There is a lot that goes into leading a team — from sourcing quality team members, setting team/company goals, showing leadership skills to showing employee appreciation — and each component is extremely important. Often times, though, employee appreciation can fall by the wayside when other goals are being accomplished or problems are being tackled. 

But employee appreciation needs not to be forgotten. It is an important, necessary aspect to leading any team and making them feel that they are valued, believed in and above all, that you appreciate their hard work and dedication. 

If you’re at a loss for how to show your employees you appreciate them, or you just need new, fresh ideas to throw into the mix, we’ve got you covered. Check out these special, crowd pleasing ways to make each and every employee feel appreciated, below.

Invest in Growth Opportunities to Show Employee Appreciation

Investing in growth opportunities — such as conferences, special education seminars, continual education — is truly the gift that keeps on giving, as some may say. By continually investing in your employees education and development of skills, you’re demonstrating that you truly care about their overall growth, not only as an employee but as a person. 

If you’re looking to begin incorporating the investment of growth opportunities for your team members, try these to start out:

  • Ask your employees if they’d be interested in trying out an online course on Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning platform that offers courses in creative or career areas, allowing you to learn the building blocks of something new, or further your existing knowledge. Using Skillshare can be something that is cost-effective, efficient and value-driven. 
  • Send your team to a conference, nearby. Your employees will appreciate the time to network with others, learn and spend a few days in a new environment — and in turn, they’ll feel appreciated by you.
  • Support a mentorship program within your company. Often, mentorships can be extremely impactful in making individual employees feel empowered, believed in and encouraged. By offering a mentorship program, your employees will feel you’re giving back to them, in a meaningful way.

Reward Your Team Members with Fun, Thoughtful Gifts

 Everyone enjoys receiving a small gift every now and then, right? Right! The same thing goes for your employees. If you’re looking for a small way to express your appreciation, try pulling a team member aside and verbalizing your appreciation, while handing them a small gift, like these:

  • Like many of us, your team members might enjoy coffee or tea. Try giving a Starbucks gift card or a certificate to another favorite local cafe. They’re sure to feel noticed and appreciated, even in a small gesture such as this. It’s the little things that count. 
  • Have you ever thought of giving the gift of tickets to see a movie in theatres? So many of us enjoy going out for an evening, with friends, family or a significant other to see the newest film. Surprise your employee with a fun, unique gift that not only makes them feel appreciated, but also offers them an entertaining experience outside of work.
  • If you’ve ever said, “I want to give a gift they’ll actually use,” then you might prefer to give something a bit more helpful or practical in your team’s daily life. If this is you, try giving a team member a voucher for a home cleaning service or a gift card to a car wash/detail center. They are sure to feel extra appreciated.

 Implement Small Changes 

To make your employees feel appreciated, you don’t have to spend mass amounts of money or do anything extravagant. It could be as simple as implementing a few small changes that may brighten up your team’s day. For example:

  • Send out a weekly email, thanking everyone for their contribution, and offer team support and encouragement to keep up the hard work. This is a small, but beautiful gesture that can really solidify your team’s value to you. 
  • In quarterly meetings, take an opportunity to recognize one employee that stood out to you, in front of the whole team. Doing this really makes team members feel noticed, valued and appreciated in their hard work, daily grind and contribution to the company.
  • Have lunch with your employees. While this may seem simple, it really can make team members feel heard, appreciated and valued when their boss takes time to enjoy a meal with the team.

Offer Special Perks and Benefits

For many in the professional world, perks and benefits carry a lot of weight in overall employee happiness and in feeling appreciated by their company superiors. If you want to show your appreciation, offer special perks and benefits, like these:

  • Create Bring Your Pet to Work day, each month. People love their pets, and by allowing them a day to bring them to work, you’re showing them you care (about seeing their pets and making your team happy!) 
  • Offer a catered breakfast, lunch or Happy Hour for your team. Your team can enjoy an amazing meal, while getting to bond and enjoy one another’s company. Eliminating the usual cost of a meal, along with providing a great experience, will make your employees feel appreciated, most definitely. 
  • Help with the commute. Often times, you can help your employees with the cost of a daily commute via public transportation, or even with a gas card. This will go a long way in showing your team you care.

No matter what you do, showing your employees that you appreciate them is extremely important. Little improvements, changes and moments can have a positive impact on your team, both as a whole, and individually. Try implementing some of tips and ideas and see what a difference employee appreciation can truly make.