You can’t put a price tag on the value that long-time employees provide to your business. They’ve been with you through it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. You’ve celebrated birthdays together, hit countless deadlines and maybe even relied on each other to make it through networking events.
How can you honor these loyal team members and show them that you truly appreciate the years of work they’ve put in helping you sustain and grow your business? Handing them a card on their “jobiversary” seems a little understated. After all, as Glassdoor points out, these employees have proven their loyalty, flexibility and understanding of your company over time.
Here are five tips for expressing your appreciation for your valued veteran employees.
Give Earnest Thanks
There’s no substitute for looking someone in the eye and sincerely telling them that you appreciate them. However, you can make your point even more powerful if you bring up specific examples.
Before you pull an employee into your office to thank them (perhaps on a work anniversary or another milestone), collect positive feedback from their colleagues. Think about situations where they’ve proven to be an irreplaceable part of the team. This way, when you deliver your high praise, you’ll be demonstrating to them that you notice their strengths and contributions.
Don’t forget to mention a few traits or actions outside of daily job requirements, too. Does this employee take the time to bake treats and bring them in for the team? Does he or she step up to mentor new employees and interns without anyone asking? Have they organized an important event (like a luncheon, gala or party) on top of their everyday duties? Point it out.
Make Your Appreciation Heard
In addition to taking the time to say thanks one-on-one, you can get the whole office involved. While you would never want to embarrass or patronize any employees, you still want to let them know that you’re not alone in appreciating them—the whole team does, too.
Thoughtful group activities like a collaborative card, desk decorating or a special blog post on your company website can help long-term employees feel outwardly proud about their contributions.
Let’s Do Lunch
Everybody loves lunch. Let your employee of honor pick the place occasionally. It’s the perfect setting for a mix of friendly chit chat and discussing the company in earnest. Not only will you get to know the person better as an individual, but you may even pick up some valuable pointers on how you can keep improving your company’s culture and workflow, according to Spark Hire. And of course, pick up the tab at the end of the meal.
A Well-Deserved Bonus
Feeling valued is about a combination of words and actions. While you can never buy your way to having a supportive company culture, you can put your money where your mouth is and offer bonuses to stellar, long-term employees.
This monetary reward can be in the form of an incremental raise, a one-time bonus or a non-cash gift, and should be separate from their typical yearly raise. In fact, one of the greatest ways to appreciate your employees is to make sure their benefits package is competitive to start with. There’s no one-time gift that can replace benefits like health insurance, workers compensation, paid time off and more.
If your company isn’t quite in the position to offer financial rewards, there are still many ways you can thank your steadfast employees. After all, they’ve stood by you for years!
Here are a few employee perks that won’t bust your budget:
– Flexible hours
– Extra days off
– Longer lunches
– Health and wellness enrichment
– Healthy food and snacks
– Team volunteer outings
As important as it is to honor loyal employees with special displays, one of the best things you can do for them is foster a positive company culture year-round complete with benefits, privileges and honest feedback.