Resource Management, Leadership

13 Super Simple Ways to Show Employee Appreciation Without Breaking the Bank

emplpoyee appreciation

According to a study by Gallup, “The number one reason most Americans leave their job is that they don’t feel appreciated. In fact, 65% of people surveyed said they got no recognition for good work this year.” It seems simple enough—if you show your employees you appreciate them, they will in turn be more engaged and less inclined to leave your organization. However, finding unique and inexpensive ways to appreciate employees has gotten increasingly difficult as recognition programs have become a requirement instead of an option. Discover some new appreciation tactics that will lend a hand to reducing turnover and increasing retention rates at your business. 

Public Recognition Tips

There are a number of publicized platforms you can leverage to show your employees you appreciate their hard work and dedication. Typically, recognition is free, and it only takes a few minutes out of your day. Everyone deserves a bit of public appreciation regardless of their level of humbleness.

1) Monday Morning Motivation

Consider having a 15-minute meeting with your team each Monday morning to nominate a worker who deserves to be recognized. Head off-site to grab coffee or breakfast and candidly discuss an employee that went above and beyond recently. Encourage other teams to take part in Monday Morning Motivation Meetings so the entire organization starts the week off on a good note.

2) Social Media

Leverage your social media accounts as a way to show appreciation for employees across multiple offices. Launch a competition for each team to recognize the hardest working employee of the month. Have all departments nominate a winner and compete for the most unique way to show your appreciation. Don’t forget to make a unique hashtag crafted to your organization.

3) Employee of the Month Perks

The Employee of the Month gimmick is one of the oldest recognition practices within business. Make it interesting by providing free parking spot, reduced travel costs, or even a day off. Decorate their cubicle with celebratory balloons and streamers, surprise them with their favorite Starbucks, or give them a day to work from home.

4) The Tried & True Post-it Note

Despite the unprecedented innovations in technology over recent years, as well as, the entrance of new generations into the workplace, the Post-it Note lives on as a motivational tool. Simple, colorful, and nostalgic, Post-its are an easy and free way to show your workers that you care. Personalize a short and sweet note and leave it on their desk. The little things really do matter in the long run.

5) Monthly Newsletters

Take advantage of internal communications as a way to highlight the most promising employees in the last week, month, or quarter. Isolate one section of the newsletter as a column for employee appreciation. Make it fun and use baby pictures instead of professional headshots—other coworkers have to guess who the frontrunners are! It’s always a good idea to keep it short and sweet and provide a one-liner explaining why each employee is being appreciated.

Health & Happiness Perks

A company that allows it’s employees a greater work-life balance is more likely to retain more individuals year over year. For organizations that already have recognition and appreciation programs in place, the natural step for many leaders is to look for ways to enhance employees’ overall health, wealth and happiness.

6) Gym Membership

Organizations that recognize the potentially disastrous role of stress the workplace are more likely to provide their employees with gym memberships or access to fitness classes. No matter how much you love your job, you’re going to have a rough day every here and there. When the stress starts to creep, take a moment to breathe and exercise—these simple practices are surprisingly the two most effective ways to combat stress, depression, and anxiety. You can keep your workout as simple or complex as you would like—simply get outside (or to the gym), get moving, and get your endorphins up!

7) Education & Online Courses

Due to the growth of online courses and certifications, it is now realistic for employees to crave further education even if they are living the career of their dreams. Provide employees with access to online learning courses, such as Lynda, to empower individuals to learn or perfect a new skill. For employees that are being recognized for special service, give them the chance to spend a day learning instead of working. This may not seem cost effective in the short-run, but the more opportunities that you give your employees to excel, the greater the chance your organization will succeed.

8) Bring Your Family (or Dog) In to Work Day

Many businesses recognize a few days a year where you can bring in your child, family member, parent, or even your fur family. Grant employees the ability to bring in their child, dog, or husband as a way to show them your appreciation. By allowing employees to blend work and family (even if it’s just for a day), they are more likely to feel engaged, recognized, and respected.

9) Errands At the Office

Many 9 to 5 workers share the stress of not having quite enough hours in the day to spend on themselves, their family, or even errands. Provide tools for your employees to take care of small errands and life responsibilities such as: car washes in the parking lot, massages once a month, access to ups for shipping, or even the ability to send clothes to the dry-cleaner, to name a few.

Inexpensive Gift Ideas

Everyone appreciates a small token of gratitude, and it doesn’t require breaking the bank! From company swag, to do-it-yourself Pinterest gifts, there are tons of ideas for organizations on a budget.

10) Company Swag

Everyone loves t-shirts, cozy sweatshirts and socks. And what better way to build your brand and culture than having your best employee represent the company outside of the office?

11) Giftcards

Everyone has a favorite restaurant, department, or grocery store. Learn where your employees shop and provide them with a little extra spending money with a gift card.

12) Thank You Card

Take a few minutes out of each week to personalize a thank you card for your hardest working employee.

13) New Chair or Desk

For organizations with workers primarily huddled around their laptops, consider offering an upgraded, ergonomic chair or desk for the employees who deserve a serious token of gratitude.