For the first time in my entire work history I feel secure in my job position. I am not fearful that I am going to get fired. I am not paranoid that someone is going to steal my job. I am not worried that someone else is going to outshine me. How many people can truly say that? Until seven years ago I know I couldn’t. So what is the secret? Why is this job different than all the others? One word…Appreciation.
My boss, who is the owner of the company I work for, thanks me every day when I leave. He encourages me, he listens to me, he shows concern for me. The appreciation I am shown at work makes me want to work harder, to learn more, to help the business grow because I feel like I matter and am part of a team. It sounds so simple but that is because it truly is!
The hardest part of showing your employees appreciation is the time. When we are swamped and on a deadline its hard to find the time and energy to even mutter “thank you” at the end of a long day. But its so important to morale, especially when everyone is feeling the stress. Here is a quick list of a few small things that take minimal effort that I like to do for my employees to show them how much I value them.
A simple “thank you” truly matters – Thank your employees when they leave for the day. On extremely chaotic days add in something custom to the individual like “great job today getting all of those orders out, you are a rock star”, or “thank you for going the extra mile with that customer today, you handled that very well”.
Handwritten notes – I keep a stack of thank you cards in my desk and leave little notes for employees when they are having a hard time or did something above and beyond.
Gift cards – I also keep gift cards for $5 for Starbucks or $25 Visa gift cards handy and give them as special thank you gifts when an employee has been working extra hours or hit a goal.
Work lunches – We like to BBQ on random Friday’s when work is overly busy. While it does take a normal 30 minute break to an hour, it revives employees energy and reminds them that we can still have fun when its hectic.
Work outing – We like to plan fun work outings like going to see our local AAA baseball team play or jump around at the trampoline park. Getting together with your employees and co workers outside of work shows them a different side of you, a more human, fun side.
It doesn’t take much to show appreciation to your employees but it goes a long way. Employees who feel appreciated are likely to work harder, more efficiently, and be more permanently invested in your company. When things get chaotic make sure you take the 30 seconds to thank your employees, you will see a huge difference in their attitudes.