“What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise — although the philosophers generally call it ‘recognition’!”
~ William James
Hey managers, do you remember way back when in the distant past (about five years ago) when the economy was steamrolling along. Those were good times weren’t they? Or were they? Business was booming, but at the same time, it seemed like employees were in a continuous cycle of moving from one job to the next. Unless you were some sort of managerial superstar, you likely found it difficult to hang onto good employees for very long.
Since that time the reverse has been true. In the interim, have you become content with the fact that your employees are going to stick around out of a lack of other options? Well it’s time to wake up. The economy is coming out of its long slumber and so should your efforts at keeping and rewarding your employees. Below are some ideas for rewarding your employees and keeping them motivated and loyal.
1. Offer flexible hours
Recognize that some employees have circumstances that would be greatly improved with a little flexibility on your part. Do you have an employee that needs to get their children off to school in the morning? Allowing that person to come in a little later to accommodate their schedule builds loyalty. Similarly, you could accommodate the schedules of those that typically face a long commute because of rush hour traffic.
2. Give public awards
Offering public awards for reaching specific goals is another way to keep your employees motivated and engaged in the workplace. Something as simple as a plaque or an acrylic award will be appreciated when accompanied with a sincere thank you. Make sure the awards are appropriate to the recipient. The more useful they are the better they will be appreciated as well.
3. Provide a meal
Recognize a well done team effort with food. Everybody loves to eat and socialize, so this could be a useful way to say thanks and reap the benefits of a team building experience. If you want to keep it simple have someone bring in a variety of sandwiches or desserts during a meeting or other event. Or go big and have a hot meal catered. If you want to get out of the office take the team out to dinner.
4. Give employee’s some time off
Show your appreciation for your employees by giving them some time off throughout the year aside from their sick and vacation days. Get creative. Give them time off to volunteer for their favorite charity. Or as a bonus, take an employee to lunch on Friday and then give them the rest of the afternoon off. Perhaps some would prefer to come in late on a Monday instead. These sorts of experiences will create loyalty and keep your employees less likely to jump ship when another opportunity comes along.
5. Buy into your employee’s continued success
Invest in the future success of your employee by helping them better their careers. Make room for advancement from within the organization. Help them grow, even if doing so may lead them to opportunities outside your company. An employee that feels stagnated in his position is going to eventually move on.
Anna McCarthy is an HR specialist who writes on topics ranging from business communication, productivity, employee satisfaction, and corporate awards.