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7 ways startups can show appreciation for their employees

Posted by Neha De

May 13, 2019

Sure, there’s an “official” Employee Appreciation Day, but why wait? Showing your staff appreciation every day goes a long way towards improving employee morale and creating a top-notch company culture.

 This not only improves employee retention but when word gets around about what a great company you are to work for, your hiring chances explode.

There are many ways you can make your employees feel valued every day. In this article, we look at seven ways startups can show appreciation for their employees.

#1: Ask your staff

How do you know what would motivate your team? Ask them.

Conduct a survey so they can answer anonymously if you think that would work better for them.

You might find some surprising and creative answers that are sure to drive loyalty.

#2: Create a traveling trophy

In some sports, the winner gets a trophy that travels around from year to year. You can emulate this right in the office.

Perhaps a different employee wins the trophy each month or each quarter. They can set this symbol of appreciation right on their desk for everyone to see.

#3: Celebrate work anniversaries

Show your team you value loyalty and longevity by celebrating their work anniversary each year.

By congratulating team members on this important milestone, you make this their special day. It makes them feel much better than simply celebrating an Employee Appreciation Day.

While you could host a small party in your breakroom on big work anniversaries, for other anniversaries, a simple thank you note, or a note and a cup of coffee go a long way towards letting your team know you’re grateful they’re still there.

#4: Bring food for no reason

One of the best appreciation techniques is the one that is unexpected.

Send your team an email or text during the evening and tell them lunch is on you tomorrow. Bring in pizza or cater in sandwiches. Or, you can go all out and take them out to lunch.

Talk to us about how our outsourced HR services can help your startup provide employees with competitive benefits.

The surprise is worth a lot to your team, and you’ll find it immediately improves morale and productivity.

#5: Provide career-based rewards

You can always reward employees by providing them with training opportunities.

For example, provide a career-based reward that benefits your employee as well as your startup. Consider leadership training opportunities or let them choose an online class.

This again shows your team you are invested in them as well as their careers.

#6: Send a ‘Thank you’ note

Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten thank you note. They are certainly not dead and can be quite valuable.

These are private messages of accolade, and you may find your employees appreciate these most of all.

#7: Acknowledge their interests

Let’s say one of your team members went above and beyond on your last project, working many extra hours, landing the contract, and inspiring team members.

How will you recognize their achievement? Consider showing them your thanks with something that’s unique to them.

Perhaps they are big dog lovers – give a donation to their favorite rescue group. Maybe they love coffee – give them a gift card for a month of coffee.

The key here is to know your individual employee’s interest, hobbies, and likes. Then, show them your appreciation with something that would be special to them.

Final thoughts

The best employee appreciation programs are the ones your employees value.

You’ll have the best results when you show your employees you appreciate them on a regular basis and not just at their performance reviews.

Reinforce your appreciation on a consistent basis. This is an ongoing process, and one that is vital to your employee culture, retention, and hiring.

By showing regular, ongoing appreciation to your staff, you’ll engender their motivation, loyalty, and commitment to your startup.

Most employee appreciation ideas don’t cost a lot of money. You’ll find that the small investment of time and a bit of money is well worth the long-lasting results.

Want more?

Escalon provides startups and small to midsized businesses with HR, payroll, accounting, strategic finance, CFO services, taxes and support. Talk to an expert today.

Image:  Courtney Hedger on Unsplash  


Neha De
Neha De

Neha De is a writer and editor with more than 13 years of experience. She has worked on a variety of genres and platforms, including books, magazine articles, blog posts and website copy. She is passionate about producing clear and concise content that is engaging and informative. In her spare time, Neha enjoys dancing, running and spending time with her family.

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