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10 Creative Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

The topic of employee appreciation has become a hot topic in the past week or so, with a particular focus on the psychological impacts of a negative workplace. With this in mind, we’ve created 10 simple ways businesses can show their team how grateful they are for all their tireless hard work, particularly when faced with the challenges posed by the current global pandemic.

1. Host a Happy Hour

Show employees you care by giving them time out on a Friday to spend bonding with each other. This will help reinforce a sense of belonging in the team that many members may feel they’ve lost during this pandemic. You could even introduce some fun online games to play together during this hour. For example, the Virgin Incentives team take part in online quizzes which allows everyone to connect to each other on a more personal level and relax in a casual setting.

2. Build Traditions

Workers can lose sight of goals very easily so it’s important to keep things in perspective by celebrating even the smallest wins. Ringing a bell when a sales team make a sale is a common tradition. This reminds everyone that every sale is a win and congratulates the employee who made the sale in a public way. However, it is important for businesses to be mindful of equal treatment so ensure other teams like marketing, finance, customer service can also ring a bell, or carry out a tradition, when they too succeed in making a project go live.

3. Olympic Game Challenges

If you want to organise a fun team challenge, you could take inspiration from the Olympic games. Bring global teams together by organising fun events such as ‘hand judo’ and ‘running for your country’ – brand ambassadors can be chosen to represent their country and people can come together via video to participate. By organising days like this, you’re showing an understanding that there’s more to life than just work.

4. Give Employees a Voice in Your Team

Many employees to be heard and listened to through daily interactions. Distribute a survey that will allow employees to share their genuine opinions and express their unique ideas, without fear of repercussions or negative feedback. Acting on concerns raised from the survey will go a long way to show that their opinions matter and that HR leaders are happy to introduce new practices which benefit all employees.

5. Organise a Team Lunch

A simple, yet meaningful way to appreciate employees’ is to organise a team lunch - or an evening dinner. If your company has a peak period where teams often have to put pedal to metal in terms of effort, take them out on a company paid lunch to show how much you appreciate all their hard work. You could also bring in some afternoon snacks to give them a little boost to get through the rest of the day.

6. Send People a Shout-out

It may sound small but a thank you can be incredibly meaningful. Receiving a heartfelt message can positively impact your employees in ways you can’t imagine. As an example, Virgin Incentives uses PeopleHR – this enables colleagues to give recognition badges to other team members. These badges have ranged from recognising people for helping on particular work projects to even thanking people for simply being a ray of sunshine in a difficult time.

7. Encourage Some Self-care

Protecting the wellness of employees has never been more important. Give employees a pamper gift set they can enjoy in the comfort of their own home or even send them on a spa day or wellness retreat. This act will give the unique opportunity to refuel and rejuvenate which many people often forget to do for themselves. A self-care package demonstrates a certain level of respect and consideration of employees’ wellbeing – after all, a healthy body will form a healthy mind, which will drive business success.

8. Create Office Comforts

With many teams returning to their recently reopened offices, many may miss the home comforts of remote working they grew accustomed to. Help facilitate the transition back to the office life by upgrading their workspace. Do your employees need comfier chairs or maybe more desk space? By creating a more comfortable working environment, you’re also simultaneously creating a warming ambience for the office and your team.

9. Treat People to a Gift Card

Gift cards are one of the most popular ways to give staff a little boost and thank them for all their hard work. Leisure Voucher Gift Cards are great for all employees, as they are redeemable at over 5,000 locations nationwide. They can look forward to putting them towards a whole host of everyday brands such as Premier Inn, Away Resorts, Pizza Express, Harvester, Laithwaite's Wine, Halfords, TGI Friday's, American Golf and many more fantastic brands. The benefit of gifting a voucher is recognising that one size does not fit all, and employees ultimately value the flexibility in choosing their reward.

10. Gift Employees a New Experience

A really fun and simple way to say thank you is with a Virgin Experience Day. Memories say more than cash ever can and after a year many have spent apart from their loved ones, businesses who recognise this and give the chance for their workers to spend quality time with their friends and family will reflect positively on their company. With over 3,000 experiences, there’s something to suit just about every type of person. From online cooking classes to arts and crafts sessions, and tutored gin tastings, there’s a fun experience to recognise and thank every employee. Here’s a link to May’s most popular experiences for some gifting inspiration!

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