Time for Employee Appreciation
Without a doubt, a strong majority of the business owners we work with care about their team but often tell us how it’s hard to find the time to express their appreciation. They mean to do so, but the day slips away and the next thing they know it’s a week or two later and they still haven’t expressed their appreciation as clearly as they want.
If there’s one resource that small businesses are short on it's time. There’s not a lot of “extra” time laying around and thus, employee appreciation is one of the tasks that, although seen as important, gets pushed back.
For this reason, we have four simple tips that you can implement to help make sure the appreciation you feel is expressed.
- Walk Around. Dedicate small blocks of time just to walk around the office to interact with your team and observe the culture. Dedicating time ensures you are not in a hurry. Schedule it on your calendar to be consistent. You might do this in the morning and make a point of telling everyone good morning. If you do it at the end of a shift you can make it a point to tell everyone that you appreciate their work. Or schedule it every two weeks when pay stubs are handed out. The simple “good morning” and “thank you” will go a long way. In addition, when you observe something noteworthy, make sure you tell your team. You could give a gift card, but often words of appreciation are all it takes.
- Create a system for celebrations. Don’t try to remember your team’s birthdays or work anniversaries. Forgetting just one can send a negative message. If you want to celebrate these milestones, then make sure there is a system that ensures they are celebrated, even if they follow on a weekend. This system might include a reminder a few days before the celebration, so it doesn’t sneak up on you. Keep a stack of cards in the office so you don’t have to scramble to get one. This is a system that can, and should, be delegated to an office manager or assistant. The system allows consistency while adding a way of getting the team together. These can also be systemized for big events such as hitting certain goals or milestones within the business.
- Get appreciation events on your schedule. You can’t make or find time. However, you can plan your time and set reminders on your calendar. This takes the pressure off you to remember and helps ensure that appreciation is shown more consistently. Events can be as involved as a company party but can be as simple as putting a reminder in your calendar to bring in donuts. You can tie these to results, such as plan something when 1st quarter numbers are known, or even when it’s a stressful time of the year to lighten the mood. For instance, we’ve had clients schedule chair massages for their teams during the busiest time of their season.
- UpSideDown Meetings. Consistent feedback is important to employees. Having time dedicated for them to own their position, celebrate results, and collaborate on what they need to succeed is a huge part of showing appreciation. We recommend implementing one-on-one meetings where the employee drives the meeting using an established agenda. It gives them a chance to own their position and you a consistent method to provide feedback and appreciation. We recommend shorter weekly meetings as they end up saving time, but if you can’t do weekly meetings, once a month is better than none.
You might notice that time management and time blocking play a huge part in these four tips. When you carve time out for your employees it sends the message that they are important. It’s a way of showing them that you care and appreciate them.