Showing an individual in your employ that you care about them is a simple matter, yet, it’s not necessarily the course of action that you want to take. Why? Well, a lot of employers find that promoting individual effort instead of teamwork creates a perfect atmosphere for backstabbing and in-office rivalries. This alone is why assuming a tad more egalitarian approach might turn out to be quite effective. With that in mind and without further ado, here are five ways you can show appreciation for your team.
1. Get a non-productivity-related appliance for your team
The first thing you need to understand is the fact that your team doesn’t necessarily care about the amount of money that the new machine you’re investing in is going to save you. Even if it’s the item that’s supposed to save their labour as well, they’ll see it as something you’re doing to maximize your profits (let’s face it, this is probably true). In order to break this mindset around the office, every once in a while you should invest in something that’s non-productivity-related. We’re talking about a new office coffee machine, a sofa for the break room, or a similar item. Admittedly, coffee is proven to boost productivity, but your team will perceive this purchase as an act of appreciation.
2. A lot of teambuilding exercises are incredibly fun
While it’s clear that teambuilding is something that’s done to improve your company’s internal communication and organization, the majority of teambuilding exercises are incredibly fun. For instance, taking your staff for a paintball session might be something to help improve the internal unity but it’s also something that will let them blow off some steam, improve their tactical abilities and just have fun. This is also where you can see which of your team members would make great leaders and which of them perform best under pressure.
3. A gift instead of a raise or a bonus
We’re not necessarily suggesting that giving one a raise is a bad thing; however, giving a raise to your entire staff is simply preposterous. First of all, it means giving a raise even to people who don’t work as hard as others, which might make the real hard workers doubt whether their effort has any point to begin with. While bonuses create a smaller negative effect (in this sense), they’re also less than perfect. Corporate gifts, on the other hand, are something else entirely. By distributing gift cards equally amongst your team, you’ll send a message of corporate culture that cares about their employees.
4. Give them the freedom to make decisions
As long as you micro-manage your team, there’s only one message that you’ll be sending to your employees – the one about your lack of trust in their abilities. Therefore, give your team the freedom to make their own decisions and don’t get outraged when they make mistakes (and they will). You see, by delegating tasks, you’ll reduce the overall amount of workload that you alone will have to deal with. In time, your team members will get more proficient at this, which means that, in the end, everyone wins. Nonetheless, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, which is something that you need to prepare yourself for.
5. Celebrate the company anniversary
It’s great if you start the initiative to commemorate people’s individual work anniversaries and birthdays. Still, celebrating the company anniversary is a real opportunity to shine. First of all, this date should be all about your staff. Make them a collective hero of your story and show your employees that without them this company just wouldn’t be the same. Generic phrases which state that the employee X is an invaluable member of the team aren’t really that meaningful for the majority of people. However, what if you were to show this appreciation instead of trying to verbalize it? A corporate party could do just that.
At the end of the day, there are many other methods for you to try out like distributing trophies, writing thank-you notes and starting a mentor system. However, the reason why we’ve decided to separate the above-listed five is that they’re rewards for the whole team, not just individuals in your employ. This can help you develop the corporate culture you’ve always needed.