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Valentine’s Day is considered a day of love for some and is called “Single Awareness Day” by others. Obviously, there is a stark contrast between the names for this day.
I started thinking about these two and then it hit me. There is also a parallel between the two names for Valentine's Day to showing employees some love and being ignored by management.
The Stark Difference: Recognition and The Lack Of
We’ve all been in those jobs where we have an employer that recognizes your achievements, which can mean from a thank you and a pat on the back to earning a trophy and other prizes.
Versus, we’ve also been part of a company where you’re lucky if you ever get a “Good job” or recognition for working overtime way more than you should for those extra sales.
Do you remember which motivated you more? Which made you feel better? Do I really need to keep asking questions? Because I think it’s pretty obvious.
The job that showed that they cared and appreciated you certainly held a deeper place in your heart. That’s the difference recognition makes. When you share love, you are sure to get it in return.
(Alright, sometimes love is rejected and brushed off, but is that person/employee really worth it then?)
You Give and You Get
According to this article by TLNT.com, “companies that excel at customer experience have ‘1.5 times as many engaged employees as do customer experience laggards.’ So, we can all agree that employee engagement is crucial. If personalization and personal care is what distinguishes a brand, then the employee experience at that company must deliver on those values.”
Hence, if you give some love, then your employees, stakeholders, and customers will be able to see the difference. When your employees are happy and feel recognized, then you’re sure to reap the benefits.
So, how can you show your employees some love this season?
Show Your Employees Some Love
There are certainly a plethora of ideas, many of which you can come up with independently, but here are 10 to inspire you.
1. Branded Gift.
By a “branded gift,” I mean items that the employee can keep and take home. This could mean anything from small items like hats, shirts, key chains, water bottles, and bags to larger items like a branded mirror and a clock.
2. Custom Award or Trophy.
Whether you have an awards banquet coming up or you just want to recognize a large accomplishment, trophies and awards are a timeless way to show appreciation. These can be from customized stock plaques to completely custom pieces that you designed from scratch. These awards can also be large enough to need its own table or small enough to fit on a tiny space on a desk, as well as can even hang on a wall – anything is possible when it’s custom.
3. Branded Desk Item.
These are objects that sit on the desk and are useful or are small constant reminders of a job well done. Ideas for this could include pens, picture frames, the Drinkwell, or device charging stations.
4. Replica or Miniature.
At the end of a successful project, it’s common to give miniatures or replicas as reminders. This could mean a commemorative for a marketing campaign, a replica of a new product, or a miniature of the building after the opening of a new store. There is easily a direct correlation for the job well done with these.
5. Gift Cards.
This is becoming popular with startups and smaller companies because they are cost-effective and easy to pick up on their own. These can be for local companies, chain restaurants, or popular places to shop, like Amazon. Another nice reason for this is that companies choose the amount that goes onto the card and it’s almost as good as cash. However, be aware that there are changes over the horizon for categories like these.
6. Cash Bonuses.
Who doesn’t love extra money after a “good job?” Cash bonuses are typically used at the end of the year or after a yearly-review.
7. Time Off.
This goes over just as well as the cash bonuses because everyone is tired and needs a break. An extra half-day or even a few days goes a long way. It shows that you care about the employee’s well being and acknowledges that they have personal lives outside of work. However, like the cash bonuses, be careful in the amount of these that you give away because it could leave you in a bind and raise expectations too high; best to do these sparingly and mix these in with other recognition options.
8. Thank You Cards.
A simple but effective method of saying “thank you,” good job and thank you cards are good for immediate recognition. This is especially good if you will follow up with something a little bigger or if it’s paired with another form of recognition. A card also allows the manager to clearly define how the recipient has earned the recognition.
9. Company Party or Event.
Has the whole or a portion of the company done well? Then consider a company party with everyone, or if you want to make it exclusive, just invite the top performers at an exclusive event to celebrate. Two common examples are: having a company Valentine’s Party for everyone or having the top sales performers on an island getaway with an awards presentation and a mini vacation. Two completely different types but both clearly are being used to show that the company cares.
10. Company Outing.
There are two ways to do this as well. If the company is small or medium-sized, then the whole company can go on an outing, whether it’s to a local attraction, having a company golf scramble, playing laser tag, or a company cookout – there are countless ways to have the whole company out.
If your company is too big for everyone to go out together, then having a department or multiple departments going out together is another good option. Ideas for this can be lunch provided by the company, attempting an escape room, or even a cooking class. No matter your company size, these show employees that you care, as well as promotes team building.
Each one of these ideas shows employees that companies respect and appreciate an employee’s hard work. Depending on your company culture, goals, and budgets, options will vary, but the overall goal of recognizing employees and showing that you care is still present.
At the end of the day, does your company want your employees to feel loved or dejected and alone? That answer should be pretty clear.
Kristina Hublar is your friendly neighborhood Marketing Specialist at Bruce Fox, Inc., which means she is the person behind the keyboard for the social media, emails, website, and other marketing efforts. She’s new to Bruce Fox, but is an Indiana native. In her spare time, you’ll find her plotting her next road trip, bobbing along to music while crafting, spending time with loved ones, or with her nose in a book.