Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
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How to Thank Your Employees All Year Long

Employee Engagement

Are you guilty of thanking your people only on special holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas? Research on employee engagement consistently shows, that how you feel is often more important than what you earn.

In a study funded by Make Their Day, an employee motivation firm, and Badgeville, a gamification company, surveyed 1,200 U.S. employees from a broad cross-section of industries. A key finding was that 70% of survey respondents reported their most meaningful recognition “had no dollar value” – a substantial increase from 57% in a similar survey 2007.

Among the study’s highlights:

– 83% of respondents said recognition for contributions was more fulfilling than any rewards or gifts;

– 76% found peer praise very or extremely motivating;

– 88% found praise from managers very or extremely motivating;

– 90% said a “fun work environment” was very or extremely motivating.

That being said, most people do appreciate extra cash or some perks that demonstrate their manager values the work they do.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Send your employees packing. That’s right. Send your employees home. Every now and again, tap those who are deserving of a day off on the shoulder and send them home, with pay. Tell them to take the rest of the day off and go see a movie or take care of some matters that they never seem to have the time to do.

Compliment your employees in front of customers. Praise seems to be in short supply as managers get busier and busier. Take a few moments to let an employee know they’re doing a great job and if all possible, do this in front of a customer or your boss.

Offer flex time. The gift of flexible time is one that is appreciated by many. Some organizations require employees to be at work during core hours, and employee can set their schedule around this. Others allow employees to put in hours at their own discretion. Most require employees to have a set schedule so managers can plan for coverage. The schedule may be adjusted to accommodate personal matters like doctor’s appointments.

Provide free chair massages. Fifteen minutes in the chair once a week, and employees will return to their desks refreshed and ready to tackle their to-do lists.

Offer optional telecommuting. Reward your best performers by providing them with the option to telecommute. In an increasingly mobile and digitally connected world, many employees can easily and successfully work from home part- or full-time.

Pay on-the-spot bonuses. Imagine your boss coming over to you and handing you an envelope with an unexpected bonus for a job well done. How cool is that? Try it and you’ll see how motivating this small gesture can be.

Give out event tickets. Hot new play coming into town? Sporting event coming up with tickets that are impossible to get? Snag a few tickets (even if you have to pay a premium) and give them out as thanks for a job well done.

As we enter the Thanksgiving holiday, followed by the Christmas season, keep in mind that giving thanks is something we should be doing all year long.

© Matuson Consulting, 2017. All Rights Reserved.

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