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Ian Ferguson: Celebrating Milestones In Your Employees Life

Everyone loves to feel appreciated, values and celebrated. Recognising employees for their accomplishments and life events—big or small—shows them you care and are invested in their well-being and success. Whether it’s a birthday, work anniversaries, birth of a child, a new home, a promotions, the attainment of a degrees or certifications or marriage, the recognition from counterparts at work sends the message that the employee is valued.

When it comes to celebrating workplace or personal milestones, there are no real ideal way to do it. The way you reward and celebrate your team members should depend on the team members themselves and on your company’s culture.

Not everyone likes rewards in the form of public accolades or gifts, and not everyone is motivated by the same things. With that said, you can still create a culture of appreciation, even as you appreciate each person in their own unique way.

Team leaders need to keep track of upcoming milestones, projects or personal accomplishments, team members’ personal goals, and each person’s preferential form of appreciation. Setting expectations around what deserves reward and recognition and communicating those expectations to team members can help keep your company’s values and mission fresh in their minds. Some offices have a monthly birthday club celebration or the automatic double incremental increase for the achievement of a degree or certification. All these provide extra incentive for the employee.

Giving the employee something tangible may also prove beneficial. While cash rewards might seem like a good idea, money might not be the strong motivator you think it is. Tying payment to the appreciation for good work rather than work for work’s sake can actually hinder team members’ desire to be productive, so offering cash awards often misses the mark when it comes to awards for workplace milestones. A well thought out token of appreciation, a ticket to the Family Island, gym membership for a month all sends the message to the employee that you are valued and your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

When team members see that their work is having a direct impact on the success of a company, it motivates them to contribute their best work. Celebrating workplace milestones shows employees that, not only are they a valued and honoured member of the team, but they are also contributing meaningful work to their organisation and its purpose.

For those not being recognised, sharing in the success of their teammates and seeing that hard work does not go unnoticed can help further your culture of appreciation and motivate the entirety of the team.

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