Archaic are the companies that think a paycheque is enough to maintain morale and productivity. Usually, these same businesses use outdated strategies with a top-down framework where productivity and profit are at the top. However, the wonderful world of creative start-ups is showing the exact opposite is needed.
It's the companies that motivate and appreciate their hardworking team that come up with the most unique, and cost-effective solutions and strategies. So the next time you think maybe increasing work hours will ensure productivity think instead of showing your team your appreciation. How might you best do that? Here are a few pointers.
Give out personalized gifts
A good leader knows his team, and that's why personalized inexpensive gifts show that you know and value your team. To your employees it means you listen and aren't just some boss behind the desk, but someone who is genuinely invested in a, hopefully, wonderfully talented group. Giving someone a gift also helps them see that you acknowledge the hard work they've put into the brand. This can help you further on down the line as employees will be more open with you when discussing issues as well as creative ideas. The fact that the gifts are personalized are all the more special and appreciated.
Help Your Employees Grow
Appreciation doesn't always manifest itself in gift form. Sometimes thanking someone means offering them a chance to communicate their goals with you. We recommend meeting with your employees to discuss their goals and plans. Where would they like to be 5 months from now or even 5 years from now? This shows you have an interest in seeing your team grow and not simply remain stagnant. Additionally, this will help you identify individual strengths you may have overlooked and can change how you assign future projects.
Ask for improvements and suggestions
If you want to really ensure great morale and show your appreciation to your team, create incentives and improvements. What better way to do that than to ask your employees directly. There's good evidence that this helps a business grow as a study of 530 work units with productivity data found that teams with Managers who received strengths feedback showed 12.5% greater productivity post-intervention than teams with managers who received no feedback. Gather 4 or 5 great suggestions and have the team vote on which to implement.
With regards to incentives, group or individual prizes for targets that are met, or having a new weekly tradition like Friday cocktails are just a few ideas. Also, consider asking how you can help improve the workplace. Maybe you can improve on some of the amenities, or redecorate the office. Either way having a group meeting will really allow your team to see that their opinions matter and that you're listening.
There's nothing like a recommendation to show a true vote of confidence for a team member. Writing a personal and well thought out recommendation on LinkedIn can be a great way to show recognition. Granted it may give the impression that the employee is looking for other opportunities, but if that's the case, not writing a recommendation isn't going to prevent them from doing so.
Let's be honest, not every team member will stay with your business for 5 or 6 years, especially contract members. However, this does not negate their work if they've done great things for the business. Often times its employees who are well looked after and acknowledged that stay the longest.
Provide Professional Developement Opportunities
One of the best gifts an employer can offer is the gift of knowledge. A truly appreciative employer will provide an area of growth for her/his employees. Providing time off and/or funding to help one of your teammates improve their skills, or learn a new one is a reward that will benefit not only your employee but your company as a whole.
Some Managers are still hesitant however to do this as they feel the employer will gain the benefits and leave. Yet these same Managers fail to consider what would happen if someone else offers these benefits, why wouldn't your employee leave for them? Moreover, A Gallup study found that 87 percent of Millennials feel that professional development is important for a job. If you're really looking to create a powerful and motivated team especially consider this option.
These are just a few of the options if you're looking to show your appreciation to your teammates, however, there are many more. Just remember that the best gestures of gratitude are honest ones.
The Coded People Team