November is the perfect time of year for managers to remind their employees just how vital they are to the success of the business and how much their contributions are valued. There’s Thanksgiving, of course. But also observed in November is “World Kindness Day”— a global day to promote the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself and to the world.
Regardless of these occasions, expressing gratitude to your employees is always a good practice. It helps to boost morale, which can positively impact retention. And with workplaces and workforce models continuing to change amid the ongoing public health crisis, it’s especially important to remind your team members that their continued dedication, flexibility and adaptability are highly valued.
Following are four simple but effective tips for ensuring you’re making employee recognition an ongoing priority and helping your team members feel more confident that they’re truly appreciated:
1. Look back … and then pay it forward
Over the years that you spent working up to your current leadership position, you no doubt reported to several different managers. Chances are you remember one or two of them specifically because their staff management tactics told you without any doubt that they were grateful for you and your work.
Maybe those managers spent an extra few minutes talking with you every week, or always took time to listen to your concerns? Perhaps they always made the point to thank you by picking up the phone instead of sending an email? Maybe they organized a party when you celebrated a milestone birthday?
Whatever it was, you remember them for it. Think about the things that your favorite managers from the past did to recognize you and make you feel great. Then, start (or continue) doing those same things for your employees.
2. Think inside — and outside — the wallet
A common reason good employees feel underappreciated and end up quitting their jobs? Inadequate compensation. So, be sure to consult resources like Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide to confirm that the salaries you are paying your employees align with current market trends.
However, don’t assume that offering a higher salary or a bonus is the best or only form of employee recognition. Consider balancing monetary rewards with other perks and benefits.
Our Salary Guide provides insight on what employees are looking for on both fronts. For example, 66% of workers surveyed by Robert Half said their top perk is a flexible work schedule. As for benefits, paid time off ranks just behind the number one benefit, health insurance. Well over half of the respondents we surveyed (57%) said they value paid time off.
Also, keep in mind that many employees are seeking meaningful professional development right now. Separate research by our company found that many workers feel their career has stalled during the pandemic and they have been missing out on skills development. So, with that in mind, if a team member is recognized for their leadership on a critical initiative, you could, as part of that acknowledgement, consider inviting the employee to participate in a formal leadership development opportunity.
3. Broadcast your appreciation
What’s even better than letting employees know you appreciate their work? Shouting it out to your entire team, or even the whole organization.
The positive effects of employee recognition can multiply exponentially when you praise individuals publicly. Consider sending staff-wide congratulatory emails, mentioning top performers in the company newsletter and holding meetings where you tell employees, one by one, exactly what they’re doing well and how their efforts are making a difference at the firm.
4. Put a stamp on it
Why not write and send thank-you notes to your employees? This personalized approach can be an effective way to express gratitude, especially if you write notes by hand and tailor your messages to each employee’s achievements and efforts.
In a world of email and video calls, getting real mail in a real mailbox will be a pleasant surprise. And the employees who receive these thank-you notes are more likely to remember you for years to come as a thoughtful boss who sincerely valued employees’ contributions.
By applying these simple but effective employee recognition strategies, you’ll keep your team’s morale, engagement and productivity running high. Ongoing employee recognition efforts will improve staff retention, too. And you’ll help your organization stand out as an employer of choice in a hiring market where skilled talent doesn’t have to wait long to identify their next, new work opportunity.
Want more tips?
The above strategies can help you stay focused on employee recognition not only in November but all year long. Subscribe to the Robert Half newsletter to get more great ideas on staff management and other topics, delivered straight to your inbox.