Employee Appreciation: Ways to Increase Employee Retention & Boost Morale

Employees are detrimental to the success of any business. You can have an idea for years but until you have the staff to get that idea off the ground and turned into a working reality, your business will forever be just an idea. That’s the thing that business owners and corporate officials tend to forget sometimes… that their business wouldn’t be where it is if it weren’t for people coming to work for them each day.

That very reason is why many employers have Employee Appreciation Day a few times out of the year. The official Employee Appreciation Day is the first Friday in March but several companies have Employee Appreciation days several times out of the year. Companies have these appreciation days to show employees that they are more than a badge or employee number… it’s the company’s way of thanking their employees for all their hard work and it’s also meant to improve the relationship between employer and employee as well as employee to employee.

What’s One of the Most Important Qualities Employees Look At?

One of the most important, if not THE most important, qualities an employee looks at in their company is how they’re treated. That goes back to how employees sometimes feel like they’re just another badge or employee number. If you felt like that at work would you want to continue to work there? Or if you felt like the work you do goes unnoticed, what would make you want to stay there? Nothing.

As an employer, you should WANT (not have) to make your employees happy so that they’ll want to continue working for you. Now that’s not saying bow down to their every want or complaint but treat them like a human beings and reward them when a reward is well-deserved. All employees want is to feel appreciated and feel like they matter.

You’ll be amazed at how employee productivity can increase with a little bit of kindness. A simple “thank you” or “please” can take an employee from being on the verge of quitting to making them rethink their decision. The Harvard Business Review digs deeper into employee retention talking about how an employee’s name on the payroll is meaningless if you don’t know exactly why they’re sticking around. Is it because they have to or because they want to?

Remember, you never know what other people are going through and it costs nothing to be kind. How you treat your employees is what will turn them into dedicated employees and they’ll want to keep working for you.

Ways to Actually Retain Employees and Boost Their Morale

Give “Thank You” Gifts

Can you think of one person who doesn’t enjoy receiving gifts? You can’t think of not one person, can you? That’s because EVERYBODY enjoys gifts, no matter how small or how “lame” they may be… it’s the thought behind them that counts. To an employee, receiving a gift, whether it’s on Employee Appreciation Day or a “just because” thank you gift, they will actually appreciate it because they know that you didn’t have to do that and a lot of employers don’t show appreciation to their employees in that way. The gift doesn’t have to be overly expensive but you do want to give employees gifts that they can use.

Offer Financial Incentives

There’s nothing that will make employees work hard, perform for results, and stay more dedicated than them knowing that there is a prize waiting for them as a result. Things like:

  • End of the year bonuses
  • Anniversary bonuses
  • Gift cards

As mentioned above, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a big dollar amount but it needs to be an amount that will kick them into driving even more. Your employees should already be working hard but money is always an added perk to really step their game up and show their employees what they can do!

Provide Advancement Opportunities

One of the biggest ways to retain employees is to give them a reason to stay, like growing with the company by way of being able to advance to different positions and levels. There are people who have been happy with companies for years doing the same thing but for those who have the drive to learn, provide advancement opportunities for them.

Even if the company doesn’t have advancement opportunities available at the time, offer cross-training classes so that if certain positions open up, you not only get to hire from within but that employee gets the opportunity to take on a role that will give them the motivation to succeed and do their best in their new role, which will benefit the company tremendously.

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