Many studies have shown while receiving a raise or bonus is nice, employees actually value appreciation and are more motivated by bosses who tell their staff when they’re doing a great job. There are also clear links between employee appreciation and its impact on employee engagement and productivity.

And whether it’s our own experience or a friend’s or family member’s, we all know what happens when there’s a clear lack of recognition at the workplace – we tend to leave those roles and employers for opportunities where we feel appreciated.

So how can you appreciate your staff in your daily work?

Employees who are happy at work will take on more responsibility and perform better. According to a recent study by Glassdoor, a website that reviews companies, 80 per cent of all office workers are motivated to work harder when they feel appreciated. They also said they’d be more likely to stay longer at the company.

There is still a lot that can be improved on this point. The study results of the research centre Gallup revealed almost two thirds of the employees don’t feel appreciated.

Here are some of the things top employers do well:

Tend to their taste buds

Any good boss who wants to show the staff a little yearly appreciation could perhaps take the team to breakfast, lunch or even bring in a handful of snacks for them to enjoy throughout the day. A well-fuelled team will definitely feel the appreciation as they’re biting on their croissant and hot morning coffee.

Initiate an office party

If feeding your team isn’t your idea of appreciation, balloons might be a better alternative. And lots of them. Throwing an office party or after work get together can loosen up the team after a long day arched over their keyboard.

The power of time

You could even take the appreciation one step further and allow staff to start an hour late the next day or even give them a half-day off. Throw it at them when they least expect it, for optimum appreciation. After all, who doesn’t love being told they can now go home and get directly into bed? Watch out, you’re almost the best boss ever.

Plan a team event

Perhaps a more relevant option would be to organise a sports day or a team building exercise – something that takes them away from the office. A little competition amongst people is never a bad thing. Consider a quiz if people don’t warm to your sports idea, or perhaps there’s a charitable cause you can volunteer for as they make great team building exercises.

Rewards

Many companies, including ours, offer certain perks and benefits for working. Some companies might offer lunch tickets or a gym membership. But, while these rewards might go a little way in retaining an employee after a while, it’s important to recognise they do differ from appreciation. Rewards that are a part of the job have less of an impact than sprinkling appreciation sparingly.

Having a good manager who knows when to praise accordingly can help keep a team motivated. And this is where the difference lies. The rewards and perks of your job might not necessarily motivate your team, but a lunch or after work drinks here and there will definitely go far in ensuring that your team stays happy, motivated and content.

RELATED: 5 ways you’re killing employee engagement

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