If your business needs a little bit of a pick-me-up, a good way to do it is to make sure your employees are properly recognized for their hard work. That kind of acknowledgement tends to boost employee engagement, which translates into more effective, better operations. Best of all, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.
For little or no financial investment, you can do more to recognize great performance and encourage more sterling work, including the following five steps:
1) Publicly recognize exemplary work at meetings
A simple, cost-free way to make employees feel more valued is to single out the individuals or teams that performed best over the previous week, month or quarter, according to Just Works. A nice round of applause does wonders for anyone's confidence and makes them feel more valued, and also encourages those who weren't singled out this time to put in more work for the next go-round. Just be sure you're not lauding the same people or groups over and over, as this can eventually have a negative effect.
2) Buy lunch for high-performing teams
To go a little bit above and beyond, and provide more incentive for that kind of hard work you're looking for, budgeting for a monthly team lunch for your highest-performing department can go a long way, Just Works added. Depending on the size of the team, you probably wouldn't expect to pay more than a few hundred dollars for the affair, and any good team more than provides that value anyway.
3) Make a special effort with new hires
It's often said that people form their strongest impression of a workplace in the first month or two they work there, so you would do well to make sure new hires feel fully welcome, according to RSW Creative. That can take many forms, such as making sure teams are added to group chats, included in outings and otherwise made to feel a part of your work family right away. It might also be a good idea to connect all new hires with a friendly employee who can act as a mentor in acclimating them to the company culture.
4) Highlight your workers on social media
In much the same way you would highlight new products or services on your website and social platforms, doing the same for your employees can help them feel like they're really valued as an individual, RSW Creative advised. Just a quick post talking about their role, recent accomplishments and so on - along with a nice picture of them hard at work - can really boost morale.
5) Increase flexibility in scheduling
Another great way to encourage better engagement is to give employees more agency in their work, according to Zoom Shift. One way to do that is to give good workers the occasional half-day off as reward for a job well done, but you might also want to allow them more flexibility in when they come into work or when they leave. As long as they're hitting their goals, you don't have to be so hard and fast with a 9-to-5 schedule.