How often do you take the opportunity to stop, take a step back and really look at how your workforce drives your business’s success? It’s important to do this often, in order to recognize the integral role your people play in your organization. Acting to ensure employees feel recognized and appreciated is essential, regardless of whether your company has 10 employees or 1,000.
It’s critical to create a workplace environment that truly empowers, develops and incentivizes your employees. This takes effort and ongoing commitment, but it provides a return on investment for your business in many ways. For example, DHL recently gained “Top Employer” Certification for 2017, a designation that the Top Employer Institute awards to only 10 global companies each year. It’s the third year the Institute is recognizing our commitment to support our employees worldwide.
At DHL, we rely on a global team of nearly 350,000 employees across scores of different countries and cultures, but the essential employee appreciation strategies we’ve adopted can apply to businesses of any size. Based on what we’ve learned, here are a few tips on how your business can excel at being an employee-centered organization.
Employee appreciation and engagement start on day one. At DHL, the HR team greets each new employee using an onboarding tool we recently rolled out called “DHL in a Box.” The box includes a video, booklets, a personal welcome card signed by the hiring manager and other tools to help new team members feel welcome when they join our DHL family.
Some type of welcome kit can be helpful for businesses of all sizes. It ensures your new employees are equipped with important information and feel valued during the sometimes overwhelming onboarding process.
Whether global or local, motivated people do better work, are more engaged and make the company a better place to work overall. Periodically checking in to ensure workers remain happy and involved is critical during the first few months. Our managers and human resource experts regularly check with new team members as part of our 30, 60, 90-day onboarding program. We also ask all employees for feedback in annual surveys on whether they feel recognized and appreciated.
Promote Personal Development
Helping employees develop their careers also contributes greatly to a sense of appreciation. Companies that present various opportunities for growth are more likely to motivate and retain loyal employees. Even small businesses can help employees understand their role in moving the company forward. For example, while you may have a company policy to promote from within when possible, it’s also important to outline a clear path for advancement so employees see exactly how they might grow within your company. Our DHL Career Path program in sales was designed to do just that. We’ve found it to be so valuable that we’re now expanding it to inspire employees in operations and customer service as well.
The prospect of advancement is a strong, positive motivator, and should be fully communicated and demonstrated across your organization. Where possible, share your success stories, citing real-life examples of employees who have advanced to senior roles within the organization. DHL prides itself on our people and the success stories we can share in helping them grow professionally.
Appreciate and Motivate
As we’ve discussed on other pages of DHL Expressed, it’s important to recognize employees who do outstanding work. No matter your resources or budget, there are different ways your business can show recognition. Whether it’s throwing a pizza party, sending a personalized thank-you letter, or planning an activity together as a team like going to the movies, recognition efforts help keep stellar employees motivated. Even a simple thank-you for recognizing a job well done goes a long way in showing your employees they are appreciated and that their work is valued.
Think Beyond 24 Hours
There is already a National Employee Appreciation Day in March, but also consider adding a similar celebration at another time of year and making it your own. Formal recognition more than once a year buoys employees’ morale and strengthens their commitment to you.
At DHL, we’ve devised our own annual Employee Appreciation Week. This coming June, DHL employees will experience appreciation events and celebrations throughout the week at different locations. We always try to ensure the event has a connection to the business, such as a tie-in with one of our sponsorships or with an initiative we’ve established for the company overall. Whether it’s a week, a day or just 15 minutes of fame, every business can find a way to recognize its workforce and celebrate its employees.
How does your business demonstrate employee appreciation? Let us know on Twitter at @DHLUS.