Managers are constantly looking for ways to make their employees happier and improve the efficiency around their office. There are a ton of ways they can do this, from instituting a Casual Friday, allowing employees to work from home more often, or taking small teams out to lunch.
One often-overlooked strategy is to simply acknowledge and celebrate employee milestones. By recognizing when one of your employees hits a milestone, you can achieve some great benefits that reverberate throughout the entire business. Below are just a few reasons why it’s important to celebrate employee milestones, along with some tips for doing it well.
It Shows Appreciation
Everyone wants to be appreciated. It’s tough to work at a job when you feel like your work is going unnoticed. If you’re leading your company in sales each month, but no one ever says anything, it can discourage you from continuing to reach that goal.
When you foster an environment of appreciation, though, this can spread to everyone within the business. By celebrating someone’s accomplishment or milestone in a public way, others will congratulate them as well. Now your employee not only feels appreciated by their manager but by their coworkers as well. This in turn will encourage them to show their appreciation to their fellow team members and the cycle will continue.
It Reduces Employee Turnover
Showing appreciation is about more than just improving the atmosphere of your office, however. In fact, 79% of people who leave their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key contributor to their decision. By showing more appreciation to your employees, you can help keep them around longer.
Why is this important? Because employee retention is good for your business. It costs time and money to hire and train someone new. Not only that, but it takes even longer for them to gain the same amount of experience as the person leaving. Employees who stick around for a long time know how to do their jobs better. They also serve as an inspiration to others, demonstrating that your company is a good place to work for a long time. This encourages others to stay and can have a positive impact on your hiring process.
It Engages Employees
Finally, employee appreciation helps to keep them engaged. After working at a job for a while, some things can become monotonous. By breaking out of the regular flow of things for something fun, you can help add some spontaneity to your business.
When an employee first starts, there is a lot of excitement about their new job. Your goal with employee appreciation should be to reignite some of that excitement and remind your employees why they decided to work for you in the first place. If you do this regularly enough, it can keep them rejuvenated through the slower times.
Tips for Celebrating Milestones
When celebrating an employee milestone or accomplishment, you want to do more than send out a quick email. There are a few things you can do to make this recognition more enjoyable that won’t cost you a lot of time or money.
For starters, use a personalized message when congratulating the employee. Mention what you enjoy about working with them and their specific accomplishments. SnackNation provides great examples of the type of work anniversary wishes you can send, ranging from funny to quirky and professional. Writing down those wishes doesn’t have to feel like a chore, especially for those employees you don’t know that well. Having a few templates you can personalize and make them feel unique every time will help you out a lot.
A small gift is a nice added touch. If someone has been with your company for 25+ years, you’ll want to do something bigger and nicer, but for smaller milestones, a little gift is appreciated. For example, a gift card to their favorite restaurant or even just a nice coffee mug. Choose something that is related to the size of their milestone or accomplishment.
Make it fun
If you can make the celebration fun, this will boost morale throughout the office. For example, instead of an email, gather everyone in a conference room to announce the milestone and give out some snacks. You could also set up a team-building event, such as taking their team to an Escape Room challenge. This not only gets your employees out of the office for a little while but creates a lasting memory for the employee of your appreciation.
Get others involved
Whatever you do, try to involve other members of your business. The reason for this is to establish a culture of appreciation. Rather than sending the email just to the person you’re celebrating, make it a mass email to everyone in the company. This way, everyone else knows they’ll be appreciated in the same way when their time comes. It also gives others an opportunity to offer congratulations on things they may not have been aware of, such as work anniversaries.
Start Celebrating the Greatness of Your Employees
Without your employees, your business would not get very far. The best way to achieve results is to have a team of people that is dedicated and passionate about the work they do. While many people start off this way when they are hired, if you don’t take time to show your appreciation, their passion can wane.
This is why it’s important to celebrate employee milestones. So, whether it’s an anniversary or your employee recently achieved something like their first big sale, take some time out of the day to congratulate them. This will not only make your employee happier but have an impact on everyone else in your business, which will pay off big dividends as time goes by.