Trends in Employee Appreciation

by Allan Peretz

You simply can't afford to let your employee appreciation program run out of fuel if you want to be successful.  To help you motivate and keep your best employees, here are the trends to watch this year.

Trends in Employee Appreciation

1. Closing The Time Gap

Events like annual awards lunches aren't likely to disappear however they are becoming less and less important as waiting up to a year for recognition and rewards is no longer appealing to most employees. Generation Y and Millennial employees like instant recognition. It can be a simple verbal thank you or small gift. Either way, showing immediate recognition can boost morale and productivity.

2. Group Experiences

Delivering unique employee experiences is gaining as a way to reward your staff. When it comes to rewards, experiences are more memorable than merchandise.  For teams, group experiences such excursions to popular concerts and events are a popular choice. Special catered meals are also good alternatives - do you know what kind of cuisine your team likes?

3. Personal Experiences

Showing appreciation for individual employees with personal experiences remains a strong option. Experiences such as spa treatments or special dinners do more than show appreciation, they show that you care about the total employee. Like group experiences, they are memorable and might even lead to your employee sharing THEIR appreciation on social media.

Another kind of experience you can deliver is offering the employee the chance to try something new. Does someone on your Accounting staff have a creative flair? How about letting them work with the Design team for a week?

4. Diversification of Programs

There are different kinds of work and accomplishments in any company and because of this, employers are adding new ways to deliver recognition. Scope, risk, and duration of work are not uniform across functions and projects. That's why you want an employee appreciation program with a range of rewards.  For example, rewards for daily service targets should be low-cost and immediate. But achievements with a direct, positive impact on profits would warrant complex rewards.

5. Visible Performance Management

Gen Y and Millennial employees aren't keen on annual reviews as the only performance management tool. They prefer continuous and visible performance management . Integrating performance management systems and rewards and recognition platforms makes that easy.

6. Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Increasingly, employers are using web-based systems to enable employees to recognize each other. One popular and growing alternative is YouEarnedIt ( ). This points based system allows for rewards to be delivered in a variety of ways, both physically and digitally.

7. Mentorship

The trend to consider mentorship a way to appreciate employees is growing. Great for new and long-tenured employees alike, mentorship shows deep appreciation. It also reflects a commitment to professional development. In turn, that builds engagement.

Which Employee Appreciation Trends Will You Put In Place?

Don't underestimate the value of showing appreciation for your employees. Appreciation fosters confidence, loyalty, teamwork, creativity , innovation, and reliability.  How will you boost your employee appreciation program? Tell us by leaving a comment below.