Top Workplaces

Showing gratitude to employees goes a long way

On-air personalities Cesar Montalvo, left, Miriam Nolasco and Raul Rojo get goofy at Norsan Media, a two-time Charlotte Observer Top Workplace.
On-air personalities Cesar Montalvo, left, Miriam Nolasco and Raul Rojo get goofy at Norsan Media, a two-time Charlotte Observer Top Workplace. WWW.MICZEKPHOTO.COM

WorkplaceDynamics, the research partner for the Charlotte Observer’s annual Top Workplaces project, surveys millions of employees nationally to learn what helps keep them happy on their jobs.

High on the list: feeling appreciated in what they do.

Appreciation ranks among the most important factors for workplace satisfaction, according an employee engagement survey by WorkplaceDynamics, which has drawn more than 24,000 responders in the last two years.

“It matters to them and it motivates them,” according Bob Helbig, a director at the Pennsylvania-based research firm.

Helbig offers these examples of what workplace appreciation means, and what it looks like:

▪ It starts at the top: Top leaders set the tone — they determine whether organizational values are sincere and unwavering. They need to make showing appreciation a priority.

▪ Little things make a big difference: Organizations often invest a lot of money and effort on big events (holiday parties, summer picnics), but the little things go a long way, too. Send birthday cards. Buy people lunch. Hand out gift cards. Deliver ice cream.

▪ Get personal: Recognize employees as individuals. Organizations thrive when they understand people’s lives extend beyond the walls of the workplace and take time to show they care. Employers also benefit when they get involved in charities that are close to the hearts of their workers.

▪ Invest in the body and the mind: Wellness programs, on-site exercise facilities, fitness classes, nutritional resources and food are common ways companies show appreciation. Not sure what works best? Establish a small wellness committee to brainstorm and execute new ideas.

▪ Use customer feedback: It’s a great way to catch employees doing great things. This gives companies an opportunity to praise great employee performances.

▪ Money doesn’t hurt. This is tricky, because WorkplaceDynamics’ surveys consistently show that money is not a leading motivator for workplace satisfaction. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important, especially in a sales environment. Many companies award bonuses based on reaching certain milestones. Companies are wise to recognize achievements as the organization continues to grow.

Nominate your company as a Top Workplace at charlotteobserver.com/nominate.

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