Employee appreciation is something that evolves with the times, and it often helps to take a look at what the pros are up to if you’re lacking in inspiration on the home front.
To get you nice and fired up to level up your employee appreciation game in 2020 and beyond, we thought we’d share a few employee recognition and reward strategies that have been implemented by some of the business greats around the globe.
Let's get started:
1. Apple's CEO gets personal with his shout-outs
At big multinational companies, there are many employees who may rarely or never be in direct contact with their CEO. At Apple Inc. the head honcho, Mr Tim Cook, has decided to make things more personal by sending personalised shout-outs to members of retail teams and other roleplayers who may not have the opportunity to sit down with him over coffee at HQ. He often turns these shout-outs into social posts that are shareable and facilitates some welcome public recognition.
2. Costco gives Big Days off
Even though Costco is a major player in the retail arena, they choose to close up shop on Thanksgiving, which is a huge holiday in America. They may be losing out on some serious revenue in the process, but they also allow shift workers and regional management to spend the day with their family and this is a great way to show these employees that profit isn't all that matters.
3. Disney leverages customer appreciation
In larger businesses, positive customer feedback may not always make it back to the person who’s contribution sparked the compliment in the first place. This is why Disney launched the #CastCompliment program which encouraged guests at their parks and resorts to use this hashtag when giving props online. Managers would then share or retweet in turn to drive the social recognition even further.
4. Facebook makes a big fuss over work anniversaries
Called Faceversaries (eek, but you know, it's the thought that counts), work anniversaries at Facebook are big, birthday-like affairs with bunches of balloons and lots of social shout-outs throughout the day. For the folks who have been at Facebook for a long time, these occasions have become important benchmarks along their employment journey.
5. General Electric gives unlimited paid time off
It may sound like an impossible dream, but General Electric has identified 30,000 of its U.S. employees (roughly 43% of their workforce) who are eligible for unlimited vacation, sick and personal days - provided they have their manager's approval and they are up to date with their work. According to their HR team, this move forms part of a broader cultural shift which aims to show their employees that they are trusted and that the business wants to empower them to enjoy a sustainable work-life balance.
6. Google launched a peer-to-peer learning program
The benefits of peer-to-peer mentoring are countless. It lessens your dependency on third-party trainers, it shows your seasoned employees that their skills are valued and it opens the floor for the newer members of your workforce to get to grips with the intricacies of the job by tapping into readily available on-site wisdom. Google recognised this fact and it inspired them to launch their Googler-to-Googler network which facilitates 80% of all formal training at the business.
7. Starbucks evens the playing field for minority groups
Starbucks recognised that it can be tough for certain minority groups to become a part of the gang. This includes older employees. To make inroads in addressing this cultural issue, the coffee company and coffeehouse chain chose to open a store that is run entirely by employees between 52 and 66 years of age. Their HR team also works closely with the National Institute for Elderly People to ensure that their older employees are supported in every way possible.
8. PepsiCo highlights the contributions of the backstage crew
The achievements of certain groups within a company are easier to recognise and celebrate than those of others. When a salesperson lands a whale or the product design team comes up with a genius new concept, these achievements are normally front and centre. But the work put in by the folks in teams like IT, payroll, and procurement that helped to make the shiny thing happen can often fall by the wayside uncelebrated. PepsiCo took steps to correct this throughout their multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation by establishing a reward program for exceptional performance in areas like customer service and job safety.
Feeling inspired yet? Yeah, we thought as much!
See, recognising employees can go beyond the field trip, gift cards and happy hours at the office canteen. You can actually add a lot of real-life value.
Speaking of which, if you’re serious about stepping up your employee recognition program, we would like to invite you to try out our user-friendly employee engagement platform that has been developed for this very purpose. Simply click the button below to get started today.