The National Employee Appreciation Day is just around the corner. And with this special day coming, it seems that still not so many organizations understand the real, tangible value of showing appreciation to their employees.

Appreciation may sound like a totally abstract concept, but it yields tangible results, particularly in the workplace.

Robert Half, in collaboration with Happiness Works, found out through their research with more than 23,000 workers in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the United States that there are six universal factors, including feeling appreciated, that make employees happy at work.

“Fostering positive emotions through gratitude is easy and powerful.” –Dr. Christine Carter, author of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work

So why is employee happiness important in an organization?

In general, the reason is simple: Employee happiness positively impacts the bottom line. According to Happiness Works founder Nic Marks, “It [happiness] helps us be creative, helps us seize opportunity … in the workplace, it helps us focus on our work, helps us produce more, helps us be more creative, helps us build better relationships with people… ”

Marks added that happiness at work also impacts relationships, innovation and productivity, and all these can directly impact a company’s bottom line.

If you’re thinking about taking advantage of this national celebration, here are a few ways you can show employee appreciation not on March 1, the National Employee Appreciation Day, but all year-round:

#1. Sincerely praise a job well done

Saying, “Good job!” can go a long way, especially if it’s a sincere praise. If it’s been your habit to say “good job!” every single day even if your employees seem clueless about which job they’ve done well, you might come across as insincere.

To make it sincere, make your praise as specific as possible. What was it that the employee did exactly? And why was it worth commending? Let your employee know those details. Doing so will help reinforce the what you’d like to do more of.

#2. Give significant compensation, awards or reward incentives

Who wouldn’t be happy to receive bonuses, service awards, performance rewards or a raise?

Whatever it is that you decide to give, just make sure they find it significant. Having clarity on how the incentives like these were arrived at will further boost the employees’ confidence and performance.

#3. Give them gift cards or vouchers to their favorite stores or services

It doesn’t have to cost much. The important thing here is that they can decide what exactly to buy from their favored stores or when they would spend the vouchers for their favored service.

#4. Bake some cookies and take them to the office to share with the team

The fact that you exerted extra efforts to bake the cookies to share with them is a big plus!

This will make them feel appreciated, and at the same time, they will appreciate your efforts for them. Any efforts that show personalization will be a great success in making your employees feel valued and appreciated.

#5. Gift them with promotional products or branded merchandise

It’s win-win solution that will make genuine appreciation really work for your company. By giving away promotional products, you get to express gratitude to your employees, and at the same time, they get to increase your company’s brand awareness every time they use your promo products.

As a bonus, you get to further increase employee satisfaction if you give them a chance to choose which promo products they want to own. This is absolutely possible with an online company store that you can use for company-wide gifting.

Conclusion

You don’t need a huge budget to show appreciation to your employees. A simple ‘thank you’ or a small item could go a long way as long as you consistently and sincerely praise and recognize their efforts and highlight the value they bring to the team.

Remember, employees who feel recognized are not only happier and more productive, they also stick around!