Multicolored wheel divided into 7 equal sections Recruitment, Training and Development, Benifits and Compensation, Communicating, Employee Relations, Recordkeeping, and Health safety and security with Legal compliance written on the outer edge and company strategy in the center employee relations is emphasized

Making Employees Feel Appreciated

Question:

My employees say they don’t feel appreciated, but I brought in doughnuts just last week?

Answer:

Doughnuts are one way to show our employees that we appreciate them, but that shouldn’t be the only way. Showing that you appreciate your employees’ contribution is a great way to retain employees, improve productivity, and motivate your workforce, all of which benefit your company as a whole. Employee recognition may be done individually, as a team, or for the entire organization.
Individual recognition lets that employee know their efforts are noticed and appreciated. This recognition allows him or her to feel valued and can be motivating. It is important to make sure the recognition is personal and appropriate. Recognizing someone who is an introvert, in front of the entire company at the corporate retreat, may make that person feel more uncomfortable than appreciated. However, a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant, or a day off with pay to spend time with family, shows you are considering their individual preferences.

When recognizing an entire team it may certainly be appropriate to use the company meeting to recognize the group that landed that big account. Bringing in lunch for everyone when the company makes its yearly goals can show the overall appreciation of everyone’s efforts.
While HR may administer a recognition program, and be the one championing it’s cause, managers play a key role in ensuring a program’s success. Managers must be trained to see the importance of recognizing their employees.

This brings up the question of how to recognize employees. This is where the HR professional can get a little creative. Recognition can range from a simple, “Good Job, Thank you!” to a sizable bonus check, depending on the circumstances. Employees may appreciate a gift card in acknowledgement of extra effort and going above and beyond. An employee who stayed late to finish a project may appreciate an afternoon off. However when certain employees’ efforts result in significant cost savings, the size of the award should reflect that. Recognition may also be job related, such as inclusion in a special project as a reward for his or her contribution. The key is to make the award something that the employee will value and appreciate (and doesn’t need to be cash).

NOTE: Keep in mind that any monetary reward may be taxable. It’s a good idea to include the taxes in the gross amount of the award, so the award amount itself isn’t diminished.

Employee recognition is just one aspect of Employee Relations. In a nutshell, Employee Relations is all about how employers interact with employees to help them remain an engaged and productive employee that is content to continue employment with the company for many years. Visit our Employee Relations page to learn how we can assist you with Employee Relations issues such as recognition.