Labor Day is more than just a day off work for office employees, it’s a dedication to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s an annual tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength and prosperity of our country. Frontline employees are the backbone of the labor force, but with high consumer demands, many don’t get the opportunity to take Labor Day off.
Here are five ways to recognize your frontline employees to show your appreciation this Labor Day, or any day.
1. Publicize achievements
Praising frontline employees costs nothing, yet goes a long way in showing your colleagues you appreciate their hard work. Did one of your colleagues exceed their sales goal this month? Make it company news and acknowledge their achievements on a platform their peers can see, whether it’s a newsletter or digital workplace app. Practice boosting morale with words of encouragement and by noticing those who go above and beyond the call of duty. Employees are used to hearing when things go wrong, but aren’t used to being praised regularly. Public recognition will instill a sense of pride and motivate them to continue their efforts.
2. “Thank You” notes
As old-fashioned as this may sound, a report by Employee Benefits Magazine found that 71% of employees would actually forgo a higher salary to work for an employer who regularly said, “thank you.” The only cost is a few extra minutes to make a hand-written card to help your frontline employees feel recognized and special. Surprise your employees by writing an encouraging note (even sticky notes are great) and slip it in their lunch bag or in the break room. See how Fairmont Royal York, with over 1,200 employees, says thank you to their team.
3. Personalized rewards
Rewards mean far more when they’re personalized for each employee. Consider having employees respond to a survey that covers little details like what their favorite snack is or what their hobbies are. This knowledge provides a deeper awareness of the types of rewards your employees will actually enjoy. Tickets to a baseball game may appeal to some, while others prefer a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Adding that extra personal touch will make the experience memorable.
4. Paid time off
Who doesn’t welcome a little time off? Consider offering a floating holiday as a way to recognize your frontline employees. While it may be necessary to provide guidelines for when that day can be taken, let the employee choose when to use it. Maybe that extra day will let them take the family vacation they’ve always wanted. Just a little extra time off can make a huge difference in the happiness of your employees and their families.
5. Flexible hours
While many companies offer flexible work hours, that isn’t always an option in some industries, like manufacturing. If flexible hours aren’t possible to provide on a weekly basis, offer them as a reward. Maybe an employee who excelled on a project could have flexible work hours for two weeks. Or perhaps rearrange working times to an extra hour the first part of the week in exchange for lesser hours the latter of the week. Allowing high-performing employees a flexible opportunities is an excellent form of recognition.
According to Dave Peer in Incentive Magazine, “cash is not a motivator. It’s a compensator.” Money doesn’t ignite a change of behavior like special recognition does. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to uniquely reward your employees for a job well done!