In addition to providing perks that pay off every day, companies are also showing appreciation by creating special memories that employees won’t soon forget. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Recognition is one of the greatest motivators: 95 percent of employees agree that recognition in the workplace leads to a stronger workplace culture. However, we often find that employees do not feel like they receive enough recognition.

Sadly, some managers and organizations give little thought to employee recognition, ultimately missing an opportunity to easily create a big impact with little effort.

How can we address this issue?

Companies can change this by understanding that recognition should be an important part of the day to day routine, and by putting a program in place that supports employees and their efforts, to encourage a positive company culture, and simply to make them smile.

Related: How to retain good employees? Make them feel valued.

For example, to create a strong culture, companies like Lyft offer free lunch every day; the cafés on the Google campus serve some of the best food in the San Francisco Bay Area; and Reebok stays true to brand by providing an on-site gym with CrossFit classes.

In addition to providing perks that pay off every day, companies are also showing appreciation by creating special memories that employees won’t soon forget. SendGrid, Wistia and Zapier are just a few companies that nurture culture by bringing employees to off-site and international retreats. Not only does this encourage out-of-office team bonding, but gives employees the chance to re-energize and come back fresh.

Make it matter

Personalized gifting has the ability to make employees feel appreciated, boost morale and bring a little joy to their day. In a survey conducted here at Snappy, we found that 68 percent of employees would rather choose their own gift than have their employer choose a gift for them. The survey also revealed 40 percent of employees have thrown out and/or re-gifted a gift from their employers.

It’s important to note that you don’t need to spend more money on bigger gifts. However, you should be giving the right gifts. For example, a lot of companies opt to give their employees gift cards. What they fail to realize is that gift cards put a price tag on an employee’s value – making them feel like they’re worth $25. This leaves a whopping one billion dollars in gift cards that go unused every year and a total of $44B of unused cards to date. Instead of a gift card or small cash bonus, try giving the Snappy experience. All of the value, no visible price tags, no money wasted. Plus a few fun and engaging features to make your employees smile!

  • Creativity: At Snappy we have identified a trend within high-profile companies, who are increasingly using our platform to deliver creatively themed collections to acknowledge employees with thoughtful and quirky gifts. For example, one employer put together a wellness gift collection that includes gym classes and fitness trackers. Our customer Digital Ocean developed an ocean-themed collection of gifts to reinforce company culture, which included underwater cameras, shark towels and other ocean products.
  • Personalization: Personalization is another key element of gifting that can make a positive impact on employee morale and happiness. Eighty-one percent of employees said a personalized note of recognition from their supervisor would strengthen their commitment to their company, so adding a personalized note goes a long way in showing gratitude for a team member’s hard work. Bond is a service that will hand-write notes for you when you need an extra hand adding a personal touch.
  • Consistency: It’s important to thank and recognize employees throughout the year, and not just during the holidays. We have seen massive success running our own monthly gift auctions in the Snappy office; employees earn Snappy bucks throughout the month, according to different achievements they’ve made, and can use those bucks to bid on Snappy gifts. Large companies are increasingly using our platform year round to deliver trendy gifts to celebrate achievements, work anniversaries, birthdays and personal events – or anytime you want to recognize someone who deserves a little extra appreciation!

Ultimately, our research points to one key insight: Thoughtful gifting is an invaluable HR benefit that changes the game for employers. However, the most appreciated gifts aren’t impactful because of their actual monetary value. What matters most is what the gifts are and how they are given.

We can learn from top companies, who know the happiest and most productive employees are those who let their teams have a say in how they’re rewarded. They also turn appreciation into a personalized experience that goes beyond leaving a gift card on an employee’s desk. When you create a memorable gifting experience, you amplify the positive gifting effect multiple times over.


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Hani Goldstein (Hani@meetsnappy.com) is CEO & co-founder of Snappy, an employee rewards and engagement platform.