Everyone is having a rough time during this pandemic; it is inevitable that people will feel overwhelmed now that we are all working from home on top of the responsibilities that we have at home. We are afraid that the things that we do go unappreciated and unnoticed. Working remotely has become the now normal, no longer the new normal, and we have to learn to get used to it. As an HR recruitment agency, we care about how you and your employees are feeling when it comes to new changes, and we are here to help you through the changes. Now that we are all accustomed to the changes brought by the pandemic, it is time we address the way we show appreciation to our employees, who work tirelessly regardless of the changes.
Appreciation is an important aspect when it comes to retaining your employees and making your employees feel that they belong in that company. Here are some reasons why you should show appreciation to your employees and the benefits.
When your employees are recognised and appreciated, it is translated to a happier and peaceful work environment
Appreciated employees tend to be more productive than the less-happy colleagues
What goes around comes around: appreciated employees tend to appreciate their employers more
It serves as a good reminder to the employees that their efforts are recognised, and they are making meaningful contributions to the company.
Showing appreciation remotely may be difficult during this period, but we have come up with a list of ways it can be done remotely, and of course, this list is not exhaustive.
1. Send food to employees
Before the pandemic happened, companies plan appreciation parties or celebrations with buffets to show their appreciation to their employees. But now that majority of the companies are forced to work from home for the safety of all, celebrating with food might be a little harder than usual. Companies have the option to deliver food to their employees’ homes. Though this option, on the top of the list, may cost a little, most of the time it is the thought that counts. Even a cup of bubble tea for tea break, or a bento set for lunch, would let the employees feel appreciated.
If employers do not know what to order for their employees, they can always choose to put up a poll through the HR department to get a sensing of what the employees prefer to save the cost of making a mistake when ordering. Do bear in mind to cater to the needs of your employees at the same time, such as allergies and preferences.
2. Celebrate the birthdays
Another way that companies can show appreciation for their employees is to remember their birthdays. Birthdays are opportunities for employees to feel special and see how much those around them appreciate and love them, as a friend, as part of a family. Birthdays are also expressions of thanks to their employees, making them feel valued that is independent of their work performance. It shows that employees are still a key part of the company regardless of the performance for that month.
Companies can plan to get a gift basket, a meal, or something that they have been wanting to get but they haven’t (and this information was heard from their fellow colleagues).
3. Award the employees
Appreciation to employees can be expressed quite blatantly through awards, and awards can come in many forms:
A bouquet of flowers (or a bouquet of chicken nuggets)
The list goes on and on, and companies can get creative with it and express their appreciation for their employees through ways and manners that employees can relate to and appreciate. Employees surely appreciate even the smallest gesture to acknowledge their efforts at work, or you can make it as extravagant as receiving an Oscar award.
4. Go public with the appreciation
One other way of how companies can express their appreciation for their employees is to publicise their efforts on their social media platforms, such as Instagram, or to write a blog post to thank them for their efforts. For example, when employees hit the 5 years mark in the company, a blog post can be written to commemorate the major contributions that they have done throughout the 5 years.
This also provides a good example for other colleagues to learn from, as humans learn well through observation as an alternative direct experience. Public recognition will be able to serve as a motivation for the entire team to work smarter and more productively. Public recognition is also a good way to show what your expectations are to the team.
5. Invest in a pantry
When things go back to normal, or rather when things settle down and get better by a bit, employers can choose to invest in a good pantry in the office, where employees can have free access to their favourite snacks and drinks.
Having a well-stocked office pantry will increase job satisfaction, as it serves as a good motivation to employees to take breaks and work hard for the times when they are working. Providing food for the employees also boosts morale in the employees because it is a way of saying thank you to the employees for the work that they have done for the company thus far.
Food also boosts the positive mood in the company, whenever someone is having a bad day at work, they can simply pop over to the pantry and grab a handful of their favourite snacks. If there is a moment that calls for celebration in the office, the food (small snacks) is readily available for the celebration.
6. Reward the employees
Employees would appreciate a little small getaway when they receive a gift card to Starbucks or a gift voucher for Grab. Albeit it is a small gesture, providing employees with gift cards and vouchers, it serves as a good reminder for both parties, employers and employees, that their efforts are recognised. Gift cards allow the employees to pamper themselves occasionally.
If you know someone in your team who is pregnant, moving to a new home, or just in need of a short vacation for themselves, take it up a notch and tailor the gift card of choice to who they are and what they need at the moment.
7. Company Spotify account
Working while listening to music will increase your productivity, and increase positivity auras in the office. Companies can opt to get the company Spotify premium accounts. By providing a Spotify premium account for employees, which allows employees to listen to music whenever they want, without the distraction of advertisements. This will boost job satisfaction as employees will feel valued as they are provided with perks while working in the company. Productivity will increase as when employees listen to music, they will be able to concentrate for longer stretches of time and also decrease stress.
Related articles: Here is a List of Office Playlists for you to Boost Productivity
8. Encourage employees to take breaks
Most of the time, employees are overworked with a lot on their plates, they do not get to have the luxury of taking a break. Many companies do not provide a space for employees to rest. Companies in Japan provide a safe space for employees to take power naps in the office. Takanori Kobayashi, CEO of NeuroSpace Co., believes that napping 20 to 30 minutes in the dark would improve focus and productivity.
By providing employees a safe working culture and a comfortable place for employees to nap or take a break from all the work, both the company and employees can benefit from that short nap. Here are some benefits of napping at work:
Naps can reduce stress and anxiety
Naps can improve performance and productivity, with showing the results better than caffeine
Naps can boost memory and information retention
9. 4 days work week
By catering a few weeks in a work year to a 4 days work week will boost the employees’ morale and allow the employees to have a better work-life balance. Working for four days would allow employees to have an additional day to rest and recoup from their busy schedules, which would lead to happier and more committed employees. Productivity would increase because they are well-rested and ready to take on the new challenges when they return to work. Employees would feel that they are appreciated because they feel valued as a member of the organisation as their needs are being heard.
10. Collaborate with small businesses
When the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, and we are allowed to work back in the office again, companies can choose to collaborate with small business owners that are in the vicinity of the office site to provide discounts for the employees whenever they patronise the stores. This would be a win-win situation for everyone, the employees get to save their money whenever they purchase any item off their menu and enjoy good food. Small businesses would increase their sales with the support from the company’s employees. They would also feel a sense of belonging to the company because they know that the company is taking care of them by providing them with healthy food.
11. Suggestion box
Sometimes, taking suggestions from their employees would be a good way of allowing the employees to feel that they are heard and understood. This is also another way that employees will feel appreciated because when you listen to them, it shows that you care for them. Suggestion boxes also encourage employees to think of new ideas, get the creative juices running. It provides employers with an opportunity to understand how their employees are feeling regarding the working environment as well.
Being a company that cares for your employees might mean that you have to go the extra mile from the normal routine to make your family of employees feel that they belong and appreciated. It is doable, especially when you mean it. Employee appreciation should not be reserved for that one day in a year, but an important part of your company culture, because employees are the most valuable asset in your company.
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Enjoyed what you read? Check out our other article, How to Provide a Comfortable Work Environment for Your Employees Working from Home. Comment down below and share with us what does your company do to show appreciation!