Show your employees a little love this Valentine's Day.
While Valentine's Day may not be everyone's favorite holiday, using them as opportunities to show your employees your appreciation and say "thank you" is something every employer and manager should be able to get behind.
This year, we want to take some time to share some simple tips from our very first HR Tailgate Twitter chat that every organization can use to show its workforce just how much they appreciate them.
How does your company recognize and reward high-performing employees? “My company does Happy Hour Friday, group workouts, we pay for our employee gym membership as reward for great work!” – Chelsea Krost “It’s not just about tangible rewards. It’s that they have contributed to the vision of the company and know what they do matters.” – Dale Clareburt “Most of the time though they just need to be told they’ve done a good job.” – Simon Martin
What are some free or affordable ways companies of any size can show their appreciation for employees? “I think doing small team building activities; maybe running a marathon for a cause, company dinners, yearly retreats.” – Girl of Style “Employees love time off. Even a few hours will go a long way toward showing your appreciation.” – The Mingle Master
“Say ‘thank you.’ Words don’t cost you anything, but your time and attention are often priceless for your employees.” – Bonnie Scherry, SPHR
What happens when employee appreciation efforts go "stale"?
Employee appreciation programs aren't just something you can put into place and forget about, however. They need to be reviewed regularly to ensure that they're still effective. After all, what worked 10 years ago (or even two), might not be relevant to your current employees, especially given the rapidly changing workforce demographics.
So why do good employee appreciation programs go bad?
They've become routine. While there is a lot to be said for consistency, one of the worst things that can happen to an employee appreciation program is for employees to feel like your program is more about going through the motions of handing out an award, rather than about recognizing and appreciating employees.
A lack of management buy-in. Mid-level managers are often the group with the most exposure to the wider employee population and the day-to-day operations of the company. Without their enthusiastic support, employee appreciation efforts won't stand a chance. Encourage managers and supervisors to become champions of appreciation efforts.
No personalization. How you show an employee your appreciation for their hard work is just as important as the fact that you do so at all. Tailoring the way you recognize an employee for their success to their individual preferences will be much more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Below are some final tips from our HR Tailgate participants about how to refresh employee appreciation efforts that have gone stale:
What are some ways to reenergize a recognition program that’s starting to feel stale? “Crowd-source your employees and ask them what they would like to work towards.” – Chelsea Krost “I’m a big proponent of letting employees lead recognition, rather than leaders. They keep it fresh.” – Toni Howard Lowe “Make recognition a key part of your culture Allow the shout outs & stars to come from across the organization, not just from the top down.” – Danyel Rupert, SPHR.