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Three of the VERY Most Impactful Employee Appreciation Ideas

Friday, March 01, 2019

When we think of employee appreciation several things typically come to mind; 1. UGH, one more thing I have to fit in my schedule, 2. UGH, I do not have the budget for more bonuses or raises, and 3. Isn’t the paycheck appreciation?  After 27 years in business in a very high turnover type field, we have learned that appreciation does not have to be a challenge, it just needs to be authentic, sincere, & human.  We often think, “Oh my gosh, do we really have to pat them on the back for everything?  I work hard too & nobody is patting my back every day.”  

However, take a moment to think about how you feel when you think you have gone above & beyond and given someone your best and there is no acknowledgment.  You may get bitter and think, “Well see if I ever do that again.”  Or you start questioning yourself and if you have value.  Now think about a time when you felt super appreciated for your contribution or hard work.  Don’t you want to work hard to feel that way again?  If you are human, appreciation is a core need, period.  The following are three simple, yet effective ways to make others feel appreciated and in turn have them appreciating you and wanting to do their best to create the shared successes.

  1. What is their love language?  You may have heard of the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman https://www.5lovelanguages.com/.  He asserts that each of us show & receive love in one of 5 ways.  We may end up going through interactions thinking you are giving all kinds of love & appreciation, while the other person is doing the same and it turns out neither person is “feeling the love” because you are not speaking the same language.  When you know how they “feel the love” you can spend a lot less time, money, resources & energy having them feel appreciated.  If you are not speaking their language you can burn yourself out and go broke trying to show appreciation that they are not feeling.
  2. Make sure people feel their impact.  We all need to feel significance; that what we do in our life has meaning and makes a difference.  Having a job in which we can earn a living and feel like we “matter” is something that not only has us feel appreciation but also is intrinsically motivating.  Make sure every person on your team understands the part they play.  Each individual is a critical cog in the machine, so make sure they see how they make an impact on the entire organization, community, country, and world.

    At Fun Productions, our vision is “The Lighter Side of Life” and our mission is to “Create WOW event experiences & make people smile.”  We discuss how in this world of negativity, fear, conflict, divide, etc.  that allowing a stressed out culture to take a break, have some fun & smile, laugh & enjoy life for a while with family, friends, and colleagues is a big deal, something we should feel proud of.  We then look at how each individual from the person who repairs equipment, cleans the floors, drives the truck, and designs the client’s event vision is necessary and when everyone is doing their part well – the mission is easy.  If one person is falling short everyone is stressed and it becomes very difficult to “Create Wow & make smiles.”

  3. Lastly, some tactical ideas for showing appreciation;Practice gratitude and JUST SAY THANK YOU sincerely for the ways you are blessed by having a team!!
    • Peer Reviews & Shout Outs- Take some pressure off of yourself by creating a system for everyone to show appreciation to each other.  We do quarterly peer reviews so each team member scores each other on our core values and gives them constructive feedback including a question that asks, “What have I been doing well & should continue?”  We also have “Shout Outs” where team members can publically say thank you for specific efforts, helping the team and acts of kindness.
    • Kudos Club – Let people earn the appreciation they want.  We award points for all the things that are “Above & Beyond”.  Things like client reviews, getting shout outs from coworkers, picking up a shift or staying late to get something done, taking great usable photos on site, or a detailed event report that gives us a bunch of new info to add to our venue files.  Then those points may be used for things like extra PTO, gift cards, free lunch, company swag, etc.
    • Mission Bonus – If you are going to give rewards in the way of money, make sure it is tied to performance and is objective.  Our bonus is a pot that is a percentage of the net profit.  Each team member is responsible for earning points by doing their job correctly.  The result of this is that each person is motivated to do their best, they hold each other accountable, & they are rewarded by having extra money each paycheck.
    • DON’T FORGET TO HAVE SOME FUN!!!  Of course the FUN PROS are here for you if you are ready to show some employee appreciation by hosting a FUN event.  We are the company picnic experts, the holiday party gurus, the team building captains & the take a break and have a hot dog while playing mini-golf in the hallway pros. 

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