The Best Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

If you’re a business owner, you probably already know that your greatest asset is your workforce. Keeping your employees happy is essential to the success of your company. After all, when your employees are stressed and unhappy, they’re going to start leaving. If your company can’t keep up with turnover or reverse the trend, it can be a death knell for your business. So, how do you retain employees and keep them smiling? You can start by making sure they feel seen and appreciated.

We’ve compiled a list of ways to promote employee happiness and recognition. If you’re in the beginning stages of a startup, you can incorporate a few or all of the tips below. While these tips might not be applicable to every industry, you can use this article as a jumping off point.

Introduce a monthly EOTM award

One of the best ways to give your employees the recognition they deserve is by offering an employee-of-the-month award. You can give a shoutout to the employees that go the extra mile and give them a nice gift basket. Here are just a few fillers you can use for the basket:

  • Custom socks with your company’s logo
  • A gift card to the employee’s favorite restaurant
  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Movie tickets
  • Mini bottle of champagne
  • Snack assortment
  • A coupon for an extra day of PTO

Provide medical, dental, and vision coverage

At many places, getting vision, dental, and medical are expected coverage benefits. But if your company can afford it, make sure that you’re offering your employees top-notch medical coverage. It’s a great way to encourage retention and keep your employees healthy and happy.

Adequate medical, dental, and vision care means your employees have one less thing to worry about and can instead focusing on producing the best work possible. It also may help reduce employee absenteeism since they can take advantage of preventative care instead of going to the doctor only when they’re very ill or injured.

Provide a 401(k) match

If you have a retirement plan set up for your employees, that’s a solid start. But in order to promote employee retention, you might want to consider matching your employees’ contribution. A 3-6% 401(k) match is a good rule of thumb.

Allow flex schedules or a 4/10 schedule

There are tons of benefits to both you as the employee as well as your work team if you decide to introduce a flex schedule. Studies have shown that flex hours lead to greater job satisfaction and employees on a flex schedule were happier overall.

One of the most elusive goals for workers to achieve is finding a work-life balance. Flex time or flex schedules empower employees since they allow workers to work early if they need to pick their kids up from school. Flex hours also benefit night owls who simply prefer to burn the midnight oil when they feel the most creative.

Now, not every industry can survive an entire team on flex schedules. You might want to consider offering core hours where employees have to be in the office like 12-3, so client meetings or team meetings can take place. But otherwise, leave it up to the workers to get their work done and work when they want.

Flex time has also shown to reduce stress, increase productivity, save money, and raise employee retention numbers.

Another option is to offer a 4/10 schedule. This is a shortened workweek that compresses the traditional 40-hour workweek into four 10-hour days. Yep, that means a three-day weekend every single week. One study found that after a four-day work week, productivity was boosted by 40%.

Offer unlimited PTO

Unlimited PTO means you’ll never have employees even show up to work, right? Well, not exactly. Studies have shown that unlimited PTO is actually beneficial for both the employee and employer. For the employee, unlimited PTO shows trust. A good worker is only going to take PTO when it makes sense to do so.


As a business owner, it can be very difficult to make your employees happy sometimes. But by using this article as a guide, you’ll be on your way to a happier workforce and more profitable company.