We’re all distracted by flashy things.
Oceanfront views. A holiday in Paris. Exclusive access to an Apple product before it hits the market. Short-term privileges in the workplace never cease to be tempting, despite how little they affect our long-term happiness.
But wouldn’t you rather have a positive day-to-day experience working for a company that motivates you, over working, uncommitted and aimless, toward an annual two-week holiday?
Many companies forget that their employees need long-term reasons to want to come to work every day. It’s assumed that — like trading cards — once you’ve acquired top talent, they’re yours forever.
Employees need long-term reasons to want to come to work every day.
A shiny ring and occasional dinner out isn’t enough to sustain a relationship, right? Companies must offer daily gestures of appreciation to improve Communication — with a capital C — and boost positivity within their team.
Here are a few simple tips on how to delight employees in the workplace.
1. Get a Victory Gong
It’s loud; it’s a bit gaudy. But you know what? Every employee and team should feel acknowledged for the great work they’ve done.
Keep it in a communal space in the office. Ring it when an employee or team closes a sale, forges a new partnership, or releases a new product. A gong is the perfect way to gather your team to celebrate one person’s accomplishment as the team’s victory.
A whopping 76% of America’s workforce straddles the line between feeling committed to the companies they work for and feeling indifferent to them. Tip the scale toward the former by creating a positive sense of community. Celebrate as a team.
2. Pay It Forward on Your Unbirthday
In a perfect world, every employee would receive a personalized present and card (signed by everyone) on their birthday. In reality, this just isn’t possible.
Instead, have the employee whose birthday was celebrated last be responsible for purchasing a gift for the next employee’s birthday. This way, everyone will receive a personalized gift on their birthday, and it’ll encourage employees to learn more about one another, establishing closer ties within the company. Simple, right? You can begin implementing this immediately.
3. Announce Office Visitors
Have you ever strolled into the kitchen, poured yourself coffee, and realized there was a stranger standing next to you? You’ve never seen her before, so you smile awkwardly, say hello, and walk away, only to learn that she was a rep from one of your company’s largest clients. Don’t you wish you had walked in with a little more context?
A company-wide online chat group or a “Visitors” calendar devoted to announcing visitors is the easiest way to keep employees in the loop. Plus, it allows your team to put on their game faces depending on who the visitor is. Simple notes like, “Enterprise candidate Mark is interviewing at 11am” is enough to ensure that if an employee bumps into Mark in the hallway, she can address him by name and introduce herself. How’s that for an awesome and attractive company culture?
4. Make Handwritten Notes for Employees
The next time you notice an employee going above and beyond for a project, walk over and place a handwritten note of acknowledgment on their desk.
Notes are memorable, personal, and convey a sense of sincerity. This tiny gesture will help your employees feel appreciated and motivated to continue producing great work.
Your company's small quirks, traditions, and vision are what make the office a fun place to work every day. Don't forget the little things.
5. Create Personalized Welcome Packages for Newbies
So, you’ve welcomed a new employee to the team. They’ve spent the last month in interviews trying to impress you, so now it’s your turn to prove that they made the right choice by joining your company.
A good way to start: have a welcome package waiting on their desk when they arrive for their first day of work. The contents don’t have to be complicated — just personalized enough to make them feel welcomed right away. Below are three suggestions for items to include:
Pass it around the office for existing employees — at all levels — to sign.
Print a simple label including a short message like, “Welcome to the team, Matt!” and place it on their desk. It’ll help the new hire feel more immediate ownership of their workspace.
Think back on their job interview. Did they mention a particular food they liked, or a television show they’re hooked on watching? Make the gift simple and personal. That’s all it takes to make it delightful.
Plant little seeds of positivity. Your employees will do the rest.