March 5th is Employee Appreciation Day! If you’ve hired anyone, whether it’s a gig worker, contract worker, or a more permanent employee, you know how important their roles are in the running of your business.
As you may have heard, business is all about relationships. The relationship between you and who you hire is important. A satisfied, appreciated, and fulfilled worker will be much more productive than someone who feels unappreciated and burned out.
So for this Employee Appreciation Day, we’re going to give you ideas to make the people who work for you love working for you.
Employee Incentive Program Ideas
There are a number of things you can implement that vary in cost that will make a world of difference for your employee, contractor, or gig worker. In return, you’ll have better productivity and you’ll bring in more money.
Show Your Appreciation
When the person you’ve hired produces great work, let them know. You can say “thank you” verbally or you can do it by giving them small gifts. You can use your network connections to get them a gift card, you can write them a personalized card. The more personal the gift, the better it will be.
1. Have an Employee of the Month
Whoever is producing the best results should be awarded as well. You can reward good work and improvement. However, there will be an employee that shines brighter than the rest for the month, make sure they know that and feel appreciated. You can reward them with a cash incentive, a gift basket or anything that makes sense for your situation. We understand some of you have employees you’ve never met in person, in totally different countries so you’ll have to creative. Your international workers may appreciate an Amazon Gift Card or something like that.
2. Give Them Some Benefits!
If you can provide healthcare, a pension plan or any other traditional benefit then do it. Naturally, this works better for small business owners with employees based in the US or the same country as they do.
3. Pay them
When we say pay them, we mean on time, regularly and properly. People have bills due at the end of the month. If your agreement says you’ll pay them once monthly, then do that. Being constantly late with payment can hurt your employees in so many ways. If you’re having a problem paying them on time, make sure you’re upfront with that so they can make a decision.
You should also pay them a wage that makes sense, if you can’t then you need to work on the business or apply for some grants. If you have a registered business in the US then consider applying for the Payment Protection Program. The Payment Protection Program is not the only way you can get money for your business, there are tons of grants. Applying for a grant doesn’t mean you’ll get it but if you know how to create a strong grant application. Get The Winning Grant Application Cheat Sheet & Checklist and get more money for your business.
4. Offer good workers a testimonial
If you hire contractors then they would really appreciate it if you could give them a testimonial they can use. They’ll definitely appreciate it and can help them take their business to the next level. Establishing a great relationship like that means they can speak positively about you and your business in their circles.
5. Make sure you allow them breaks
An overworked employee is not good for their mental health or yours. Let your employees know how to go about getting breaks. Some may feel too afraid to ask beforehand because they don’t want to lose their job. That’s why it’s best to just let them know how to go about it. You also have to understand your employees are people with their own lives and things may come up from time to time. Allow them space, to be honest, and comfortable coming to you.
6. Celebrate their birthday
Some people don’t celebrate their birthdays for religious reasons or otherwise and that’s fine. If your gig worker, contractor, or employee does celebrate their birthday then do something special. You could send them a personalized birthday card, a gift card, a gift, anything that makes sense for you both.
How Not to Treat Your Employees
You can provide some benefits for your employee but you’re treating them terribly, then you’re going to have a problem. Here are some ways not to treat your employees.
1.Don’t forget your manners
The people who work with you and for you are human beings first. Say please and thank you. Don’t speak to them disrespectfully. A good rule of thumb is to treat people in a way that you’d like to be treated.
2. Don’t be unreasonable
Don’t expect people to put in 14 hour days because you put in 14 hour days into your business. Expecting your employees to do too much, especially out of the scope of their role, is not a great idea. It’s not sustainable and burned out employee is bad for business and themselves. If you’re unsure if you’re being unreasonable it’s great to ask. Communication is key.
3.Don’t be inflexible
As said before, people have their own lives. If you’re hiring a contractor especially, they have a whole business to run too. Be sure when you set deadlines you ask for feedback on whether or not they can make it. Give them options. Being able to do this requires you to be organized as well. If you’re not on top of the list of things you need to be done then you’re going to burden people with last-minute projects they can’t fulfill. It will frustrate you and them.
People will love working for you if treat them like human beings first and workers second. The people who work for you need to feel appreciated if they’re doing a good job and be given breathing space to operate at their best. Finally don’t forget about their money. People may enjoy what they’re doing but they still need to get paid, life isn’t free. Follow these tips and reap the rewards.