Employee appreciation is a crucial element in boosting employee retention, productivity, and morale. Studies have shown that different employee demographics yearn for appreciation and recognition in different forms. Without it, they feel undervalued, which can lead to bottom-line losses due to declining productivity and lack of employee engagement. In this article, we’ll dig into employee appreciation – it’s importance and how to integrate it into your company culture.
The Importance Of Employee Appreciation
Workplace productivity is inextricably tied to employee morale. Morale can be significantly boosted when employers extend tokens of appreciation to their staff on a regular basis. Employee appreciation is important – not only for a company’s bottom line, which is impacted by a loss of productivity and employee turnover – but to make employees feel fulfilled in their jobs. In fact, a survey by Limeade found that employees who felt appreciated by their employers were 38% more engaged and 18% more likely to go the extra mile in their day to day tasks. Moreover, 80% of employees said recognition motivated them to work harder, according to an analysis by Gallup.
On the flip side, employees who felt undervalued were twice as likely to quit their job. For these reasons, it’s important for managers to place an emphasis on understanding how to make employees feel valued so they can foster a better work environment for employees and boost company morale.
When Employees Don’t Feel Valued
What happens when employees don’t feel valued? There are a number of negative ramifications.
For one, studies have shown that millennial employees fail to reach tenure milestones because they feel undervalued. This results in them leaving before reaching the 5-year mark, which – ironically – is often a celebrated point of employee recognition. The median tenure for workers aged 25 to 34 is 2.8 years. Compare that to employees aged 55 to 64, where the median is 9.9 years, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition to boosting employee retention, employee recognition can also increase motivation, productivity, and morale in the workplace. Workers who have reported feeling disengaged or disgruntled at work have been proven to be less productive. Consistent employee recognition could save an estimated $500 billion annually. Employee disengagement is a major factor in loss of productivity and slowed economic growth. Disengaged workers also affect the overall mood of a team, and can negatively influence the people around them with their lack of care for their work.
Employee Appreciation Ideas
Employers are constantly seeking employee appreciation ideas to make employees feel valued.
Say “Thank You”
Showing employee appreciation can be as small as a simple “thank you” from your boss and can amplify employee morale significantly. In fact, over 50% of employees said receiving a “thank you” from their direct supervisor increased their level of satisfaction at work. “Thank you” is a free form of recognition that can increase employee engagement and retention.
Some practices, such as recognizing employee achievements at team- or company-wide meetings or in widely disseminated email blasts can help employees feel valued for their work and contributions on a regular basis.
Encouraging Time Off
In the wake of COVID-19, employers are increasingly encouraging their employees to take time off to rest and recuperate, especially after spending so much time working from home. In a post-COVID era, offering work from home could be yet another tool to show employees that they are appreciated for their hard work.
Team- or Company-Wide Appreciation
Employee appreciation at the individual level helps to single out significant achievements on a team. But employers can also show appreciation to their entire team or company with broader initiatives. Ideas for this could include: team lunches for meeting company targets, company-wide treat days, and even organized speaker series geared towards employee growth opportunities.
Activities Outside of Work
Fun activities that reinforce employee appreciation can also have a dual impact by incorporating team building and giving colleagues and managers a chance to bond beyond a work setting.
Hiring the Right Managers
Employee appreciation is ultimately fostered at the managerial level. Managers need to be purposefully selected and trained to keep employees engaged and committed to their work and feeling valued on the team and within the company.
Employee appreciation comes down to the understanding that companies are made up of human beings. To this end, employees need to be treated with individualized attention and recognized for their contributions. This results in them feeling valued so they remain engaged in the company’s mission and goals. Finding ways to connect with employees and explicitly showing them appreciation can go a long way in boosting employee retention, productivity, and morale.
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