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Best Employee Appreciation Ideas That Work in 2021

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Teamo Team

Numerous studies and surveys have shown that feeling valued and appreciated is one of the most important factor in determining in whether an employee would stay with a company. When recognized, employees feel more motivated, happier and work better. The benefits of employee appreciation are far-reaching.

We all know the importance of employee recognition and appreciation - let's dive into some great employee appreciation ideas!

1. Recognize birthdays & work anniversaries

Celebrating personal milestones such as birthdays and work anniversaries are great opportunities to make an employee feel valued. Besides, birthdays and work anniversaries are a natural time for employees to take stock and consider their futures - an unsurprising study by Harvard Business school revealed that the reflection that occurs around these milestones is particularly crucial in whether employees make moves in their career.  

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t suggest Teamo (https://teamocard.com) as a great way celebrate your folks. Teamo allows coworkers to recognize an employee's work anniversary or birthday with an online group card that's easy for everyone to sign and add messages, photos, GIFs or videos. It makes for a meaningful gift for an important milestone to be kept. If your team is remote, Teamo would provide a great way to bring everyone together.

2. Shoutouts (highlight contributions)

Who doesn't get a boost of pride when they get a shout out for their hard work? Make it a point to highlight each employee's contribution, through team meetings or a team newsletters. Contributions can also include exemplary acts, such as mentoring juniors and being helpful to team members.

Having fun at work is also important - it helps forge more personal connections with coworkers. Taking a moment to publicly recognize employees’ non-work achievements can make a big difference in how employees relate to each other and ultimately the job.

3. Mentoring and Learning Opportunities

Highlight opportunities for employees to learn and grow in the workplace. Many employees choose to stay in their workplace as they believe that there is still room for them to learn from others and grow professionally. A good way to formalize learning would be to set up a mentoring program in your team, and providing some materials to help the mentor and mentee in their mentoring relationship.

Even if employees are remote or part-time, setting them up with more senior mentors can make them feel connected and encourage learning from both ends.

You can also encourage your employees to take an hour or two off every week where they are free to learn whatever they are interested in. Showing your team that their ongoing growth and development is a priority can make a big difference in ensuring your employee appreciation efforts are successful.

4. Food as a perk

There's nothing like food that brings people together. Bring some pizza into the office every once in a while and everyone gets very, very excited.

For remote teams, don't fret. Offer Uber Eats or other gift cards to eat at a local restaurants where they live also work.

5. Holiday gifts and perks

Make holidays a little more joyous for your employees!

If you are a small team, the key is to get each employee a gift personalized to their interests or liking as opposed to a perfunctory gift.  It’s not so much about the gift itself, but that you know an employee well enough to understand what they care about.

For larger teams and companies, employees would definitely enjoy gift cards or a variety of gift options.

There are tons of great employee gift guides out there that you can refer to!

6. Respect remote employees

Remote work is becoming the norm, especially after COVID-19. If there are some employees in your team who are remote and some are in-office, give more flexibility to the remote employees in terms of work hours. The more you can move toward an output driven culture, the happier many of employees will be.

7. Help with the Commute

If your employees work in the office, commute could be rough for some employees, especially in expensive cities where people may travel multiple hours to get to the office.

Provide help with the commute, for e.g. expensing the cost of public transportation, offering carpools, or even setting up a “work from home Thursdays.” 

Truth be told, employees would love it.   

8. Employee Wellness Programs

Want employees to feel appreciated? Show them that their health is your priority.

Among employers who offered wellness programs of some sort, more than 50% saw a decrease in absenteeism and two-thirds reported increased productivity.

Some ideas include subsidizing gym membership, organizing office yoga sessions, and offering therapy sessions.

That's it! Let us know if you have any other suggestions or ideas, or if these work for you!

Teamo’s a platform to celebrate work occasions and keep your team engaged with social and lively group e-cards. Build more authentic workplace connections with a teamo card! 🙌 Visit us here: https://teamocard.com/


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