“You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.”
So why do so many people feel unhappy, undervalued and unappreciated at work?
And how can we, as employers (and even employees) help to boost morale, recognition and overall atmosphere in our workplace?
You can show appreciation and gratitude in so many different ways - some more fun than others... enjoy!
Food and drink
1. Call in the ice-cream van.
On a warm day, have a word with the local ice cream vendor and see if they’ll stop outside your offices (most will) – obviously cover the costs.
2. Cake club. Who doesn’t love cake? Pick a “down” day (like a Monday) and cheer the office up with a few sweet treats.
3. Office “Come Dine with Me.” One member of staff feeds the office each Friday. It’s up to you whether you want to fuel competition by marking each chef out of ten.
4. Free fruit. This little perk is highly praised and helps encourages people to stay fit and healthy.
5. Bubbles. Simple, yet effective, champagne is a great way to say ‘congrats’ and ‘thank you.’
6. Booze Fridays. If you’re in an industry that’s notoriously slow on a Friday afternoon, why not take your employees out for a drink? Or keep a booze fridge on site so they can sip on a bevvy as they round off the week?
7. Breakfast club. It can be difficult to squeeze in a quick brekkie before commuting to work, but help your staff start their day right by providing toast, cereals, fruit and even crumpets, each morning.
8. Pizza O’clock. Want to treat your staff to a nice meal, but can’t afford to take them all out for a slap-up meal? Why not order pizza to the office? You can get all sorts of deals, these days!
9. Good coffee. Ditch the instant and buy in a good coffee machine. The caffeine junkies in the office will absolutely love you for it (and watch productivity soar)!
10. A birthday cake. Everyone deserves a birthday cake on their birthday – you can even sing happy birthday if you like.
11. Film day. For example, from whatever time you hit target on Friday, we’ll have a Star Wars marathon until close of play. (You could even dress up…)
12. Bring your pet to work day. Puppies and kittens and all our furry little friends actually boost happiness and productivity, so this one’s a win, win!
13. Boss for the day. The chosen staff member will get your office, your managerial perks (EG. parking space, massages, lunch on the company) and your authority…
14. Fancy dress day. This could go down very well, or very badly depending on who you’ve got in your office (you’ll be able to tell by how many bother to go all-out for Halloween).
15. Voluntary day. You could arrange to take the team out of the office for the day to do some kind of voluntary work for a good cause. You’ll be doing something worthwhile and everyone will feel great for it.
16. Sun leave. Offer one opportunity to leave work early if the weather changes and it’s suddenly really sunny (it’s England – we need to grab these chances when they arise).
17. Duvet Day. Offer one opportunity to call in ‘sick’ and have either the morning or entire day off, after a big night out. (This does help to cut down the so-called “sickies.”)
18. Pyjama Day. Who wouldn’t want to rock up in their comfies and slippers instead of suit and tie for the day?
19. [Employee Name] Day. A full day devoted to the employee of choice - including a standing ovation as they walk into the room and as many brews as they would like (made by other people).
Little Quirky Gifts
20. A big, comical mug. For the ultimate caffeine addict in the office.
21. A desk organiser. For the staff member who works hard, gets the job done but has the most chaotic desk you’ve ever seen in your life.
22. A book. Comical or serious, a book is a good, appropriate gift for anyone.
23. A voucher. Snooooooore… ok it’s a bit boring, but your staff will still appreciate it!
24. Stationery. There’s just something about a fresh batch of (jazzy) stationery. Get on down to Paperchase or take a look online to find comical and personal gifts that suit the recipient.
25. A phone charger. For the staff member who’s phone is ALWAYS dead.
26. A please do not disturb sign. For the person who’s constantly busy and constantly getting hassled!
27. A desk plant. Did you know that plants can actually increase a person’s productivity? Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
28. A jazzy tie. For the fashionista (or fashion-disaster – whichever works) of the office.
29. A desktop mirror. For the slightly more image-conscious person in the office.
30. Invite a fortune teller into the office. Random, I know – but it’s unique and bound to be a great laugh for your whole team.
31. A class. In the office or elsewhere, a group class of some kind, from crafts and cocktails to cooking and flower-arranging – is always a good shout.
32. An afternoon tea party. I do feel like this keeps coming back to cake…
33. An office “pub” quiz. The winner gets a prize.
34. A sporting tournament. From classics like ping pong to modern adaptations like “office rowing” there are plenty of “sports” you could play in the office. Or out (football, netball, rounders).
35. A games tournament. For a less strenuous competition, you could set up a games console (like the Wii) and play in teams – you could even hire an arcade game for the day!
36. A fundraiser. If you’ve got the time to put on a fundraising event – perhaps a run, cycle or swim - it’s a great way to get your staff working together as a team – and all for a good cause.
37. Nap time. Allow employees to take a one hour nap break if and when needed (limited to one a day, of course) - you could even get a hammock put in the office!
38. Karaoke. Someone must have a karaoke machine (or similar video game)… if not, get googling your nearest singing hot spot.
Traditional, simple, classic.
39. Birthdays off. Or, you could let people have their birthdays off – as an extra day’s holiday.
40. Save the best parking space – as a reward for staff member in question. You’d be surprised how much people care about this one…
41. A valet. You could even throw a free car wash and valet into the mix.
42. Leave a thank you post-it note. A lovely, quirky little surprise - getting to your desk in the morning to find a thank-you post-it note you’re bound to start off the day with a smile.
43. Leave early on Fridays. Let people go home and enjoy a longer weekend – especially if your office is pretty slow on a Friday afternoon anyway.
44. Casual Fridays. Boost that “Friday feeling” in the office with dress-down days. You could also take part in “Tank Top Tuesdays…” or not.
45. Money. You can’t argue with cold hard cash.
46. Flowers. Nothing says ‘I appreciate your hard work’ like a bunch of beautiful flowers.
47. A weekly ‘thank you’ email. Telling everyone how pleased you are, but with special references to individuals who have really excelled.
48. Employee of the month. Up the competitive spirit in the office with a leader-board and/or special trophies for the winner!
49. An extra holiday. Give people a chance to earn an extra day off.
50. Just say thanks. Sometimes all it takes is a thank you, a handshake and/or a pat on the back.
Have fun with it!
You can go as simple and traditional or as strange and quirky as you like (if you think these were weird, you should check out this blog) - to keep things in line with the company culture!
I'm sure not everyone can get away with 'nap times' and 'duvet days...'
Recruiter Pro Tip. As you start implementing some of these things, you should see a marked improvement in the overall happiness levels of your office, but also in productivity, loyalty and output. It really, really is worth it! Click here to check out our blog, dedicated to making (and keeping) your staff happy!
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Would you more ideas on how to say thank you (perhaps, outside of work)?
- 11 creative ways to say thanks - Mashable.
- 20 Creative Ways to Say Thank You - Lifehack
- 70+ Best Thank You Messages Your Boss Would Certainly Love - AnswersAfrica
Happy Friday – have a wonderful weekend.