Recognition is Priceless | Team Talk Vol. 4

One of the questions I am asked the most is, “What are some inexpensive ideas to show appreciation to my employees?”

Employers want to reward and engage employees, but with tight budgets and high expenses, employee engagement and appreciation always comes up last. 

Employee appreciation is surrounded by company culture and long-term effectiveness. Sure, ping pong tables and treadmills are fun and cool, but are those really the best use of limited funds with long term engagement? 

In today’s work environment, attracting and retaining employees is about making them feel valued.

So, I ask can you afford to not show appreciation to your employees?

Employee recognition is showing how much you appreciate the dedication and hard work of each employee. Let’s face it, if you are in the restoration industry, you are working hard! With plenty of 16-hour days and time away from family, restoration employees deserve some appreciation and recognition. 

As employers, you need happy employees. Without employees, your dream of creating successful business relies on the success of the employees. Employee recognition is a key engagement tool that should be present in all companies. 

So, let’s be honest, no one wants to work for a company where recognition and appreciation are non-existent. Employee morale plummets. Employees become disengaged and lose focus. When this happens, work-site accidents increase, there is poor productivity, customer service declines, and turnover rises. 

People crave encouragement and approval and feel discouraged if they believe their efforts have been taken for granted. Some of the benefits of employee recognition include reduction of absenteeism, reduced turnover, greater customer service experience, long-term employees, greater sense of team, and employee fulfillment.

 Again, I ask…can you afford to not show recognition to your employees?

Employee recognition needs to be personal. Most of us, including myself at times, fall into the safe gift card handout. While there is nothing wrong with a gift card, the gift card can become monotonous and unintentional if it is to the same place repeatedly. Find out what interests your employees hold and get gifts accordingly. Always consider the personalities of employees showing recognition.

Recognition is not solely the responsibility of upper management. Team leads, supervisors, mid-level managers, and really everyone needs to share and recognize efforts of fellow employees. 

Every Wednesday, we do a Wednesday Wowzer email. Very simply, it is a company-wide email sent out to all employees to share a wowzer their fellow employees had shown the prior week. Every Wednesday, I find myself smiling simply by seeing the recognition the employees show each other. This inexpensive recognition method is great for businesses with multiple locations and branches. It is a way to expand company culture and keep the company close. 

Employee Recognition Ideas

Here are some ideas that are relatively inexpensive but effective on employee recognition:

  1. Wednesday Wowzers. Employees can share via email the awesome things fellow employees in the prior week.
  2. Celebrate random holidays once a month. We have all read online, to our surprise, the random “holidays” such as, National Cheese Day or National Donut Day…. celebrate them! Organize in the morning, at lunch, or throughout the day to make the day more fun.
  3. Give handwritten thank you and birthday day cards. A handwritten note is powerful. Seeing that envelope with your name on it and reading the note inside always warms us on the inside. 
  4. Recognize on social media. With most companies having a social media presence, use it to recognize employees whether “Employee of the Month” or share positive customer reviews. In turn, it will boost and showcase company culture to help recruit future employees. 
  5. Personalized gifts. Don’t do the “one size fits all” gift. Remember, it is all about the relationship we hold with our employees. Most of us would not give the same gift to our spouse as we would our children.

Employee recognition is a part of showing appreciation. Recognition should be personal and genuine. Creating sustainable culture and a growing workforce comes down to showing value to each employee. The costs of not recognizing the efforts of your employees far outweighs the any cost incurred. 

Cost of onboarding new employee – $4000

Cost of high turnover – Rising

Cost of employee recognition – PRICELESS

Marcie Richardson

With over 20 years of HR experience, Marcie understands the struggles companies face in compliance regulation and policy structure. She recognizes that effective company culture and policies start with how we treat employees. As the Director of Human Resources for Guarantee Restoration Services in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she values the need for a strong company culture to ensure operational continuity. Marcie obtained her IICRC in WRT and ASD because she believes to truly understand the needs of each employee, you need to understand their job. Marcie also holds a Louisiana Department of Insurance License in Health, Life & Accident.

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