Move beyond Employee Appreciation Day, make employees feel cherished through the year
Every employee creates value in some form or another and by recognising and appreciating this, organisations can not only motivate them but also encourage them to contribute towards their larger mission.
Recognition and appreciation plays an important role in maintaining a positive work environment, engaging employees, keeping them motivated, and boosting their morale, leading to improved retention and enhanced productivity. Usually, companies organise recognition events annually when it should be an everyday experience and a continuous effort throughout the year, say industry experts.
On this Employee Appreciation Day, industry experts tell People Matters how organisations can move beyond traditional methods to make employees feel valued, sharing some of their creative and effective ways to make employees feel appreciated all through the year.
The right way to appreciate
Frontline workforce management platform BetterPlace believes in appreciation on a personal level and at the core of all of this, is the concept of "social proof".
“For high performers and team members, we call out their efforts and recognise them at Town Halls. This gives legitimacy to the efforts people have taken to drive the company’s mission. Also, the entire process of recognising the right talent instills a practice across the value chain of employees to evaluate their team members and assess the best performers,” says Mohana MD, Chief People & Culture Officer, BetterPlace.
“We recognise stellar performances through a digital appreciation card that leaders share widely and publicly. This helps us scale the process of appreciation, considering we are a fast-growing workforce.
"Additionally, the annual performance reward entails a percentage of the budget that the Founder and CEO gives to key employees who have gone above and beyond in their contributions,” she adds.
Reaching out to employees' families
An employee’s progress is not only their own but also their family’s. Considering an employee spends the majority of their time with their families, especially in a hybrid setup, a happy family converts into a happy workforce.
“Hence, we plan to send Thank you notes and memorabilia as gifts to the family for supporting the employee’s performance. This helps us create a feeling of care and oneness among employees and their families," says Mohana.
Profit sharing model
Since year one of its inception, technology and process digitisation company Innover has established a profit-sharing model where every quarter, it shares a percentage of its profit (apart from regular salary/bonus/ entitlement) with the employees.
“The Profit-sharing Programme is the most tangible way of thanking and appreciating our employees for being an integral part of the company's success,” says Rakesh Prasad, SVP – Strategy at Innover.
Emerging leaders programme
Innover has also introduced an "Emerging Leaders Programme", which recognises high-performing, high-potential, mid-management individuals and provides them with sponsored training support, mentorship opportunities with senior management, and incentives.
The company has also introduced a comprehensive education assistance policy which allows employees to maintain and improve job-related skills or enhance their ability to compete for reasonably attainable jobs within the company.
“The programme provides our employees with financial assistance to pursue their further education and job development through these courses (technology courses on various languages and platforms, degree and non-degree courses). It also allows employees to attend industry seminars or conferences for certifications, licensures and continuing education credits to maintain licenses or certifications,” adds Prasad.
The DEI route
To recognise efforts by employees, fintech firm Yubi has integrated several initiatives into DEI fabric.
The company has efficiently leveraged social media to run campaign #EpicHumansOfYubi, showcasing the humans behind employees and highlighting their talents, skills, passions, achievements, etc., beyond their work performance.
“We encourage our employees to pursue their hobbies/interests and have several internal dedicated clubs for musicians, book lovers, sports enthusiasts, and more,” says Tanya Mehan, Head of DEI and Employer Branding, Yubi,
Leveraging communication platforms, innovative workplace programmes
Mehan adds that to strategically connect with the employees across various levels, they have Slack channels that celebrate individual efforts and business wins, both small and big, aimed at instant recognition and appreciation for their employees.
Infusing enthusiasm in employees
Mili Panicker, AVP - Human Resource & People Operations at marketing automation platform WebEngage, feels that employees need to believe in a company’s mission and goals. A clear understanding of the same, coupled with trust in the organisation and the opportunities it offers, can help overcome talent wars and allow a company to grow freely without fearing undue attrition, she adds.
“This is what has helped build the culture at WebEngage and allowed us to reach the status of the most resilient B2B SaaS company in India. We have been able to achieve this through several creative initiatives that help us keep our employees engaged and ensure they feel appreciated for their contributions,” says Panicker, sharing some of these initiatives with People Matters.
Rewards and Recognition programme: One of the categories in Engagers Excellence Circle is "Peer to Peer Awards," which allows each employee to recognise, appreciate, and reward their colleagues. Engagers recognise one another's accomplishments, innovations, and humanitarian efforts.
Value Stories and our champions: WebEngage strongly encourages its team members to remain driven by its strong value system.
“To keep them motivated, we run a series of videos called Engager's story - these videos discuss how and where the person has demonstrated the core values, and we recognise and reward one story every month on different WebEngage Channels,” says Panicker,
Wall of Gratitude Channel on Slack: This space allows employees to express their gratitude and positive feelings while also fostering joy at work.
Women Sales Leaders: This is a closed group of all female sales team members and Panicker says it was formed with the intention of sharing knowledge and supporting and appreciating one another in order to advance their careers.
Celebrate your employees
To celebrate their employees and let them know how deeply intrinsic they are to the company’s collective goal, Bengaluru-based fintech firm Razorpay rolled out the Acknowledge-Recognise-Celebrate Campaign for an entire week recently, dedicated to Employee Appreciation.
Chitbhanu Nagri, Senior VP, People Operations, Razorpay shared some of the many ways in which the company acknowledged its employees.
Being cognisant of the butterfly effect, even a small gesture of appreciation at the workplace can go a long way, he says.
“We went ahead and rolled out an entire week of showing interpersonal appreciation across the organisation. Recognising fellow teammates, cheering them for all the amazing work they undertake day in and day out, and reiterating how valuable they are, goes on to foster team spirit and generates sheer belongingness at the workplace. Going above and beyond as always, Razors curated personalised emails to be sent to mates, called out good work on team calls, and shared employee appreciation stories across various internal communication channels,” he adds.
In addition to verbal and written appreciation, to further bolster oneness at the workplace, the company organised several employee engagement events throughout the week, with a pre-decided theme for each day.
“One of the much celebrated activities, ‘Pick a Card Here and Give it to a Peer’, saw rather excitement among Razors, as they had banter while exchanging cards with each other, which also had elements of their personality traits described on them, making it more engaging and wholesome. These activities not only allowed us to do our tiniest bit as a token of our appreciation, but also helped us know our Razors further and champion them as individuals.”