A few simple ways to show your people you appreciate them

Oliver · 14 Feb

Rather than firing off a token ‘thank you’ email, managers should put the wheels in motion towards a culture of continual appreciation. Here are a few ways you can do just that.

The idea behind making employees feel valued and appreciated is pretty simple.

Those who find meaning and fulfilment in the eight or nine hours a day they spend with you will typically perform better and stick around for longer. This doesn't just benefit your organisation financially through boosted performance, it also increases the chances of your people living happy lives.

That’s why, if you’re interested in building a productive company culture that people want to work in, making employees feel valued is perhaps a manager’s most important job. Here are a few simple ways to do it.

Be transparent. Properly transparent

Regular one-to-one catch ups only guarantee the box-ticking kind of transparency. Genuine transparency is less common, and might even feel counter-intuitive initially. If an employee asks a question about their performance, for example, answering directly can sometimes be tough.

That's because proper transparency demands a degree of emotional intelligence on the manager’s part. They must neither be blunt nor shield their people from the truth. It might cause a few uncomfortable conversations at first, but will demonstrate that you value and trust them enough to tell them the truth. The candid dialogue will in turn empower employees to repay the favour – these are the feedback loops that help businesses grow.

Relax the working hours

Show appreciation by rewarding your people with life’s most precious commodity: time.

A recent ONS study found that 50% of the UK workforce would happily lose a day’s pay if they could take a three-day weekend. Relaxed working hours don't have to be a regular thing – the novelty will add to the impact.

Get creative with your benefits

Some 66% of employees say benefits are a good way for companies to show appreciation of their loyalty. While dental cover and parking spaces have utilitarian value, organisations are realising the power of creative benefits in both showing appreciation of their staff and as a recruitment tool.

The companies that excel in this space – Google, Atlassian, Virgin – are famed for their deep understanding of their people, a knowledge that fuels standout employee incentives, which range from bi-weekly massages to napping hours.

Encourage peer-to-peer appreciation

Empowering your employees to recognise and reward each other creates buzz. As well as boosting productivity and performance, the frequent feedback and collaboration also strengthens relationships and aligns efforts.

Use a platform that makes peer-to-peer recognition available to the whole team, so everyone can get involved – the rewards could be issued for anything from successful tea runs to project milestones.

Create opportunities for new experiences

Be attentive to your employees’ interests. If someone is keen to learn more about another department or area of the business, make a note to accommodate their curiosity by opening up an opportunity for them to get involved.

This could mean anything from securing them a ticket to an event to encouraging them, to take a position within the field they showed an interest in (within your organisation, of course!)