5 Employee Appreciation Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank

The Great Resignation of 2021 has led to what some are calling the War for Talent. Employers are battling to attract and retain quality workers. Making your employees feel valued has always been important for success. But in this environment, it is more crucial than ever before. Yet budgets may be lean in the wake of the pandemic.

As we say goodbye to 2021 and look ahead to 2022, here are a few ways to demonstrate employee appreciation and improve productivity without breaking the bank.

Catered Lunch

If everyone is back to working on site, why not show them how much you care by hosting a catered lunch? Options range from pizza to sushi, as most cities and bigger towns are packed with restaurants now offering delivery. Consider allowing employees to vote on the type of food they want, and be sure to offer a vegetarian or vegan option.

Handwritten Thank You Note

Sometimes the most meaningful gifts don’t cost a dime. If one of your employees does something above and beyond the call of duty, you’ll likely want to make a public announcement. But consider backing that up with a personal note of thanks, written by hand on some nice stationery. In today’s world of email and texting, a handwritten note truly feels like it comes from the heart.

Half-Day Off

Naturally, you’re eager to bring production fully back online after the craziness of the pandemic. And your workers understand this. That’s why giving a half-day off for a job well done can be particularly meaningful right now. If you’re wrapping up a big project and everyone is feeling tired and burned out, announce that you’re closing the doors on Friday afternoon. Your employees will feel like their contributions really mean something, and they’ll be back to work on Monday with a whole new outlook.

Team Building Activities

For a more ongoing way to show your appreciation to your employees, consider implementing one or more team Building activities. You could do scavenger hunts around the building once a month, go offsite for escape rooms or other activities, or even start an optional afternoon softball team. These teambuilding activities can help workers feel more engaged and more loyal to the company, while helping them form relationships that can boost productivity.

Impromptu Announcements

Gathering everyone up in the bullpen or the shop or warehouse floor for some impromptu employee recognition is a great motivator. These quick gatherings give you the opportunity to recognize minor achievements or milestones….production, volume, birthdays, promotions, or to take time to recognize veterans.

Seeking Feedback

Ultimately, workers want to be heard. They want to know that you care about what they have to say. One of the best ways to show employee appreciation is simply to listen. Set up a feedback system in which you actively solicit their opinions on a regular basis. Then act on the feedback whenever possible.


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