Showing your employees they are appreciated is so important. Happy employees will deliver better customer experiences. One study by Badgeville found that 40% of employees who do not feel meaningfully recognized will not go above and beyond in their job responsibilities. Unhappy, unappreciated employees are only going to deliver the bare minimum. If you want your customers to receive the best experience, you need to start by ensuring your employees have a great experience. Here are five easy and affordable ways to regularly show you appreciate and celebrate your employees.
1. Say thank you
Your mom taught you to always say please and thank you. And now, as you run your own business, that rule still applies. A simple thank you at the end of the shift can go a long way in making an employee feel appreciated. I made it a habit to always thank my employees when I left for the day. Their shifts were later than mine and I wanted them to know how much I appreciated their commitment to work so I could go home. The best part about saying thank you, it’s free!
2. Celebrate their day
If you could do anything you want one day a year, what would you do? I bet you didn’t say go to work. The good news is, we all have a special day built in to the calendar, it’s called a birthday! A great way to celebrate your employees is to give them the day off for their birthday. And it should be a freebie day, it doesn’t come from their paid time off. It’s a bonus day so they can spend their own personal holiday doing what they love. Here’s another important tip; set a good example and take the day off on your birthday, too.
3. Throw a party
I love a good party. And in business there are so many reasons to throw one. You can throw a party for the holidays, that’s the easy one. Another great reason to celebrate is when you, as a team, have achieved a sales goal. Celebrate the launch or end to a special promotion. Celebrate the anniversary of starting your business. Throwing a party doesn’t have to break the bank. Bring in some treats from a local bakery, grab some decorative napkins from Home Goods and you have a party! And if you really want to go crazy, Oriental Trading sells everything. You can find cheap giveaways and decorations for any theme you can dream up.
4. Give away swag
Everyone loves free swag. A t-shirt, a reusable tote bag, a koozie, or a key chain. Throw your business name on it and these can be great giveaways not only for your employees but for loyal customers, too. You can give an employee swag when they first start, when they reach a sales goal, do an exceptional job with a customer, or just because. If swag isn’t your thing, give away some of your product to your employees. I once worked at a boutique and we were able to select a pair of earrings for free. The boutique was in a big college football town and the earrings were all in the school’s colors. It was a small token of the owner’s appreciation of us and our commitment to work on game days.
5. Recognize their talents and interests
Your employees decided to work for you because there is something about your business that sparks an interest in them. Discover what that interest is! Then tap into it. Give them special projects, new opportunities or tasks that capitalizes on what they are interested in. Here are four questions you can use to spark a conversation and discover what their talents and interests are.
What do you like to do in your free time? You might discover a skill they have that could be really helpful. For example, in their free time they take a lot of pictures or they have a social media channel they manage. Ask them to take pictures for your business. Ask for their input on what to post on your social media channels. And of course, recognize them for this extra work and when appropriate, compensate them financially.
Why did you decide to apply to work here? They chose your business because there is something unique that interests them as opposed to the business next door. Maybe you sell a product that they really love and they want to save up their paycheck and purchase it. Support their goal and offer them an employee discount to make reaching their goal easier.
Where do you see yourself in five years? For some, it will be still working for you. For others their goal may be to move on to something else. How can you help them reach their goal, no matter what it is? If they are a part time employee in college studying finance, invite them to sit with you when you do the budget or balance the books one month. Give them a window into the real life application of their interest.
If you could improve any one thing here, what would it be? The best part about hiring new employees is they are coming into your business with a fresh perspective. I had a boss who asked me this question once and it made me feel like my opinion truly mattered. I recommended we reformat a template we regularly used based on my own experience. I had found it really confusing to read. With my fresh eyes we created a streamlined template. And I felt like a real member of the team in the process.
Remember, happy employees are going to deliver the best customer experiences.According to a report by Glassdoor, there is a link between the well-being of your employees and how satisfied your customers are. Specifically in the retail and food service industries, for each one star improvement on Glassdoor, there was a 3.2 point increase in customer satisfaction. Taking the time to celebrate your employees will be worth the effort. Which idea are you going to implement today? Leave me a comment and tell me which one is your favorite and how your employees responded!