Employees who feel appreciated by their bosses are more likely to be engaged with their work, and therefore, more productive, have more positive attitudes and are less likely to leave. Showing appreciation doesn’t have to be costly to be effective. Check out these six ways to show appreciation for your team:
1. Simply Say, “Thank You
The best ways of expressing your appreciation tend to be the most straightforward. Simply saying, “thank you” to your employees regularly is a sincere (and free) way to show them that you value their contributions.
2. Give Specific Compliments
When you want to show your appreciation for individual employees, avoid vague accolades (i.e., “You’re doing a great job!”) and instead give specific compliments — taking the time to thoughtfully compliment your individual employees, such as by providing a clear example of how and why they did a great job on a particular task and how it positively impacted you. Examples include a handwritten note, a face-to-face compliment, or public recognition at an event.
3. Provide a Special Meal
Arranging a catered lunch or treating your team to a dinner outing not only offers a tangible experience as a way to thank your team for their hard work, but it also has other benefits. It can promote team building, since it brings the group together in a social, lower pressure setting than usual, as well as offer a break from work to help them recharge.
4. Acknowledge Their Life Events
A way to make your employees feel special is by showing personal interest in them and what’s most important to them. Acknowledging their life events, such as a graduation, engagement, buying a house, etc. with a card, simple gift, or even just talking to them about it makes it clear that you care about them as people.
5. Offer Opportunities to Develop
If you want to show your team you appreciate everything they do to help you be successful in your career, pay back the favor. Offer opportunities for them to develop professionally. Ask them about their career goals, and make it a priority to provide ways for them to make progress on them, such as training, continuing education, or special projects to gain new experience.
6. Be Flexible with Scheduling
When your team has proven to be hard workers who produce results without needing to be micromanaged, show your appreciation by giving them more freedom (within reason) with scheduling. Be flexible with hours (such as letting people shift their start/end times to avoid rush hour traffic during their commutes) or working from home occasionally. They will see that you respect their time and work-life balance, and in turn, will have a more positive, trusting relationship with you.
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