Not feeling appreciated is the number one reason why most employees leave their jobs.Gallup
This statistic makes it apparent that National Employee Appreciation Day should be practiced and/or celebrated more than just the first Friday of every March. Employees should feel appreciated and valued by your brand’s leadership team every single day.
But how exactly can you accomplish this task, and what benefits can your organization expect to receive from focusing more on employee appreciation? I’ll touch on both of these questions below.
How Employee Appreciation Benefits the Customer Experience
First, let’s jump into the “why” of employee appreciation. Why do employees need a constant reminder that they are appreciated? Why do you need to create a routine of showing your appreciation? And why does it affect your customer experience?
The answer to the first question is simple – people have an innate desire to be seen, heard and valued. These desires are satisfied in the workplace when employees know they are appreciated by their superiors. In fact, 37% of employees believe that the simple act of being recognized is the most important method of supporting their efforts to be successful in their jobs (Octanner).
This leads us to answer the second “why”: Why do you need to create a routine of showing your appreciation? By empowering employees through recognition and encouraging them to continue performing well, you can create brand advocates that will remain loyal to your company for years to come. When you have your employees on your side, strengthening your brand name and what it stands for, all of a sudden your employees will enjoy serving customers more, creating a welcoming atmosphere and suggestive selling and/or upselling your products to customers.
In response, customers will become more satisfied and loyal to your brand as they enjoy a more positive and warm experience every time they interact with your employees and brand as a whole. This answers the third and final “why” – Why does employee appreciation affect your customer experience?
Just like in any workplace, employees’ attitudes are going to reflect in their work and in the lives of those around them. The more appreciated and valued your employees feel, the more engaged they will become in their work and the more positive of an attitude they will have towards customers.
As a matter of fact, a recent survey concluded that organizations with more than 50% employee engagement retain more than 80% of their customers. Can your brand afford to ignore such a strong correlation between employee engagement and customer loyalty? If the answer is no, email us to continue the conversation, or continue reading for ideas to show employee appreciation and help increase engagement.
Simple Solutions to Show Employees Appreciation
Now that you know why employee appreciation is essential to the success of your organization, here are five simple ways to live it out.
1. Share your expectations.
Employees will never be able to meet unspoken and unclear expectations, so set your team up for success with a clear company mission and vision statement. Individuals will appreciate knowing what your company stands for, what goals your brand is trying to accomplish and actionable steps they can take to achieve them. Employees will also feel appreciated when they know your company’s bottom line aligns with their values and is only able to be accomplished with their hard work.
2. Communicate with your team often.
One of the simplest and clearest ways to make employees feel appreciated is to tell them! Communicating with your employees on a regular basis, whether in person, over the phone or via email, helps employees feel acknowledged and offers them direction on their day-to-day tasks. What are they doing well? Where can they improve? What potential do you see in them? Having routine communication strengthens trust and offers clarity into what is expected of your employees and whether or not they are meeting those expectations.
3. Respond to feedback.
Remember communication is a two-way street. In addition to reaching out to your employees, be sure to ask for feedback, or let them know that the door is open for them to voice their opinions, creatives ideas or any potential recommendations. By listening – and appropriately responding to – feedback, your employees will feel appreciated. Their loyalty with your brand will only continue to grow the more they feel like their opinions are taken seriously and are used to improve the company.
To many employees, it means more to receive a sincere thank you than to receive a materialistic reward…enjoying feelings of satisfaction and happiness from the compliments they receive, and the camaraderie that develops as the result of being appreciated.Psychology Today
4. Schedule routine reviews.
Another great way to improve employee appreciation in your organization is to schedule routine reviews. Set aside time to focus on the accomplishments and goals of each employee, whether on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. In doing so, you can make your team feel valued when you shed light into how their specific tasks and accomplishments are improving the company as a whole and helping the organization reach its goals, while also personally voicing the great work they have provided and thanking them for their dedication to the team.
5. Call out and reward great work.
When you see employees exceeding expectations and supporting the team in various ways (i.e., helping other peers, going above and beyond certain task requirements or taking on additional tasks to help a project move forward), call it out publicly. Reward the employee by highlighting him/her in your company e-newsletter, taking the individual out to lunch or offering an extra day of vacation or a work-from-home day.
Once employees see that great performance is recognized and appreciated, individuals will be more motivated to work harder and become more loyal to your brand.
Companies with recognition programs that engage workers enjoy a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate.Bersin by Deloitte
People have a natural desire to feel seen, heard and valued. Because of this, Employee Appreciation Day shouldn’t be just one day a year – it should be practiced every day! It is essential for brands to understand their employees’ needs to help them know they are a valuable asset to the company.
When employees feel appreciated and valued, engagement will rise, as well as attitudes and performance. In return, engaged employees provide customers with a better overall experience, helping brands improve customer loyalty.
This means that companies can’t afford to miss out on opportunities to show employees they are appreciated. The good news is that employee appreciation doesn’t have to be hard! A few examples include: make your expectations known, communicate clearly and often, respond to employee feedback appropriately, schedule routine reviews and call out and reward great work.
When you put these simple steps into practice, your employees will become brand advocates that are loyal to your brand and ready to serve customers to the best of their abilities.
Ready to get started?
If you’re ready to show employees your appreciation and help increase engagement as well as improve the customer experience in your brand as a whole, let’s continue the conversation. SeeLevel HX’s mystery shopping database can evaluate employee performance to support your efforts in rewarding great work.