Your employees are human — a revolutionary thought, we know. Assuming you aren’t a circus manager or an actual alien, the assertion above is incontrovertible, as is its corollary; your employees need to feel valued and appreciated in regular, tangible ways. According to a research project performed by Globoforce, their survey found that 86 percent of employees feel happier and prouder at work after being recognized, along with 85 percent claiming they feel more satisfied with their jobs. The very same report, quoted by HuffPost, found that 70 percent of employees say that feeling recognized at their jobs made them feel happier at home.

It’s clear that appreciation can make a big difference for employees. Of course, it’s not the only difference-making element of a job — pay, hours, location, and benefits are all pieces of the puzzle. But those are often outside the realms of an employer’s control. There’s no additional funds for bonuses or pay raises just laying around, just like the hours, benefits, and location are largely static.

But company culture and general job satisfaction? That is something employers have some sway over. In fact, company culture is fast becoming one of the most important competitive differentiators, especially for the up-and-coming Millennial Generation.

With all this in mind, we at TreeRunner Grand Rapids Adventure Park thought we would offer up a few of the very best ways you can show appreciation to your workforce. And, yes, we’ll get it out of the way now, so there’s no confusion — if you live near or in Grand Rapids, Michigan, there’s only one choice if you are looking for an outdoor adventure park, aerial adventure park, or a treetop adventure park (people call them different things, but they all come here!) We’ll say more a bit later in today’s blog, but remember that it’s a great way to create some long-lasting memories, get some fresh air, and show your employees how much you care.

Workforce Appreciation Ideas

Now that we’ve established what we are up to here, let’s dive straight into offering up a few ideas for our readers! Some might be simple, some might be more involved. So if you are a manager looking for inspiration, take a few to heart and see what happens!

Catch Someone Doing Something Well – Let’s start with one that applies in any employer-employee setting. No matter what your industry is, if you have employees, you should absolutely be going out of your way to find them doing something well. You might have to wrack your brain a bit, but it won’t be too tough, we promise! Once you do, it’s time for the important part — tell them what they did well! Do it in front of your other employees as well! Don’t play favorites, either. It’s important to spread the praise around as much as you can.

Be Public With Your Praise

We did just mention it, but it’s so important that it deserves its own bullet point. As an employer, you have the opportunity and responsibility to set the culture on your team. By and large, your employees will model your behavior and attitude much more than they will follow your verbal direction. That’s why it’s crucial to establish a culture of praise and positivity. Once you make praise a public thing, others will follow suit. And pretty soon, everyone is going to be heaping praise on each other in a veritable compliment-fest! It’s going to be awesome, too.

Invest In Your Co-Workers

This one is also straightforward. To show that you appreciate your staff, you need to establish a personal connection. That means getting outside the box of professionalism. Be it at a happy hour on a Friday, during lunch, or at the water cooler, your staff will quickly take note if you view them as just a revenue-earning number or a human being with emotions, interests, and personal life. The best part is that you don’t have to change you who are to do this, just be intentional about it while being true to your own management style.

Please & Thank You Go A Long Way

No, it’s not your grandmother writing this blog — it’s the top outdoor adventure park in Michigan writing it! But that’s beside the point. . . which is that, as a manager, you have the ability to set the tone in terms of how your employees treat one another. We’ve discussed the importance of praise and recognition, but having a culture of courtesy is significant.

And if being courteous with your interactions is the surface of the matter, the core of the issue might be the assumption of positive intent. At a basic level, this simply means that you and your staff give each other the benefit of the doubt. It might be difficult if a client is angry or someone appears to clearly not care about the quality of their work, but remind yourself that you don’t know the details of the situation. Assume the best, get to the bottom of the matter, and react accordingly. Jumping to conclusions is a sure-fire way to eventually, one day, get caught and antagonize your staff.

Be As Flexible As You Can

As a manager, you might be tempted to think that the adage, “Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile” rings true to some respect regarding employee requests. You’d be wrong, of course, but it’s a natural thought all the same.

While we aren’t talking about individual employees who are seeking to take advantage of your kindness, one of the best ways to improve your employees’ satisfaction (with work and life) is to do your best to honor their requests. If they have children, their schedule will likely be somewhat flexible. Even if they’ve never told you explicitly, the ability to rearrange their work schedule for the sake of being invested in their children’s lives is a huge part of how they think about their job — for better or for worse. If you make the choice to offer flexible scheduling, they’ll probably stay at your company longer, which, practically speaking, means less turnover, money saved on hiring searches, and a generally more pleasant place to work!

Take Them To TreeRunner Grand Rapids Adventure Park!

As anticipated, the fulcrum of today’s post is also our last tip we have to offer. It’s an adventure unlike any other, with more than 70 obstacles and zip-lines, three difficulty levels, seven courses, and even a Junior Park for the little ones!

We have special offers for corporate outings and team-building events, so be sure to reach out to us if you have any questions. Book your aerial adventure in Grand Rapids today!