Surprise and Delight Your Employees!

Linley McConnell

We often think of ways to surprise and delight our customers, but what about the lifeblood of your organization – your team members! This month, we’ve showcased how your employees are critical to your business’s success. Here are a few simple and easy-to-implement tactics to show your employees that much-deserved appreciation.

Employee Spotlight

(Most) people like to be in the spotlight. One way to celebrate your employees is to feature them in your public-facing marketing materials, such as social media accounts or email campaigns. If you’re a SMRT marketing client, you’ll likely be familiar with their ‘Weekly Snapshots’, which include a fun photo of an employee where you get to know someone on their team. Similarly, a wedding planning account I follow on Instagram features one of their planners through a regular campaign. The post includes a headshot or photo, and fun facts about the individual.

You can easily replicate this idea and create a template on a graphic design platform like Canva. If you’re not currently running social media or email marketing, snap a photo of your employee and pair it with some text in Microsoft Word. Print it out and put it in your store. Showcasing an employee on social media is also a strategic tactic to show potential employees and your community your business from a different perspective.

It goes without saying that you need to get your employee’s permission to put their image on any platform or materials before you do it.

Birthdays and Anniversaries

It’s common for most organizations to celebrate an employee’s birthday or anniversary, but keeping it consistent can be a challenge. It seems simple, so make it a habit to put your employees’ birthdays, anniversaries or start dates into your calendar when they first start at your business. Do the same with existing employees. To make them feel celebrated, consider buying them their favourite Starbucks drink, a gift card, or giving them a day off.

If you’re already celebrating birthdays and anniversaries but struggling to take it to the next level, I learned an idea from Dave Coyle. During on-boarding, they request that new employees fill out a simple one-pager with their favourite colour, Starbucks (or other coffee shop) drink and ice-cream flavour. When the employee hits a milestone, they refer to the sheet to ensure the employee receives something they actually LOVE. How is that for thoughtfulness?

Invest in Their Future

As you get to know your employees, you get to understand their long-term goals. Business owners have an amazing opportunity to help those who actually make the business run to reach their goals, whether they’re career-related or personal. For example, an employee is working to get a driver’s licence. Consider supporting them by contributing to driving lessons or giving them a bonus if they pass their driver’s test by a certain date.

Alternatively, an employee in the customer service department might have a goal to learn more about the production side of your business. Consider enrolling them in the DLI virtual stain-removal course or sending them to Maryland to complete the in-person certification. We all need cheerleaders and allies to achieve our goals; start by helping your team members.

The Travelling Gift Card

It can be overwhelming to keep track of employee engagement activities. At Gibson’s, we’ve given one reward activity to the employees to take ownership of. We’ve implemented a Thoughtfulness gift card. It’s a travelling, pre-loaded Starbucks card that makes its way through the CSR team on a weekly basis. Each week, the previous recipient passes along the Thoughtfulness Card to someone who has made their day or week by being thoughtful.

The card has now been shared over 30 times in our plant, meaning we’ve celebrated over 30 acts of thoughtfulness with the team. We chose a Starbucks card because we have a location right across the street, but you can choose a different kind of ‘torch’ to pass on with your team.

Mindful Swag

I think we all have too much stuff, and I am wary of recommending that you overload your team members with swag they won’t use. Mindful or intentional swag, however, can be a great way to surprise and delight your team throughout the year or when a new employee joins your team. Here are a few creative ideas:

  1. Branded water bottles on the first day of summer or when the heat hits! Go a step further and get everyone a personalized water bottle so there are no mix-ups on the production floor.
  2. Branded pocket-sized magnifying glass to spot tiny stains.
  3. Branded charging pack – no one likes a power-drained device.
  4. Branded and high-quality notebooks for your leadership team.
  5. Embroidered baseball caps.

How are you celebrating your employees in your business? Share your methods and ideas in the comments below!

Add a Comment

Before you go...

Give us your email and we will notify you
each week when we post fresh content.
We don't want you to miss a thing!