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How to Make Your Employees Feel Special Year Round

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When you acknowledge the achievements of employees and teams, you boost employee morale and enjoy a lower turnover. Traditionally, organizations attracted talents with medical benefits, competitive pay. However, employees’ desires have evolved significantly in the last few years.

Today, workers want to feel appreciated and engaged, and they prefer a healthy workplace without harassment or discriminatory practices. In addition to performing better, appreciated employees are more loyal to the company and work harder to achieve its mission. What’s more, employee recognition encourages innovation as team members will be more engaged at work.

Below are creative ways to make employees feel special.

Create an Employee Recognition Program

Employee recognition programs are reward systems that recognize employee accomplishments. ‘Employee of the month’ is probably the most popular recognition system in workplaces. Other companies hold a year of service awards every five years to recognize long-serving employees. However, the infrequency of these awards is a major drawback.

Alternatively, create unstructured recognition programs to recognize team members on the fly. For instance, digital apps like Applauz Recognition encourage peer-to-peer recognition via shout-outs. When an employee feels appreciated by colleagues, they feel like valued members of a team. Other digital tools let employees reward badges or trophies to each other for a more ‘gamified’ style of appreciation.

Offer Creative Perks

Unique perks help you stand out in the increasingly competitive job market and attract top talent. For example, institute a bring your dog to work day or offer yoga classes, free concert tickets, free massages, ping pong table, or free gym membership.

Most importantly, employees want travel perks like pre-paid vacations and discounted flights. If the business is global, offer a stipend for employees to travel between global offices and experience new cultures.

Education subsidies are other incentives to show gratitude. Today, employees can use online ed programs to boost their skills. Also, offer family perks like on-site daycare, pet insurance, and parental leave.

Celebrate Milestones like Work Anniversaries and Birthdays

Celebrating an employee’s special events, such as their work anniversary, is an effective way to boost employee morale. However, give out personalized gifts rather than a general Amazon gift card or a pre-formatted email. For example, you can award books based on individual interests.

Also, do something special for birthdays and holidays like Employee Appreciation Day. You don’t have to spend a lot of resources as simple things like a day off, cake, or custom swag will make an employee feel valued.

Get Leadership Involved

Employees crave praise from their leaders. Traditionally, companies relegated the role of staff appreciation to HR and departmental bosses. However, recognition from a company’s founder or CEO is crucial to unlocking the maximum potential of employees.

Generally, many workers feel that leaders are unreachable and authoritarian. Thus, bosses should invest in employee recognition programs and give positive feedback or send shout-outs to employees during company meetings.

Encourage Work-Life Balance

A flexible and relaxed work environment boosts job satisfaction and employee performance. Thus, cultivate a company culture that encourages staff to take time off when needed. For instance, offer mandatory paid leave for employees every year.

A comfortable break room is among the employee appreciation ideas that make employees feel special. Furnish the space with a snack bar, couches, exercise balls, calm lighting, and TVs to encourage staff to take breaks during the day.

Additionally, offer remote working options to empower workers to manage their own time. Employees feel appreciated if they can take time off to focus on family and still get the job done.

Give Generous Bonuses

Bonuses show employees that you appreciate the part they played to help the company reach its goals. Also, a good bonus program enhances recruitment efforts and bolsters retention.

Most companies give performance-based bonuses annually or semi-annually to appreciate the year-long good work from employees and teams. Additionally, use spot bonuses to show immediate employee appreciation during the year. A spot-on bonus recognizes an employee or team that goes the extra mile to complete a task.

Use Digital Signage to Celebrate Employees

The dynamic content on digital signage stands out more than traditional posters on static noticeboards. The digital signs in your reception, hallways, and break rooms are especially effective in celebrating employees.

The major advantage of digital signs is the flexibility that allows you to change the content instantly. For example, you can highlight the team members that have finished a project in record time. Further, celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, share individual milestones, and congratulate promotions as they occur on digital signs.

Digital signage is also a great place to share employee profiles. In particular, ask workers to share their favorite photos and fun things about themselves and post these on digital signs.

In Conclusion

Happy employees are inclined to stay loyal and work harder at company goals. As demonstrated above, making employees feel special shouldn’t be at the core. Simple things like personalized gifts, digital signage profiles, flexible hours, and peer-to-peer shout-outs increase employee engagement and enhance job satisfaction.


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