A great organization has a great team behind it; a workforce of dedicated, hard-working people who go above and beyond their job requirements. You as a manager, HR representative, or owner appreciate their work and talent more than they’ll ever know. But they need to know!
We can be great at our jobs — confident, prepared, goal-oriented — without expecting any special treatment in return. But without any expression of appreciation for our brains, dedication, and hours, it’s easy for us to think we are “labor” instead of valued, supported individuals working for a common cause.
If you want your organization to succeed, your staff needs to know that they aren’t being taken for granted. By recognizing and rewarding both career and personal achievements, your employees will feel appreciated. This will improve their well-being, reaffirm their dedication, and propel your company forward.
Appreciation prompts so many positive psychological and physiological reactions to occur in the human body that I could turn this article into a scientific report. Feeling appreciated increases Oxytocin levels (the love hormone) and activates the reward centers of the brain. But chemistry aside, getting shown appreciation satisfies the basic human need of feeling safe. When your employees feel safe and secure at work, they become more comfortable. They gain inspiration to take on new opportunities and find new energy to use on current projects. This Glassdoor study found that 81% of surveyed employees work harder when their main motivator is appreciation, as opposed to demanding bosses or fear of losing their jobs.
Appreciating your employees will also save your company some cash. The number one reason why Americans leave their job is that they don’t feel appreciated enough! Deloitte found that companies scoring in the top 20% for creating a “recognition-rich culture” have 31% lower voluntary turnover rates, a number that many human resources representatives could only salivate at. Low turnover saves thousands of dollars (33% of the employee’s salary) in onboarding costs, wasted time, and lost productivity. You also save your employees from the emotional costs of losing close friends and readjusting social dynamics.
Think of appreciation as an investment and not as an expense. Appreciating your employees will motivate them, boosting their productivity and output for the company. Let’s look at Delta Airlines. They created an employee recognition program to track their entire workforce’s achievements. Delta made it their goal to recognize each employee at least four times a year. They witnessed a 564% return on investment! Scotiabank, MGM, and The Motley Fool (just check out their workplace culture blog!) implemented their own recognition programs and have also seen great results.
Having a human-centric company culture is also key to attracting new, quality talent. Glassdoor and word-of-mouth quickly spread the word about company morale. If potential candidates already know about the attitude of gratitude in your office, they’ll be more inclined to pick working for you over a competitor.
You have the power to show appreciation to the people you rely on the most. And the best part about appreciation is that it can be shown in many ways: a thank-you note left on the desk, a feature in the company newsletter, a spontaneous candy bar “just because”, a gift card to a spa for your copywriter who’s hunched over from pulling two all-nighters, tickets to the movies on Valentine’s Day, a team night out at the newest restaurant. These treats tell your employees that they are valued members of a team and not just a name on the payroll.
Rewarding your employees, regardless of the size, goes a long way. It empowers them, increases their performance, and places your organization in a loop of positivity. Don’t wait for the annual Employee Appreciation Day to start recognizing your team; click here and learn more about a simple, effective employee recognition program customizable for any company.