Showing your employees the appreciation they deserve

Benjamin Kluwgant · 02 Sep

Showing up to the office every day and working hard isn’t something which should be taken for granted. Appreciating your employees’ efforts is of paramount importance and needs to be a top priority for all HR managers.

There are many different types of perks and benefits that businesses can (and often should) offer their employees. Some can be financial, some of them are fun and creative, and others are practical and useful.

Regardless of the type of perk being offered, the reason why employee benefits exist is for the purpose of showing appreciation to people in the workplace – recognising their devotion and dedication to the organisation.

Workplace appreciation, by definition, is about making the people within the organisation feel like they matter, and that the work they’re doing (or have done) is of significant value.

Showing your employees gestures of appreciation is an extremely important part of vibrant and positive workplace cultures, and it also helps drive successful results across the entire organisation.

Appreciation improves multiple facets of the business

Showing appreciation to people in the workplace can have an impact on three fundamental elements of people and culture management:

1.     Wellbeing

One of the core responsibilities of those in charge of the people and culture elements of an organisation (meaning, HR managers) is to ensure that no one in the workplace is being treated in a way that compromises their mental and emotional health.

The appreciation that managers to their subordinates can have a significant impact on the wellbeing and mental health of those employees. The employees feel respected, useful and generally good about themselves.

Conversely, when gestures of appreciation aren’t shown often enough, people in the workplace can end up feeling used, neglected, and ignored – all feelings that, if not dealt with properly, can lead to feelings which are far worse.

2.    Productivity

When someone is given kudos for doing a good job or working hard on certain task, the appreciation that they are shown encourages them to do the same thing the next time such an opportunity presents itself.

In fact, employees are far more likely to show higher levels of productivity in all areas of their work after receiving credit for their achievements.

Think of it like when a teacher gives one of their students the prize for being ‘student of the week’. More often than not, the student maintains the same level of productivity and excitement throughout the following week – almost feeling like they have a responsibility to live up to the credit and appreciation that they were given.

3.     Retention

Creating an environment that encourages appreciation also plays a big part in keeping employee turnover rates down. It’s no secret that retaining employees in today’s competitive economy is challenging, but when workers are made to feel appreciated and valued, they develop a sense of loyalty and connection to their workplace – giving them less of a reason to search for work elsewhere.

Learn the different languages of appreciation

The responsibility of creating an environment where it is common for employees to be given positive reinforcement, largely falls under the responsibility of the HR manager. Because of this, it is up to that manager to know how to show the employees that they are genuinely appreciated and valued.

So, how does a manager show genuine appreciation? Well, if revenge is a dish best served cold, then appreciation and recognition are dishes that are best served with creativity.

There are no hard and fast rules about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to actions that make people feel appreciated and valued.

If a manager is looking to show that they genuinely appreciate the hard work of one of their subordinates, they need to learn how to deliver the message in the ‘language’ that resonates with that particular employee.

Some people like to be recognised publicly, while others prefer to be patted on the back in a more private setting. Some aren’t interested in verbal recognition at all and only feel appreciated when they are given a financial reward, others feel appreciated by being given time off in recognition of hard work.

There’s no point in forcing generic types of appreciation tactics on employees. Proficient managers will put effort into understanding what types of gestures each employee within their organisation will respond to best, and tailor their offering accordingly. 

Benefits must be available to everyone

While the importance of showing appreciation in the workplace is clear, there is a fine line between showing appreciation to an employee and giving them preferential treatment.

The moment that a manager uses employee benefits to give preferential treatment (or favouritism) to specific employees – the entire exercise will go sour and turn into a counterproductive venture.

Equality is among the most basic and core values that organisations need to implement and live by. If one employee has access to benefits that are designed to show appreciation for hard work, then all employees need to be able to receive benefits as well.

Where Perkbox fits in

Making it easier for managers to show genuine appreciation to their staff is what we at Perkbox are all about.

We have developed an easy-to-use platform that centralises employee benefits for organisations.

For those who prefer benefits with financial upsides, the perks element to our platform offer exclusive discounts and freebies to a range of great services and places – and whether you have an employee that likes shopping, health and fitness or travel, there’s something in there for everyone.

The recognition side to our platform makes it easier than ever to make people feel like they matter by shining the spotlight on employees who are performing well. It even encourages the employees within the organisation to recognise each other through polls and friendly competition. 

Ultimately, all employees want to feel loved, valued and appreciated. If you can manage to make them feel that way, you’ll make a significant difference to their wellbeing, your influence as a manager, and the success of the entire organisation.