Affordable Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

By Jill Gleeson, Country Living

Your staff works hard for you, devoting their time, energy, imagination, and brain power to your business. With Employee Appreciation Day right around the corner on March 1, now is a great time to recognize all they do for you. But how? While giving fun little gifts is always a good idea, there are other cool, creative ways to show your gratitude without breaking the bank. Here are a few of our favorites.

Let Them Eat Cake

Or sandwiches, or pizza, or whatever your team has a taste for. Schedule a group lunch so they can get away from their desks and enjoy the goodies together. After all, empires aren't built on empty stomachs.

Take Them on a Trip

Few companies can afford to send employees off to Disneyland or Europe for a spell. But a weekend at a woodland inn or camping in a state park will do wonders for morale.

Give Them a Voice

Nothing boosts workplace spirits like team members knowing their opinions are valued. Encourage honest feedback with anonymous surveys, and give them a forum-such as a newsletter-to pass along tips, compliments, and more.

Invite Their Loved Ones to the Office

Who doesn't enjoy bringing their kids/spouses/pets to work? It gives your staff a chance to show off what they do-and who they love.

Inspire Them to Get Fit

There is perhaps no better way to show your employees you care than by helping them lead a healthier life. Invest in gym memberships or Fitbits and watch them gain energy and increase productivity.

Encourage Continuing Education

Offer to cover tuition costs for any team member taking a course relating to your industry. It's a win-win for you both.

Plan a Potluck

Food is the way to everyone's heart. Especially when it's homemade and shared amongst colleagues.

Tell Them to Take Off

Closing up shop an hour or two early on a holiday can help your employees beat traffic. That's a kindness that won't soon be forgotten.

Serve Up Some Java

Picking up coffee on the way into the office? Grab extras for your staff and watch their sleepy eyes light up.

Offer Public Props

Nowadays, if you don't see it on social media it didn't happen. Express gratitude for a job well done on platforms like Facebook, and give your treasured employees an extra boost.

Help Them Relax

For an in-office treat, bring in a massage therapist to work out your team's stress.

Take Them Out on the Town

Round up your staff for a fun activity everyone can enjoy together, like bowling, or karaoke. It's a great way to not only show your appreciation, but foster teamwork, too.

Call Out an 'Employee of the Month'

It's one of the oldest incentives in the book, but that's because employee of the month programs work. Shining a light on exemplary efforts, and offering a bonus as thanks, encourages everyone to up their game.

Vacation With a Purpose

Whether it's Sin City or London Town, one of work's best perks is attending a conference in an exotic locale. Send your team off to one and watch them come back feeling revitalized.

Respect Their Families

Show you care by letting your employees care-whether it's for a new baby or elderly parents-with flexible, paid family leave. You'll win their hearts and minds.

Satisfy Cravings

When your team gets an afternoon snack attack, they'll be grateful for the treats you've stocked up on for them. Bonus points if they're healthy!

Allow Flexibility

Whether it's to run some errands or go to the gym, your staff will appreciate a bit of time during the workday to do it. They'll be pleased by the trust you're showing them, too.

Make Room for Mentoring

Mentors feel good about lending a hand. Mentees love the guidance. Both only excel more as a result of the relationship, so why not start a mentoring program in your workplace?

Prevent Break Room Boredom

Break rooms can be more than places to eat lunch. Add a few comfy chairs, some books, a radio, even a couple of board games, and give your staff a chance to really get away from it all.

Celebrate Milestones Big and Small

Whether it's a birthday, an anniversary with the company, or the arrival of a child, make time to honor those milestones with a cake, cards, and more. Your employees will know they count, because you remembered what matters.

Lend a Hand with the Commute

Commutes aren't fun, but you can help make coming into the office a lot more so by covering some of your staff's transportation expenses, like train fare or parking passes.

Give Them a Ticket

Passes to movies, sporting events, and concerts are an easy and thoughtful way to tell your team thanks for a job well done.

Share the Story

Let your staff know where you want the company to go, and how they can help it grow. You'll make them feel like they're not just working for you, but with you, and their emotional investment will flourish.

Serve Up Serious Swag

Promotional freebies give employees a cool way to show pride in their company, but only if they're fine quality. No one wants a poorly made T-shirt, water bottle, or tote-and you don't want your logo on one!

Simply Say Thanks

Can anyone ever hear it too much? Tell your team thanks in a written note, an email, on social media, or, best of all, in person.

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Career Magazine: Affordable Ways to Show Employee Appreciation
Affordable Ways to Show Employee Appreciation
These nifty ideas are sure to put a smile on their faces.
Career Magazine
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