It is easy to brush off a “thank you” or disregard an appreciative word, but there is something about the human condition that causes us to seek recognition. We value when people make us feel that our work matters, and that they see the hard work we have contributed. March 2nd is Employee Appreciation Day, and while this is a great day for employers to show their workers gratitude for their efforts, employee appreciation is something that should happen throughout the year. According to Psychometrics, when employees were asked what leaders at their organizations could do to improve engagement, 58 percent replied: “give recognition.” Showing appreciation is not only the right thing to do; it can increase engagement which in turn can cause an uptick in productivity. Below are five ways that dealers can show their employees how much they care even beyond March 2nd.
Use social media to shout out exemplary work – In a world where social media is taking center stage in the lives of all employees, highlighting their work on social platforms is a great step. This is especially appropriate for an employee who has created an idea that makes dealership processes easier. In addition to this, the employee can be featured in a blog post that highlights their work and contribution. This act not only acknowledges their work but creates an opportunity to show consumers the dealership appreciates their employees and values creativity.
Allow ambitious employees the chance to create new ideas – There are many ways to show appreciation that are not traditional. Employees can be rewarded with autonomy and trust. Some companies have a day set aside during the week where workers can spend all or part of the day collaborating with others to improve on a process. This enables them to have the freedom to work on something that could better their work experience and benefit the company as a whole.
Take care of lunch or dinner – Paying for a meal can be a considerable expense for employees. That’s why it is such a big deal when companies can take care of lunch (or dinner if workers need to work late) as often as they can. Some companies cater lunch on Fridays or provide breakfast a couple of times a week. This coupled with a “thank you for all you do” note can go a long way in making workers feel they are not just a number, but a valued employee.
Establish flexible scheduling options – With the cost of transportation rising and the increase of commutes, getting to work can be stressful and expensive. While everyone might not benefit from this arrangement, it is helpful for dealers to acknowledge the work of their employees by allowing flexibility in work schedules. From remote work to a shorter workday on Fridays, there are many options for managers to enable workers to have more flexibility in how they work. Again, this depends on the position and the work history of every employee, but if workers are consistently exemplifying organizational values, then it is helpful to see where the dealership can provide scheduling flexibility.
Create a spotlight system – Employers can easily miss out on all the projects or situations employees tackle on a daily basis. This is why it is beneficial to have an employee recognition program where peers can spotlight others for the work they do. Employees can be spotlighted for exemplifying values of the dealership, helping a co-worker, or showing quality customer service. Awardees can then pick their reward from options like a free lunch, gift card, or vacation time.
There are numerous ways to say, “thank you” for a job well done. The challenge many employers face is to remember to create ways to show appreciation outside of days like March 2nd. While Employee Appreciation Day should be acknowledged, dealers can flip the script by using it as a kick-off for year-round employee appreciation initiatives they do not already have in place.