Today, March 2, 2018 is National Employee Appreciation Day. It is a day for companies to thank and show appreciation to their employees for their hard work and effort throughout the year. Though the holiday is still gaining adoption in the U.S. and abroad, Employee Appreciation Day has become an opportunity for managers, company leadership and HR to remember the importance of appreciating employees. It is a day of strengthening the bond between employer and employee.
Companies often celebrate by offering gifts, events, or special recognition for their workers. Studies show that recognition and appreciation are growing drivers of employee happiness and engagement. And while money is important, a vast majority of employees want to know they are appreciated and recognized for all their hard work.
Most companies in the U.S. are not a major corporation with unlimited funds. But what we lack in resources we try to make up with a culture of open communication, a positive atmosphere and frequent office activities. We also find ways to show appreciation to those of our employees in the field. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to express appreciation and cultivate a culture of respect.
Like Bonneville Builders, today’s small-business must find the right combinations of management style, employee treatment and motivation to ensure a good working environment while reaching needed productivity levels to have success. Many of these ideas come from an article entitled “How to Treat Employees With Respect to Increase Productivity”, by Rick Suttle.
Take Time to listen
Listening to your employees regarding their concerns and needs for performing their jobs is crucial. Discuss various issues with each employee individually, such as conflicts they may have with you or other employees. Rectify conflicts right away by coming up with viable solutions. Keep the conflicts from amplifying or causing resentment, which can hinder productivity.
The Personal Touch
Start by personally getting to know each employee and understanding their key strengths with respect to knowledge, education and skills. Assign people project tasks that they are naturally good at performing. Encourage your employees to make recommendations that may help increase your company’s performance and productivity. Recommend training for employees who need it, as they may get frustrated if they have trouble using certain software programs, for example.
Communicate with your employees regularly. Keep them informed of the latest updates and encourage them to keep you apprised of their progress on certain projects. Compliment your employees when they do something exceptional. Buffer any criticisms with positive comments, especially when doing annual performance reviews.
Find out what drives and motivates each employee to perform at a higher level. Assign more challenging tasks and projects to those employees who want greater responsibilities. Empower employees to make their own judgments and decisions on certain projects. Help develop the skills of more ambitious employees, as they are often the ones who get promoted.
Reward Good Work
Tie your employees’ performance to some type of rewards program. At Bonneville Builders, we have come up with a performance bonus plan that is exceptional and has a meaningful financial impact with those who perform. You can explore various performance elements such as customer service, sales or completed tasks as a basis for your program. One idea is an Employee of the Month program, rewarding winners with a free meal, gift or cash, depending on the type of work they do. Give everyone an equal chance of winning the monthly award.
Never yell or raise your voice to employees. This shows a lack of respect for your workers. Don’t criticize employees in front of their peers. Take them aside and point out something they did wrong. Show them the right way to perform the task. I have learned from experience that a toxic environment is very unproductive and hurtful. I have also observed that harsh company environments usually start with the leadership at the top of an organization, resulting in managers thinking the behavior is acceptable. It never is!
Do you care?
Let employees know that you care about them. However, make them realize everyone has a job to do, and that you are accountable to your boss, just as they are accountable to you. Hence, times may get tough and tempers short, but you are all working together for the betterment of the company. Apologies, when warranted, go a long way.
At Bonneville Builders, we continue to grow and add additional employees to our team of professionals. We are always striving to learn from our mistakes and strive to get better every day. We greatly appreciate our employees! They work hard to serve our customers and do it with a spirit of professionalism and good will.