The Power of Thank You: 4 Ways to Give Workplace Recognition

By Robert Half on December 8, 2014 at 8:00am

One of the top five reasons good employees resign voluntarily, a Robert Half survey points out, is a lack of workplace recognition. They simply didn't hear the two words they wanted to hear — thank you.

If you want to keep your finance team motivated and happy in their roles, it’s wise to put some of your own efforts into workplace recognition. Here are four ways you can say thank you to your top talent:

1. Just say thank you

Performance reviews aren’t your only opportunity to thank employees for a job well done. Say “thank you” whenever the words are appropriate. For example, intense projects or a chaotic round of quarterly reporting can leave your accounting and finance crew feeling drained. That’s a perfect time to let them know you appreciate their work.

2. Don’t just appreciate, compensate — if you can

Verbal appreciation goes a long way, but performance bonuses go farther. Think of it this way: The scope of employees’ duties is outlined in their job descriptions and what they are paid to do. But what if team members go well beyond that scope? Then they’re performing extra services that benefit the organization. And bonuses are recognition for that extra effort.

3. Encourage employees to recognize one another

Of course, a manager’s appreciation is important. But workplace recognition can come from colleagues too. Consider creating “thank-you” slips for your staff members to write notes of gratitude to coworkers. Expressing thanks, even for small helpful acts, can go a long way toward building a cohesive team.

4. Get creative

Why not take a step beyond notes and formal acknowledgements in staff meetings? You can thank your staff while spicing up your office culture, at the same time. For example, you could surprise your staff with pastries and a homemade banner. Or you might let employees leave an hour early on a Friday. Or even send out an e-card that turns your image into a character who sings and dances. Employees will be able to see that you put some effort into thinking of ways to say “thanks” — just as they put effort into their work.

Good managers will recognize that their ability to keep their teams motivated is a factor in their own job performance. Encourage job satisfaction — and a healthy corporate culture that increases retention — by making sure workplace recognition thrives in your office.

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