As we look forward to Canada’s National Employee Appreciation Day on March 3rd, businesses need to understand the value and importance of employee satisfaction in the workplace. Assuming that your employees are happy because they are getting their work done and not complaining is simply not enough. Companies need to ensure their work environment is supportive, compassionate, and understanding. That’s where these employee appreciation ideas come in.
At AIS Solutions, we value our team members deeply and we make a point to regularly demonstrate that care, and we encourage other businesses to do the same. The results from doing so can be immense, so we wanted to offer up a few ways you can increase employee satisfaction in your workplace to help make sure all of your staff feel appreciated and satisfied in their current roles.
Don’t let Employee Appreciation Day pass by unnoticed. In fact, you could turn it into an entire Employee Appreciation Week! Let’s explore some employee appreciation ideas to implement not only on this special occasion, but year-round.
Employee Appreciation Ideas to Implement in the Workplace
Here are a few ways you can increase employee satisfaction and keep your team members happy and productive. Consider implementing a few of these ideas at a time to see what is most effective in your particular workplace.
It’s important to remember that your employees are human beings who have a life outside of their job. A lot of people are going through stressful times, and need to feel supported by their employer. Ensure wellness programs are in place to provide those supports and prioritize the wellbeing of your staff. Encourage employees to take time for themselves and their mental and physical well-being throughout the day. Promote daily walks or short periods of meditation to clear their heads. Take care of your employees and give them the supports they need so that any potential problems can be solved right when they pop up, before they’re able to snowball.
Recognize Employees for Their Hard Work
All human beings have a need to be seen and appreciated, and nowhere is this more important than in the workplace. Create ways to ensure your employees feel respected and valued. This can include things as simple as employee appreciation days, where you provide lunch and plan some entertaining activities. Even small, simple words of appreciation and encouragement in a regular work day can have a tremendous impact on employee morale. For those team members who have gone especially above and beyond, you might consider implementing a recognition system like adding employee spotlights to your company’s newsletter.
Sticking with the theme of feeling valued, make sure you incorporate celebrations for employee milestones. Whether it’s one year or ten years with the company, shine a light on the employee to let them know how much you appreciate them being with your organization. And don’t forget about things like birthdays, engagements, or weddings, as long as the employee is ok with you bringing these topics up. You can – and should – also celebrate company milestones as a team, because let’s face it, your employees are the people who have helped you reach those achievements, and they deserve to be congratulated!
Promote Social Interactions and Connections
The days of cubicles, keeping your head down, and focusing only on work are over. A work environment that is built on positive social interactions and relationships tends to thrive over workplaces where employees come in, do their work, and leave. It makes it a little easier to get up and go to work in the morning knowing you can chat with your work bestie over a cup of coffee in the morning, or chat with coworkers over lunch. Set up small spaces where colleagues can be social and interact. Doing so will create and foster a healthy work environment and build up the core value in your company that social connections matter.
Provide a Roadmap of Goals and Growth
Employees need to know what their company’s goals are and where they are headed. Ensuring all employees are aware of the growth that the company is aiming for and the path they are planning to take to get there can help employees clearly see where they fit in their company’s plans and can help them feel better about their own long-term goals with the company.
Implement a Flexible Work Schedule
For a lot of employees, the idea of a Monday –to Friday, 9-5 schedule just isn’t compatible with their lifestyle. This is an old business model that we have seen altered in the past few years, and will likely continue to see morph into something completely different. If possible, encourage an environment built on remote work and flexible schedules that allow employees to shed some of the stress caused by the juggling act between work and all other elements of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Build a Positive and Transparent Work Culture
Formulate a workplace built on transparency where everyone feels like they are on the same page, regardless of their position in the company hierarchy. Encourage employees to offer up their ideas and thoughts on situations in an open and honest forum without the fear of being dismissed or overlooked. Let employees make decisions as well if the situation allows it, as this will empower them to feel informed and as well as involved in the decision of their company and encourage them to continue putting forth their best effort.
Ask for Feedback and Suggestions
Make sure you regularly ask employees for their feedback and opinions about how things are going within the company and their specific role. This is a crucial step in establishing the transparent and engaged work culture we just mentioned. Doing so will also help eliminate the need to guess or assume how employees feel about things in the workplace, and allow your employees a chance to feel heard and valued.
Why is Employee Satisfaction So Important?
Increased employee satisfaction plays an integral role in how your business operates, and it can have a range of substantial impacts. Here are a few examples:
There is a vast array of statistics that highlight the correlation between employee satisfaction and productivity. In simple terms, happier employees often tend to work harder and get more done during their day compared to their less-content counterparts. Satisfied employees are also more likely to align themselves with the goals and objectives of the company, which can spread and contribute to company-wide success.
Reduced Staff Turnover Rates
If a person likes the work they are doing and the environment in which they are doing it, they are more likely to stay where they are. This can reduce the turnover rate of a company, while also decreasing the costs associated with the hiring and training process. This means your business can keep running smoothly without the work stoppage associated with needing to constantly replace employees. Simply put, you can retain top talent when you prioritize their workplace experience and give them a reason to want to stay with your company, rather than looking elsewhere.
Better Work Culture
As with positivity, negativity can spread like wildfire across a workplace. Dissatisfied employees will often discuss their lack of happiness with other employees, which can create a toxic and negative work environment company wide. Finding and creating ways to ensure employees are satisfied in their daily roles is the best defence against an undesirable work culture.
Increased Hiring Capabilities
We are living in a time where people leave reviews for virtually everything and employers are not immune to this feedback, whether it be positive or negative. The majority of job search websites allow people to leave comments regarding their views of a business. If you have a list of criticisms from former employees, this can hurt you if you’re in the middle of the hiring process. Employees who left satisfied and on their terms are far more likely to write a positive review, which may be seen by potential candidates who may then feel encouraged to submit an application. Also, don’t underestimate the power of a strong reputation among present and past employees. It goes a very long way in attracting talented candidates the next time you’re looking to fill a role.
For a lot of successful businesses, hiring internally for managerial roles carries many rewards. Internal hiring is much easier to achieve when you have satisfied employees who enjoy the company they work for and who want to stick around. Maintaining employee satisfaction helps increase your chances of being able to hire from within, which allows you to develop a qualified, dedicated, and engaged management team.
When you have satisfied and productive employees, you’re well on your way to increased profitability and a larger customer base. These profit increases can in turn be used to enhance employee satisfaction even further by implementing workplace programs and bonus systems.
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