) time off to volunteer, encouraging fundraising activities or hosting charity events themselves, being encouraged to give back certainly made their employees feel happier.
Not sure where to start with this kind of thing? Well, you could approach charities in your area, or check out a middle-man like this one.
5. Go to the karaoke.
Everyone loves a good sing-song don’t they?!
Ok not everyone. But karaoke bars really are becoming all the rage, with their private booths and cheesy tunes. Everyone will certainly get to know each other a little better!
NB: alcohol will make that Spice Girls mash up sound a LOT better.
6. A magazine subscription.
This is quite a nice and unique idea; some reading material for the daily commute or lunch time and it’s nice to get something delivered to your desk.
Best bit is; some of your employees may even choose industry publications, so you’ll be engaging them, whilst they improve their own skills and absorb themselves into your industry more and more.
Don’t make them choose an industry publication! It’s a reward, so it’s up to them.
7. Champagne (or wine) tasting.
As I said earlier, everyone loves food! But a lot of people love a little tipple too!
A champagne tasting oozes sophistication and is an extra special treat (obviously you won’t be able to do something like this all the time). Your employees will feel like Kings and Queens.
NB: it’s worth checking whether all staff members would actually want or be able to drink alcohol. There are a variety of cultural and personal reasons why this wouldn’t be the case and it’s important to be sensitive. You don’t want to leave someone out or offend anyone.
8. Employee of the month!
Dead simple and old-school! But if it works, then it works.
Make sure you make a big deal out of your employee of the month (don’t just rattle it off and ignore it) you want this to be a big occasion, that people actually aspire towards. Shout about it…
- In a company-wide email, explaining the exact reasons why that employee is so fab.
- On social media. Let the world know.
- In your company newsletter.
This will make your employee feel really, really loved – instead of just another winner of a boring HR initiative that doesn’t mean anything!
For some more tips on setting this up, click here.
9. Duvet Days.
You must have heard of them. But are you offering them? And if not, why not?
Sometimes, your employees will feel like crap when they wake up; perhaps they went out the night before, or perhaps they just didn’t sleep? Giving them to opportunity to take the day (or morning) off, without having to come up with an excuse will…
- Encourage honesty among your team members.
- Reduce “sickies” (why would you need to).
- Help them to feel valued.
Now, I’m not saying you should offer four such days a year (that seems a little excessive), but one or two could remove sickie phone calls altogether and your employees will likely save their day until they really, really need it. So would you want them in the office anyway?
10. Concierge Service.
I don’t like chores. No one does really!
So what’s a fantastic way to engage employees, whilst freeing up more of their time to devote to your business? A Concierge Service, of course.
You could offer your special employees (perhaps, the employee of the month) a month’s free use of a concierge service. They will fulfill all of those little chores and annoying hassles, from sending packages to picking up the dry cleaning!
You can bet they’ll work harder to get their hands on this each month.
If your employees feel unappreciated, their health, attitude and proactivity will suffer, so it’s important to make them feel loved.
There really are TONS of ways to reward your employees, some completely inexpensive and so worthwhile. Check out these posts if you’d like some more tips:
- 50 Great Ways to Reward Your Employees
- 121 Creative Ways to Reward Employees
- 101 Super Effective Ways to Reward Your Employees.
Above all else, have fun with it!