Communicating Appreciation in the Workplace

Salary matters, but it’s not the only reason people come to jobs – and it’s certainly not the reason people leave them. If you want the members of your team to be happy and productive, benefitting the bottom line to the best of their ability, you have to work on the culture, not just reflect your appreciation in their paychecks. Here are a few ways to communicate your gratitude to your team without touching their taxable income.

1 – Offer Flexibility with Scheduling

Life happens, and sometimes it happens in a way that impacts regular schedules. Kids get sick, schools have programs, relatives come to visit, and opportunities happen that people don’t want to pass up. What if they knew they could come to their leader, be honest about what they needed, and be given the flexibility to get what they need to do done in a way that also allows them to live their lives? How do you suppose they would respond? While this kind of thing comes up more often during the holiday season, flexibility is a good policy to maintain throughout the year.

2 – Gifts

When someone does a good job, they should be rewarded. So, here’s an idea in two parts. Find out what your team members like to do for fun: where do they shop, eat, or play? Then go out and pick up some gift cards from those places. When they do something outstanding, you have the card ready as an immediate, tangible way to show your appreciation and encourage them to keep up the good work. Tip: don’t just do this during the holiday season. Just make sure it’s a program that is available to everyone to avoid any sense of favoritism or allegations of discrimination.

3 – Write a Thank You Note

Some say note-writing is dead, but should it be? You know your team. Are there people on your team who would genuinely appreciate a specific note of thanks for their work, either in general or on a specific project? Chances are, some people came to mind when you read that question. Why not take some time today to jot down some notes about some of the things you appreciate about each member of your team? Write notes and hand them out from time-to-time. Let your people pay attention to what they’re bringing to the table every day.

4 – Let Them Unplug

Sometimes, the best kind of communication is silence. When your team members are off the clock on their own time, let them be. Whenever possible, skip the after-hours emails and texts, let them know their time is their time. In this way, you show appreciation not just for what they do for the business but also who they are as people.

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