It is important that employees feel appreciated. An article published by the Association for Psychological Science opens in a new window explains that expressing gratitude can improve almost any relationship. The article also explained that showing appreciation can be mutually beneficial to both the one showing the appreciation and the person being appreciated.
There are things done and incentives offered by almost every work organization to try to show their employees that they are appreciated. However, more often than not these attempts to show appreciation may not go over as well as the employer had hoped. Why is this? An article published by The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley opens in a new window explained that most appreciation incentives fall short because they “come off as insincere.” Here are some ideas and principles that will help you make your appreciation incentives more effective.
Ask your employees how THEY would like to be recognized.
Often employers try to keep their appreciation incentives secret so that they can surprise their employees. However, rather than surprising them with something they don’t actually want, it is more effective to ask your employees directly what rewards they would prefer. Getting them what they ask for will make them feel that they are being listened to, and the reward will feel more personal for them.
Look for reasons to give praise.
If you look for the best in someone you are more likely to notice what they do well. Look for the best in your employees and when you find a reason to recognize them, do it! Smaller frequent rewards to express your appreciation are often more effective than large incentives that come infrequently.
Mix it up to make each achievement seem special.
Using the same rewards and ways to recognize employees can quickly get old and come off as impersonal. When it comes to recognizing employee achievement, mix it up so that each celebration seems sincere.
Reward them with something they would actually like
This comes without saying, but appreciation incentives should be desirable! Make each reward unique and something that you know they are going to appreciate.
There are many small things you can do to show your appreciation, that your workers will actually like. Mix it up! You can create an employee of the month award. Try buying the entire office lunch from a catering service like Apple Spice. You can even throw an office party! Create an atmosphere of gratitude in your workplace, and it will shock you how quickly things will change.