02 Mar Employee Appreciation Day – 5 simple ways to say thanks (and it won’t cost you a thing)
“The deepest principle of human nature is a craving to be appreciated.” William James, psychologist and philosopher
Today is Employee Appreciation Day! Whoo hoo!
Now, for any bosses who are thinking – ‘I pay them to do a job, I don’t need to thank them too…’ oh how you make me sigh. Because I’ve met a lot of leaders who think like this. Sure, we all come to work to earn our pennies, but that doesn’t mean that a little appreciation doesn’t go a looonnnggg way. If you want to help your employees thrive, and do the best job for your organisation, then appreciation is a basic human need that can easily be ticked off the list. After all, without your employees, you’d have no business to boss….
There are many great employee reward schemes out there, and the tech is evolving to make these really powerful, but here are simple things you can action right now. Today. For free!
- Just say it
You don’t have to go into lots of planning… if you see something good, call it out! Do it often, make it a habit. Use good eye contact and positive body language to reinforce what you’re saying.
If thanking people makes you feel a bit awkward (and it really does make some leaders feel out of their comfort zone), then write a post it and stick it on the employees’ desk, send an email, write them a letter or card. But do it whenever you see something you genuinely appreciate.
- Get detailed
If you’re specific in why you’re saying thanks, then the praise comes across as a lot more genuine. Using details means that you’ve really noticed what’s happened, and it makes your appreciation more meaningful. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to reinforce your company values. By rewarding the behaviour that you value, you’ll get more of it!
- Look for the good in everyone
It’s easy to praise someone who’s great at their job. But what about those who aren’t high flyers, or self-promoters. What about those who are struggling. Praise for people in these categories can be an absolute tonic. The trick is, to make sure you’re praising something genuine. So look for the good in what they’re doing. There will be something that they bring to the team which is specific to them. They’ll appreciate the time you took to notice and it will give them a huge boost.
- Time it
Try to say thanks in a timely way. If you leave it too long, the weeds of neglect or apathy can start to creep in – if no one acknowledges the great stuff you do, then it’s easy to not bother next time. So don’t wait. Keep it timely and make it regular.
- Make it public…or not
Many people thrive on public recognition. There’s a real buzz when people are thanked in front of their peers, and its another terrific way to reinforce your values (I know, I keep banging on about it!).
But some may find it embarrassing! So think about the needs of the person before you single them out at a company get together. Maybe a quiet word is all they need to feel full of the joys of knowing what they do counts.