Recent world events have led to a great deal of uncertainty. Many people are working remotely while others are adding part-time gigs and side hustles to keep the lights on and the refrigerator full. If you are looking for ways to celebrate and appreciate your employees more than just on holidays and prescribed days, check out the tips below.
Strive to Foster Community
Employees with friends on the job know they can burn off a little stress. If your office features cubicles, it may be necessary to impose quiet times to allow folks who need silence to focus the chance to dig in. Make sure you also offer a spot to gather away from the cubicles for friends to gather, chat and laugh.
This may mean adding a lounge space, encouraging folks to get outside for a quick walk when the weather is nice, or allowing them to book a conference room for a meal. Make sure you foster this behaviour with actions. For example, invite a coworker out for a bit of sun. You can schedule lunch with employees who have been through a rough personal patch or who don’t talk too much anymore.
Celebrate Small Holidays
Book some time away from desks for National Donut Day. Treat everyone to something yummy on National Ice Cream Day. Change the dress code for December 18 and National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. Consider making this a craft day; if you have creative folks on your team, invest in some ornaments, glue and pins that folks can use to decorate a sweatshirt offered by your company.
Do your best to make these as inclusive as possible. It can be pretty tempting to turn such things into competitions. However, many people are struggling with a heavy personal loans. So keep things fun and light-hearted on these odd little holidays.
Give a Keepsake
Consider offering custom awards for those who go above and beyond. For example, if you have a team member who is shouldering a heavier load because part of their team has to work from home, you don’t have to give it in a big ceremony or offer it as compensation. A private delivery with a note can be all you need to lower the pressure and show your appreciation.
Avoid handing out everything at a big splashy event when offering tangible rewards. For example, you may have employees who would view standing up in front of everyone and collecting a gift as an embarrassing burden. A small presentation before the department may be all you need to boost morale and show your appreciation.
Create Safe Communication Spaces
Many business leaders are rightly concerned about the trend of quiet quitting. So, for example, if you have an employee who is still putting in their usual hard work but doesn’t have much to say, it’s time to check in. Burnout can be a factor, as can imposed changes that have made their jobs much harder.
The loss of personal contact since 2020 may have done them some harm. They may be working on the same team with hybrid employees and feel overburdened. They may simply be struggling with personal worries or family stress. If you’re worried about losing folks to quiet quitting, focus on people who may feel voiceless and find out what they’re facing.
Offer Flexibility and Time Off Whenever Possible
Sometimes, the best gift you can offer is paid time off. If you have a team member who has put in more than a few weekends to get through a rough patch, meet with them to discuss the best time for them to take a day or two off. You can pair this with a gift card to a favourite store or even a spa if you like, or just pair it with cash.
Do make sure you don’t assign this time. A worker scrambling to meet a strict deadline may be looking forward to a little breathing room to catch up. Let the dust settle, and then let them block out this time.
Keeping employees happy can do a lot to help your bottom line. Paying for training is costly, and new employees may have higher salary demands. An appreciated employee will be more likely to step up in a crunch.