PMam13_2Have you ever stopped to think about what “spring” means? As a verb, the word means “to move or jump suddenly upward or forward.” As a season, it means warmer weather and a great time to clean out the office. But instead of just doing some tidying up this year, Performance Dimensions Group challenges you to move your company upward and forward.

How? Spring into action and spark your team! Show them how much you appreciate their efforts and time. Employee recognition is one of the most powerful tools you can use to motivate — and it can cost very little to nothing. The official Staff Appreciation Day is always the last Wednesday in April, so here are a few suggestions on how you can recognize your team right now:

No Cost

  • Write a personal thank-you note (or at least send an e-mail).
  • Give employees a longer lunch break for the day.
  • Create weekly or monthly awards to recognize those whose actions go unnoticed.
  • Acknowledge specific staff members in status reports.
  • Support “flex-friendly” schedules.
  • Give note cards to every team and have members write positive messages to each other.
  • Pay every employee a personal visit and practice nonverbal positive behavior cues, such as smiling.
  • Celebrate birthdays in new and imaginative ways.
  • Produce your own virtual recognition awards using e-mail blasts or e-cards.
  • Bake a cake, cupcakes, cookies, pie, gluten-free muffins … well, you get the idea — everyone loves food!
  • Please top performers with a prime parking spot.

Minimal Cost

  • Find out each employee’s hobby and buy an appropriate gift.
  • Distribute restaurant gift cards.
  • Give the gift of wellness: Offer up a spa day.
  • Provide weekly team breakfasts.
  • Have $5 coffee cards ready to give away.
  • Inscribe your favorite book with a thank-you note and give it to a team member who you know will enjoy it.
  • Hold a surprise pizza party.
  • Hand out cards with movie tickets.
  • Set up barbeques in the parking lot and have a cookout.
  • Enhance employees’ vacation time by giving them $100 before they leave.

These are just a few examples of what you can do in your workplace to reward and recognize your employees so they feel valued and avoid job burnout. Choose the ones that work for your organization’s culture or be creative and invent your own.

If you take the latter route, please let us know what you come up with! We’d love to hear from you, and you could win our “Best Recognition of Your Employees” prize for 2013! We’ll post the winning entry on our website — with attribution, of course. And the winner will receive four “coffee cards” for energizing you and your staff!