By Kayla Matthews
Running a company or department is no small task, but making time for employees is always essential. The mark of a good leader is one who encourages and inspires — aim to do this for your colleagues.
Your workers perform at their greatest when they feel appreciated and acknowledged, which leads to overall improvements within the organization. You have a world of options on how to thank your employees, so go with ones that function best for boosting company morale.
1. Listen to Their Suggestions
If you don’t already have an established rewards policy, create one by getting your employees’ input. Listening to their suggestions can extend to regular business operations as well — no one wants to feel ignored at their job.
2. Send Emails
Send emails expressing your appreciation for exemplary work on a project or new business venture. Personalizing them for each person involved shows the extent of your gratitude.
3. Acknowledge Them During Company Events
Company events bring together colleagues, friends and family. Recognize your employees in front of their loved ones to show your appreciation.
4. Allow Flexibility
Eighty percent of U.S. workers prefer a flexible schedule, whether it be at-home work or a coworking space. Implement remote work within your rewards program if possible.
5. Write an Article
If you want to disseminate information, write an article. You’ll get eyes on your company while promoting your best and brightest.
6. Give Awards
Being acknowledged makes anyone feel proud, but giving employees awards goes the extra mile. Awarding commemorative gifts to hard-working employees can help emphasize their achievements.
7. Provide Free Food
Most people adore free food, and your employees are no different. Provide snacks around the office or set up a food and beverage station.
8. Give Bonuses
Everyone loves extra money in their pockets. Give bonuses to workers who’ve been performing at their peak.
9. Host a Celebration
Holiday parties are the norm, but you don’t have to wait until then to celebrate. Host an event after a major team accomplishment.
10. Allow Extra Time Off
Close the office the day before a holiday or let everyone out early one Friday a month.
11. Offer Paid Family Leave
Family planning can be difficult with a lack of workable options — 89% of civilians make do with unpaid leave — but you can give your employees a break by offering paid family leave.
12. Pay for Lunch
Take colleagues out to lunch on the company’s dime or have food brought to the office.
13. Write Notes
A handwritten note feels even more personal than an email or article, and your employees will know you put in thought into it.
14. Acknowledge Birthdays
Have a celebration for them during the lunch break or provide small gifts.
15. Plan a Company Trip
A trip to the movies or a hiking trail encourages team bonding and lifts everyone’s spirits.
16. Involve Other Coworkers
If you’re congratulating one employee, have the department sign a card to show everyone’s appreciation.
17. Have a Pizza Party
Pizza is a fun treat you can adapt to fit anyone’s taste. Put in some orders and serve it during a lunch break.
18. Share Accomplishments on Social Media
Honor your employees on a wide scale by sharing their achievements on social media.
19. Get to Know Them
Every individual has dreams, likes and dislikes. Get to know more about your employees so your gifts will be personal and genuine.
20. Send an Edible Arrangement
Gift an employee with an Edible Arrangement filled with their favorite fruits and chocolates.
21. Offer Support
If someone is having a baby, have the team chip in with monetary gifts and baby shower presents.
22. Establish Employee of the Month Awards
Commend someone each month for their dedication and hard work. Offer additional perks such as a reserved parking space.
23. Have a Casual Dress Day
Wearing heels and slacks around the clock can get tiring for some, so allow your team some respite by letting them dress casually one day each week.
24. Do a Giveaway
People love free goodies — host a giveaway of prizes your employees would love to win.
25. Film a Video
Film a quick video expressing your gratitude and recognizing your employees’ achievements. This tip works well if you have remote workers who don’t live nearby.
26. Donate to Their Favorite Charities
Give a corporate contribution to an organization your team picks, or let the whole company decide on a charity.
27. Surprise Them With Gifts
Stick a pair of movie tickets or a gift card in their desk drawer as a token of your gratitude.
28. Grant Wishes
If you notice your employees make offhand comments about things they desire, accommodate a few of these requests each week. They can be fairly small wishes, such as someone wanting their favorite brand of coffee or an office fan.
29. Supply Drinks
Bring your employees champagne or wine to enjoy in their after-work hours. Offer non-alcoholic options for those who don’t partake.
30. Send Them to a Conference
Provide opportunities for your employees to attend conferences that suit their tastes as well as the company’s interests.
Appreciate Your Colleagues
You employees put in a tremendous amount of work to sustain and nurture your company. Pay them back for the good deeds they do and the talents they display. Your gratitude won’t go unnoticed — it’ll make for a better atmosphere all around.
About the Author: Kayla Matthews writes about communication and workplace productivity on her blog, Productivity Theory. Her work has also appeared on Talent Culture, MakeUseOf, The Muse and Fast Company.