I have always found that I work better as an employee in an organization when I am valued for my work and appreciated as a person and employee. This is true for most employees that work in organizations irrespective of size, right from giant corporations to small family-run businesses. This will go a long way in increasing the bottom line of the company (profits) by making the employees work longer and harder and will boost employee retention and loyalty. A company can reward an employee in small ways consistently to make them feel wanted and appreciated. I have listed some of the ways that companies can do this:
1. Work-Specific Appraisal or Praise
Whenever I would complete a complex task assigned by my manager I would receive detailed verbal praise from the manager, which would imbibe a sense of accomplishment in me. This would be done openly in my cubicle in view of other colleagues, which made me feel great about my work and presence in the company as a whole. Post this; the manager also posted a detailed email regarding the work done which would serve as a written appraisal for the work done. Managers can pull up employees on a daily basis for work appreciation done in this manner.
2. Showcasing Employees or Employee Recognition
I have seen companies treat the best performers in a company with a huge load of awards and recognitions that come with benefits and monetary emoluments. This is a great practice since top performers serve to inspire the rest of the workforce in a company and will make the rest emulate the efficient work ethic. A project or program manager can put up the leaderboard to display publicly who are doing well in their line of work for all to see. This can be displayed in a recreational area such as the break room and award ceremonies can be organized periodically. Such processes should be designed to encourage better performance overall.
3. Allot higher Responsibility
As an employee, I would directly associate the trust an employer had in me with the degree of responsibility I was allotted. The more responsibility I was trusted with, the better I worked, knowing that I was entrusted with highly important work. When an employer gives critical tasks to an employee, the employer is saying that employees capable of carrying out the given work without any problems. This will make the employee work harder and be more responsible towards the allotted work.
When I was working at a corporate firm, the manager offered us movie tickets for the weekend for whoever would finish their work the best and the fastest every Friday evening. This made all of us in the office to work harder, longer and smarter! In addition, I finally ended up winning the tickets myself, one fine day!
This is what is called as gamification. It is incorporating elements off a game into regular work to make it seem more interesting and fun. In other words incentivising employees in a most creative way possible.
5. Small Fun Events at the Office!
I used to work at a firm where once every few weeks there would be a surprise event based on a random surprise theme, maybe it was a festival or season based event or just something for the fun of it! Most of the time it was a monthly birthday celebration or a company anniversary but it was all so much fun!
The company can organize catered lunches to these events to add that extra touch of appreciation for your employees.
6. Gift Cards for Employees
Occasionally my manager used to pass out gift cards for birthdays, large project completion or even employee anniversaries. The gift cards were for coffee shops or food joints and were not huge, but the gesture was! This made all employees feel wanted in the company and kept everyone engaged. This act will not break the ban, yet will make a huge difference to company employees.
7. Flexibility in Work hours or timings
I used to be a star performer at my company and used to complete assignments well within time and used to come up with ways to save time in the project execution. I did this consistently for a few years and have hands on it. Seeing my dedication and smart work, my manager granted me flexible timings to let me report to the office at a time of my choosing (but within reason!) as long as I completed my work in time. This made me work even harder and led to higher work satisfaction.
A company can take a hint from this and allow diligent employees to come into office at more relaxed hours provided they complete their work in time!
It has to be said that while all these suggestions to boost an employee’s work satisfaction through appreciation is great to implement, discretion is advised here. A method of complementing which works for one organization may not work so well to other. The best thing to do is customize these incentive solutions to get the best results from your employees!
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