As a result of the downturn in the economy, many companies have decided to do away with raises and bonuses. If you are a manager or a business owner who is searching for ways to demonstrate employee appreciation and employee recognition for all of the hard work performed by your workers throughout the year, without breaking the bank, then keep reading. This way you can ensure that your employees don’t choose a different career path once the recession is over!
Here are six simple things that you can do to demonstrate both employee recognition and employee appreciation:
Employee Appreciation for Free!
Offer Flexible Schedules
Not all employees need to work a 9-5 schedule. For those who have work responsibilities that can be handled during any hour, this may be a great benefit to them. Think about it, if you have a harsh commute when working a 9-5 shift, changing your hours to 7-3 would do much to reduce the stress and cost of your commute!
Allow Employees to Occasionally Work from Home
Telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular. If it isn’t possible to allow your employees to do this full-time, allow them to choose one day each week on which they can work from home.
This will not only save on energy, water, and all other costs associated with having more bodies in your building, but it will also save the employee on gas and wear & tear on their car (or paying for public transportation)!
Offer Opportunities for Additional Training
This would be a real benefit to employees, as they will have a chance to learn additional skills – or improve on what they already know – and position themselves for promotions and other opportunities!
This can be as simple as having members of your IT staff offer periodic training in MS Office, or other commonly-used software; or as complex as implementing a rotation program where employees are allowed to function in different positions and develop new skill sets!
Have Dress Down Days
Allowing your employees to dress down for one or several days a week can help to lighten the mood of a stressful work environment (of course this gesture is meaningless if you are not already being a godly employer)! It may also help to change the dress code to a more casual one – especially for those employees who do not need to meet with clients/customers.
Employee Recognition on a Budget!
Partner With Local Vendors
There are two ways that you can do this. First, you can leverage the buying power of your group of employees to get massive discounts for them – this can work for anything from cars to computers to tax preparation!
Second, you can barter with local vendors – providing your services to them in exchange for free services for your employees! Even if you aren’t able to give a raise or bonus, you can still provide a tangible benefit to your workers by providing them with a free session with a local tax preparer or financial consultant.
Another great way to show your appreciation for your employees is to bring in a local massage therapist once a week to provide free basic massages! Here are some other gift ideas to help you get started!
Celebrate Employees’ Achievements Each Month
Depending on the size of your workplace, this may need to be handled at the department level. Cater a basic lunch (a pizza party works for me) and give simple awards to your employees. You can have them vote on things such as “the most helpful coworker”, or “most dependable”, etc; then give out these awards once a month or quarter!
Broadcasting various customer/client accolades may add a nice touch as well. This would definitely be a great way to show employee recognition and employee appreciation for a minimal cost.
You can also use this as a time to acknowledge all of the birthdays that occurred during that month.
Set Up a Rec Room
If you have the space, set up a recreation room for your employees. You can include a TV, an air hockey game, pool table, or even a massage chair! You have to set a few guidelines on when this can be used, or you can just trust your employees to be responsible and get their work done in between their air hockey tournaments.
Remember, with whatever programs you implement, you should seek to do one of two things. Demonstrate your appreciation to your employees by providing a tangible benefit to them (more than just a “thank you”); or make the workplace more enjoyable by creating a more relaxed atmosphere.
Both of these goals can help to foster an attitude of loyalty in your employees, even at times when you are unable to offer raises and bonuses!
- In what ways do you demonstrate your appreciation toward your employees?
- In your mind, how far do these, and similar, measures go in fostering worker loyalty during a time of salary freezes?
- What else would you add to this list?
- Does your company offer any of these non-traditional benefits?
- Does this change how you view your employer at all?
- What else would you add to this list?
photo by bettyx1138
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