Would you give yourself a gold star for your staff recognition efforts? If so, hooray! Odds are, though, there are more ways to thank your staff than you’re doing now.
Did you know that feeling appreciated is the biggest driver of happiness for accounting professionals? You can read about that in Robert Half's first-of-its-kind study, IT'S TIME WE ALL WORK HAPPY.®
A recent Accountemps survey shows 64 percent of accounting and finance professionals are happy with their supervisors, but almost a third of the respondents said they could use some more recognition.
Download The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees report.
If you can count on one hand the number of times you’ve endeavored to thank your staff this year, you might be in need of an employee appreciation primer. The main thing is to show gratitude for a job well done and announce accomplishments to boost morale.
Check out the 12 tips we’ve compiled to help you give your recognition efforts a boost.
1. Make it timely
Don’t wait to thank your staff members until they go above and beyond the call of duty. Express your gratitude in person or with a hand-written note or thoughtful email. The sooner you acknowledge the achievements of those you supervise, the greater the impact.
2. Make it personal
It’s good to keep in mind that not every accounting and finance professional enjoys the public spotlight. Get to know your staff members ahead of time to determine what type of acknowledgement they'd find most satisfying.
3. Say it with food
One way to give thanks is to keep the company kitchen stocked with your staff’s favorite snacks or beverages as a daily reminder of your appreciation. Also consider hosting a thank-you lunch to honor the achievements of team members.
4. Offer monetary recognition
If your budget allows, look for opportunities to provide additional compensation through a pay increase.
Visit the Accountemps’ Salary Center, where you'll be able to adjust salaries for different accounting and finance positions in your city with the Salary Calculator, and get a copy of the Salary Guide.
5. Hand out a reward
Cash isn’t the only reward that carries weight. Businesses may want to consider employee appreciation gifts, such as vacation days, movie tickets and gift cards to coffee shops, which can show you made an extra effort.
6. Publicize achievements
A heartfelt “thank you” may be enough for smaller accomplishments, but truly outstanding performance should be acknowledged more ceremoniously.
Give your standout employees a shout-out at a staff meeting or company gathering, and feature them in department-wide emails or corporate newsletters.
7. Track accomplishments
Take note of employee achievements so you can highlight them during feedback sessions. Are your performance reviews as effective as they can be?
8. Build a culture of appreciation
Praise from colleagues is often as meaningful as a nod from a manager. Be sure to support a workplace culture that encourages members of your team to commend each other openly for a job well done.
9. Provide leadership opportunities
Another way to thank your staff members is to give them the chance to lead a meeting or training. Also asking a valued employee to mentor others sends a vote of confidence and positive recognition.
10. Offer flexibility when feasible
Flexible scheduling and occasional telecommuting can be great ways to thank your staff, if it will work for your business.
11. Give them a promotion
A job promotion or updated title can also be a powerful recognition tool. While not everyone shares the same career path, look for opportunities to amplify an employee’s stature through a title change — such as the addition of “senior” to a title.
12. Support their goals
Help them with goal setting, and consider offering reimbursement for participation in industry conferences or for subscriptions to work-related publications. You could also offer tuition assistance for courses that will help them with their jobs and subsidize the cost of exams that will help them attain professional certifications.
The way you thank your staff for good work can be a key part of an overall strategy to retain your top performers and promote good company values. Recognition efforts can help them feel invested, motivated and happy to go to work each day. And that can lead to the success of your department and company.
Just don’t do this
If you want to see how NOT to show your employee appreciation, check out our humorous Recognition Gone Wrong videos.
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Editor’s note: This post was published in 2013 and was updated recently to reflect current information.