Everyone wants to feel valued by their employer. If your team is doing a great job in these trying times, it is important to let them know. You don’t need to give huge bonuses and spend money to show people that they are important (although it is nice.) There are ways that you can show your appreciation without too much effort and for little or no cost.
Being thoughtful while people are feeling alone, overwhelmed or just busy (and guilty because they are among the few employed at this difficult time) can be simple. You don’t need to shoot a 2-minute advertisement about how brilliant your home delivery company is, with a brief allusion to the fact that your underpaid and overwhelmed workers are doing the actual work – you can keep it personal and meaningful.
Letting people know what they have done well should be easy. Hearing that your work is impressive gives a renewed sense of purpose for most people, especially those who often work without feedback.
You can schedule an online chat, send an email or even hold up handwritten letters and screenshot them to your employees. Just let people know you see what they are doing and that you appreciate their efforts during this stressful time.
Your best employees are the rock stars of your company. Providing them with the opportunity to lead by example will reinforce the idea that their accomplishments are exemplary.
Recognizing employees as leading specific categories, such as sales, customer service, or support, will make them feel validated. Some people enjoy competition, so a leaderboard or monthly employee target can motivate them.
You don’t have to make it all about work. You could have a ‘not leaderboard’ for the mistakes people make – like how many times a team member has joined an online meeting on mute, or if their cat is stealing the limelight during a web session. It’s important to laugh and find relief while working from home as you would do in the office.
The amount of responsibility you give to an employee should directly correlate with how capable you believe they are.
Selecting employees to take the lead on important tasks, or tasking them with making judgement calls without your involvement shows that you believe in their abilities. It demonstrates that you take their career goals seriously, and they’re worth your consideration to move up or take on a more important role within the company.
- Coffee Break
When working from home, many people forget to take regular breaks. It is one of the most common pitfalls of working from home. So why not create an online ‘coffee shop’ using a meeting app. You can schedule breaks and people can pop in there to drink their cuppa and have a chat before heading back to their ‘desk’.
This ‘reward’ is more a way to normalise the experience of working from home and help people to forget the new normal for a few minutes.
- Gift Cards
Sending people vouchers online is easy – a movie, music or app access is a great way to show valued employees that you appreciate their work, and respect their health. Now is not the time to throw parties or send gifts – unless they are all online.
If your team is really doing a great job, and you want them to know, now is the time to cut them some slack. If they need to get to the shop at 3 pm to avoid ques or have to take a day off to cry it all out, just let it go.
If your team members are giving 100%, you can give them some time off without having to log it. We are all in this together and your kindness is likely to see staff retention improve as we navigate uncharted waters.
The new normal is as yet unknown, so getting creative now about how to show your appreciation online will see you retain those employees who are robust, essential, resilient and creative; but you have to let them know that you need them to keep getting the most from their productivity while the world slows.
Employers who make an extra effort to show their employees a fair amount of appreciation will see boosts in productivity, an overall increase in job satisfaction, and greater employee retention.