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4 Budget-Friendly Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Staff


Managers and leaders tend to focus on productivity, but there’s a not-so-secret hack that more people should be paying attention to. If your contact center isn’t paying attention, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. That secret is employee appreciation.


Employee appreciation is so important that Harvard Business School’s Dr. Ashley Whilians said, “What really matters in the workplace is helping employees feel appreciated.”


American corporations already use a fifth of their budget on employee wages, yet 80% of employees still say that they feel underappreciated. There is a clear disconnect going on there and it shows that money isn’t everything. Moreover, disengaged employees are 73% likely to leave the company and engaged employees are 17% more productive than their peers.


There are many ways to make employees feel appreciated and recognized. The best ideas don’t involve large sums of cash.


What You Can Do to Make Employees Feel Recognized


  1. Say Thank You - Not only is it affordable, it is free. It’s one of the most effective ways to make people feel appreciated. Think back on your own experience and remember how it felt when someone thanked you for a job well done. A study from Wharton showed that people who were thanked did 50% more work than their peers. Make it a habit to thank people every time they do something for you, the team, or the company. It’s an amazing little change you can do and it will affect so many things in your life, even outside work. Simply saying thanks is an incredibly effective tactic that is often underused, not just in the workplace but everywhere else in life.

  2. Write a Note - There is something about the written word that makes it very powerful. Every time you celebrate something or give out a token or reward to recognize anyone, always include a meaningful hand-written note with a relevant message. Writing it out shows that someone cared enough to take the time to pen something by hand, and that sends a powerful message to any employee, especially in an age where people just copy and paste responses on emails and print out thank you letters by the hundreds.

  3. Create a Tradition - One of the most powerful ways to make recognition a thousand times more effective, is to create a social experience around it. It doesn’t matter what you center it around. Ideas include giving a classy company pen to employees whenever they hit six months or a year of employment, having a team dinner at the end of every quarter, or giving out a certificate of recognition every month to the top-performing employees. Making people feel like they belong is a key psychological need of every employee and creating a social tradition like this makes everyone feel like they’re part of the group.

  4. Encourage Peer Recognition - Lastly, it’s important to create a culture of appreciation. The most effective way to do that is to leverage everyone in the effort. It’s important to lead by example, but there needs to be an active push to make everyone consciously do their own part in rewarding and recognizing peers. You can create a peer-to-peer recognition program where employees can give a point or a star or some other symbol to another employee any time they do a job well done. At the end of the month, the one with the most points can receive another special reward or prize. The more you get everybody involved, the more effective appreciation becomes.


It’s All About Employee Engagement


In the end, it’s all about keeping employees engaged. Recognition is the most important component of employee engagement and making sure your employees are engaged makes everything better.


If you leverage the power of recognition and appreciation, you’ll quickly develop a more engaged workforce that will naturally create more productivity and profitability for your center. If you haven’t already started creating a culture of appreciation at your center, there’s no time like the present.