It’s important to incorporate team “appreciation traditions” through-out the year, both from manager to employee and, peer to peer. Building traditions of showing appreciation has many benefits including:
- Establishes camaraderie between colleagues
- Builds trust and bonds between employees and managers
- Creates loyalty and increased retention
- Builds engagement to achieve a shared goal
- Demonstrates your company’s values
In the past year when so many people are working from home and isolated from the normal physical interaction in a work environment, feeling appreciated has never been more important.
Here are a few simple, timeless and meaningful ways to touch the hearts of your people:
Bring your values to life – peer to peer style
Encourage your employees to recognize each other for demonstrating your company’s values. Call those recognitions out in weekly staff meetings. This can be a simple email from one person to the other with a copy to the manager. futureAlign incorporates peer-to-peer recognition into our award-winning safe culture programs. Culture then becomes everyone’s accountability, while the individual is being appreciated for their positive impact to their team.
Paper and pen are still a thing
In our digital age, it’s rare to get a handwritten note or card sent to the home; and that makes it even more special. Employees can leave thank you notes for each other as well. I once wrote a thank you note to an admin support person and she had it on her desk for years saying that in all her 25 years, she never received a card at work. I too have a ‘thank you” file that goes way back. On really bad days I can browse that file and read lovely notes going back to the start of my professional career. Recently, our work for one of our clients included developing and distributing humorous valentine cards for our client’s entire frontline workforce.
Thank the family
Building a caring family atmosphere means you can also thank your employee’s family for the dedication and many hours your employee spends away from their family to do good work. A gift snack basket sent to the home with a note of thanks to the whole family rarely happens and it demonstrates your care.
Honor the human being by starting a “Happy Birthday, I appreciate you for ____” email chain in which everyone in the team replies with their words of appreciation. An example is “I appreciate your attention to detail, and I can always count on you to give my work a quality review.
Get to know ME – Show and Tell
We spend so many hours together and yet we often know very little about the human being that works with us. Create a time for bonding. At least once per year (and it can be done virtually), dedicate the time to have each person in the team share about themselves personally. Make it fun with team trivia game questions at the end such as “who on our team lived in London”?
Gift cards are timeless
Have a stock of $10 gift cards that employees can give to each other along with an appreciation note. And a gift card is a great way for a manager to recognize someone for completing a big project, making a significant contribution, or just stepping out of their comfort zone to make progress happen.
Tell me what you think
Ask your employees for their input and then use it. Solicit their thoughts and experience on topics such as growing your business or improving processes. Employees who are engaged in discussions and decision-making feel appreciated.
Make it a habit to find the good
Look for and acknowledge the good things your employees are doing – call it out in formal meetings, informal interactions, company newsletters or your social media channel. Make recognizing good work a part of your culture and encourage your employees to recognize each other for good work. It’s powerful to be recognized by your peers.
At futureAlign, we incorporate positive culture building in everything we do for our clients. Within our company, we are encouraged and expected to bring and share our caring hearts, along with our heads, to work. Incorporating care for the human being through caring traditions such as those described above was also instrumental in futureAlign achieving the Great Place to Work® certification. If you would like to talk to us about bringing heart into the workplace and engaging your workforce in the future that is possible, let us know. We’d love to brainstorm with you.