With Thanksgiving around the corner and the holiday season ramping up, many executives start thinking about how to say thank you to their best employees. It’s important to start every new year on a positive note, and acknowledging great employees’ hard work at the end of the year helps keep them happy, engaged, and motivated. Gifts and bonuses are usually appreciated, but the best employees usually want something more meaningful as well: recognition and thanks. Here's how to do it so the top performers stay happy.
Start a trophy tradition. Many companies have unique performance-based trophies employees can “earn” and pass along. The trophy can be anything from a special coat to a quirky office accessory — the trophy should make employees who earn it feel special and valued. As the tradition builds, the deserving employee will also be able to feel a part of something bigger than themselves and connected to the company.
Actually say thank you. Simple, yet shockingly effective. In most companies it’s rare for many employees to have face time with executives, and it can be even rarer for the face time to be exclusive. Stop employees in the hallway or call them into your office to tell them thank you if they’ve recently been going above and beyond their job description: share why they’re doing a great job, and what they mean to the company. It’s a small gesture but it goes a long way.
Give them something considerate. If an employee has a hobby or interest outside of work, get them a small but thoughtful gift for their interests. Gifts don’t have to be big, but when thought and personal consideration has clearly been added, the gift means much more. When employees believe their bosses truly care, they feel more fulfilled, engaged, and driven to work hard.
Recognize them in front of the whole company. During a company-wide meeting, take time to publicly celebrate employees when they successfully finish a big project or land a big sale. Talk about why they succeeded, and how they’re contributing to the company’s goals. This public recognition shows these employees the company understands their value and appreciates them. It also motivates other employees to do better in order to receive the same praise.
Start a company “Wall of Fame.” Start a monthly or quarterly hall “Wall of Fame” where employees’ pictures can be hung. Set a goal for employees to accomplish, like an amount of revenue brought in, number of calls made, etc. Make sure the wall is prominent in the office, so employees can take pride in their place on the wall when they hit these goals.