Try as you might, there’s no denying it: 2016 is almost over. Over the past twelve months, many companies experienced very real, very difficult challenges, such as increasing competition and the economic uncertainty caused by the election season. For many other businesses, however, the year was a great success full of record revenues and meaningful accomplishments.
Irrespective of whether 2016 was good or not good, all business owners should know their employees are the backbone of their company without whom they could not operate. At this time of year, after months of hard work, it is even more important to recognize your staff and show appreciation and acknowledgment of their contributions. I call this Paying it Forward!
Recognition does not only mean mandated year-end bonuses. For many businesses, bonuses are simply out of the question, and, oftentimes, the employees know it. If monetary reward is unfeasible for your company, there are many ways you can demonstrate your gratitude, thank your staff meaningfully, and pay it forward.
Personal “Perks” That Support the Individual Employee’s Interests or Needs
Much like “cafeteria plan” benefits in which employees can choose and create a package composed of benefits that fit their own unique needs, this type of recognition reward helps to make each employee feel special. It might be a tangible item-a subscription or membership, perhaps-but the critical element is that it is based upon the employee’s individual interests, lifestyle, or hobbies. If you don’t know your team on such a granular level, you can engage the efforts of your front-line managers and supervisors to provide the information necessary to make the perks as “personal” as possible.
Give Back to the Community and Support the Causes That are Meaningful to Your Employees
Conduct a survey to find out what community-based organizations are important to your employees, and then create ways in which your company can support the groups. These might include Cancer Care, American Heart or any number of Animal Rescue Organizations. This can mean setting aside time for your employees to volunteer or for your company to sponsor the particular organizations’ fundraising activities.
Hold a Recognition Day
Employees need to be recognized for who they are as people outside of the office. Consider holding a recognition day each month during which employees can rotate and share their interests and hobbies with the rest of the office. This can take the form of lunchtime presentations, a place in the office for them to showcase their creative pursuits, a post-work concert where they play their instrument, or even bring in their pets and children (just as long as it isn’t too disruptive).
Provide a Monthly-Catered Breakfast
“Food is love”, am I right? A monthly breakfast provides employees with some extra time to get to know more about each other and have the valuable face-time that helps to foster relationships and respect. If breakfast isn’t quite right for your corporate culture, you may wish to consider a monthly lunch or even a happy hour. The culture of your company will determine the best choice.
Know that even the most simple of appreciative gestures can be meaningful as long as they are sincere. Paying it forward for your employees should be a priority, as it can help to ensure that they continue with their good work. Equally as important, let them know you care; this is the perfect time of year to start a new trend!
From all of the staff at Unique Business Solutions, we wish you, your staff and families a very happy and healthy holiday season and look forward to a dynamic and rewarding 2017!
From the December 2016 Unique Business Solutions Newsletter