Simple ways to appreciate your employees

Do you ever find yourself getting so wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks of running a business that you never have time to tell your employees how important and valuable they are? Well, this Friday, March 4, is Employee Appreciation Day, so take a moment to thank your employees for all their dedication and hard work. Here are five things you can do to make this Friday all about them, and some practical tips to get you on track to show appreciation all year long.

Treats! It’s kind of an obvious move, but food just tastes better when someone else buys it. Bring in gourmet coffee and bagels for breakfast or order in from the amazing Tex-Mex place down the street. 

Long-term love: Schedule a regular one-on-one lunch or coffee break every few months with each of your employees. Keep it casual, but make sure to ask about their careers, goals and hopes, and really listen to their answers. Show them you’re invested in more than just the work they do for you; you’re invested in their success. 

Motivational poster— Take some inspiration from the world of marathoning and decorate your employees’ workspaces with “You’re the best around! Nothing’s gonna keep you down!” or “You’re the best thing I ever found on Craigslist” posters.

Long-term love: As part of your weekly to-do list, make sure to give a specific complement to one of your employees. Compliment an introvert on all the networking they did to land a new client or reveal to a fastidious employee how much easier you breathe when they are handling quality control.  

Dump it— Let your employees ditch a project they really hate (within reason, of course) and take it on yourself.

Long-term love: For each new project you take on, involve at least one employee that you normally wouldn’t. Giving them extra ownership or responsibility shows that you trust in their abilities and are helping them to grow their skills and their career.

Rock star parking— Buy your employees one-day passes to a parking garage so they don’t have to spend 15 aggravating minutes trying to find parking, or give up your VIP parking space for the week. 

Long-term love: Bookmark an events calendar for your industry and keep an eye out for trade shows, networking events and career boosting workshops to send your employees to. Your employees will appreciate what you’re doing to help them get the most out of their jobs.

Thank-you note— Yeah, Emily Post is still where it’s at. Giving a handwritten, thoughtful note is always appreciated. 

Long-term love: Thank your employees each and every day. Whether it comes up organically or you have to set a reminder on your phone, your employees will appreciate that you pay attention to their work and how much it means to the company.