Everyone likes to feel appreciated at work. In fact, studies have shown that employees are motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work. For most employers, showing appreciation might mean promotions and pay raises, but those opportunities don’t come along as often as we’d like to think.

Since new positions and higher pay aren’t always in the cards and a simple “good job” isn’t always enough, employers should always be thinking of some new employee appreciation ideas.

Here are a few to keep in mind.

Spend time with your employees

Sometimes just spending time with your employees is enough to let them know they’re appreciated. This can mean just going out onto the floor and talking to employees, but this strategy works even better if you attend functions outside of work as well. You should be able to go to office parties or outings after hours to let everyone know that you enjoy their company. This helps them see you as more of a peer, which strangely enough can earn a lot of points with people.

Give your employees a platform

A common complaint with jobs across the country is that employees often cannot make their voices heard, but you can change that by giving your employees a platform to express their thoughts and opinions about work or their lives in general. This might involve encouraging them to respond to group emails or having everyone “check in” at company meetings. No matter what you do, your employees will appreciate the opportunity to voice their opinions and let them know that they matter.

Encourage employees to reward each other

You don’t have to always be the one to show appreciation for your employees; many workplaces have programs in place that allow employees to recognize their co-workers’ accomplishments. These kinds of rewards can help employees feel like they really are wanted, even if the rewards don’t come from you. Encourage your employees to give out these rewards to each other, and make sure you recognize those who do get rewarded.

Get feedback from employees when making important decisions

Your employees are the lifeblood of your company, so it only makes sense to get their feedback and opinions when an important decision is to be made. Whatever course of action you take will ultimately be up to you, but going to your employees before you make a final decision will let them know that you appreciate them for their knowledge and expertise. They may even come up with a solution to a problem that you never thought of before.

Be specific with your praise

Everyone likes to receive praise for a job well done, but a generic “good job” doesn’t cut it as well as you might think it does. When you praise an employee’s efforts and accomplishments, make sure you specify which efforts and accomplishments you’re talking about. It shows that you’ve been paying attention to what has been going on in your office and to all the hard work that has been done.

Be generous with giving time off

Giving someone some extra time off is always a tricky subject to discuss. After all, giving someone a few days or a couple of weeks off leaves you short-handed and can ruin your productivity. It’s understandable why some employers are stingy with vacation time and other leaves of absence, but giving some extra time off really does keep employees happy. Letting your most dedicated worker go on vacation won’t hurt you as much as you think it will; just manage your time and remaining resources to work around it. In the end, you’ll have a happy and well-rested employee who will appreciate their time away from the office.

These are just a few ways you can keep your employees happy and show that you care about them. Happier employees will work harder and be less likely to resign with short notice, so do what you can to let them know how important they are.

By JP George

About the author

JP George grew up in a small town in Washington. After receiving a Master’s degree in Public Relations, JP has worked in a variety of positions, from agencies to corporations all across the globe. Experience has made JP an expert in topics relating to leadership, talent management, and organizational business.

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