I have recently been thinking a lot about what motivates people to do their job and if extrinsic motivation equates to higher job performance. While I am skeptical of if rewards lead to lasting achievement, I can tell you most people appreciate some type of recognition from time-to-time. With lower milk and beef prices this year, some of you may be wondering if you can provide your employees with any type of acknowledgement. I am here to tell you - YES! In fact, I would argue you should try to do some of these small things all year long, not just during this time of traditional holiday giving and thankfulness. Begin to foster a climate of gratitude, and see how great it makes everyone feel, including you.
10 low cost things you can do TODAY to show your employees your appreciation
1. Say Thank You. It seems so obvious, but when was the last time you said thank you for a job well done and provided a few sincere reasons?
2. Food. Depending on the size of your group, take them to lunch or bring doughnuts. It could be as simple as arranging a pot-luck with everyone providing a great dish for a chance to get together with their co-workers.
3. Flexibility. Think about what is going on in their life. Perhaps allowing them to come in a little late to go to a doctor’s appointment or duck-out early to catch their kid’s first pitch is all they have been wishing for.
4. Public Shout-Out. Look for an opportunity to give public praise. Maybe you have a newsletter, or farm/ranch social media account that could be tapped for this purpose. It could be as easy as inserting the compliment into a group conversation.
5. Impromptu Meeting. Schedule a meeting to do nothing but provide praise to each individual employee.
6. Swag. Give whatever your budget allows. Jackets, shirts, hats, water bottles, pens and other farm/ranch logoed items allow your employees to wear/use your company name with pride.
7. Handwritten Note. There is nothing like an old-fashioned note. Is it your employee’s birthday? Did they recently go through a difficult time? Write them a sincere note to show you are thinking about them and care.
8. Caught Doing Great Wall. Create an area or system that encourages employees to recognize their co-workers for going above and beyond.
9. Encourage Giving Back. Organize a food drive for your local pantry. Take an afternoon and help out at the 4-H small animal vaccinations clinic. It doesn’t matter what group you are helping, your community benefits and everyone feels great for the assistance they were able to provide.
2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
10. Give them an extra hand. I know your plate is full, but can you give an hour somewhere to help out on a particularly difficult project or task? Your employee will appreciate the effort you provided.