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  • Writer's pictureAlpha Moose

Employee Appreciation

Did you know that 79% of people that leave their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as one of their main reasons for leaving? As a small business owner, high turnover can cost you valuable time and money.

While Alpha Moose can’t outright prevent your employees from leaving, we can offer some free and low cost ideas to keep your employees feeling valued and (hopefully) loyal to your business for years to come.

Say Thank You

This one may seem obvious, but a sincere thank you can go a long way to making a staff member feel appreciated. Whether it’s during a group huddle, while passing them in the hall, scheduling a Zoom session with them, or calling them into your office, make a point to share some gratitude.

Pro Tip: Make it a mix of public and private accolades. While 68% of employees believe that public recognition has some impact on their ability to get promoted, a 2019 study found that almost 40% of employees prefer to receive positive feedback during one-on-one meetings with their supervisor.

Let Staff Recognize Each Other

Whether you call it recognition, props, kudos, or a made-up name, allowing staff to acknowledge and thank other crew members is a great way to build morale and share appreciation at all levels.

Case Study: One nonprofit employee shares her story of celebrating ‘Rockstar Recognition’ once a month: "Staff would anonymously write a short 2-3 sentences sharing their appreciation for their teammates. They'd be read aloud at each all-staff meeting. Nominations were folded up and put in a hat, a winner was drawn, and that person got to choose between a selection of donated $25 gift cards. The whole staff looked forward to it, and it was great to know that it wasn’t just management that appreciated our efforts."

Give Time Off

It feels like the whole world is short-staffed right now, and if your small business is a few people short there’s a good chance that your existing staff are putting in extra time and energy, increasing the chances of resentment and burnout.

Show gratitude by giving them a break! It depends on your budget, but whether it’s letting them off early on a Friday afternoon or an extra week of paid vacation, thanking employees by giving them a chance to rest and recharge will make them more likely to stay with your organization.

Feed Them

Isn’t there a saying about the way to a person’s heart being through their stomach? Almost everyone likes free food, and it’s a fairly inexpensive way to keep your staff happy. Whether it’s the occasional coffee run on the company dime, a pizza party, happy hour, or a catered lunch, giving people food (and paying them to eat it) is a great way to show your appreciation.

Pro Tip: Buying pizza does not replace the other tips on this list and shouldn't be your only strategy for employee retention. Supplement that pizza with some quality recognition and listening, too!


People who feel heard feel valued. Ask for feedback from staff regularly, and make sure to allow a way for them to give it anonymously. Listen carefully, and, if possible, ask follow up questions. If there are ways to make their work easier, their processes smoother, or their communication clearer, then put them into action. The benefits will be two fold: they’ll know you’re listening, and you’ll end up with a more efficient workplace.

Invest in Their Wellness

Healthy, happy employees are going to want to stay in their environment. Provide the best possible benefits you can afford. Allow for Mental Health Days. Offer a gym membership, organize a group fitness class, or provide workout equipment onsite. Offer training opportunities that challenge and stimulate mental growth. Provide morale-building opportunities, and promote a welcoming company culture. Small businesses vary in their budgets, so while this will look different for each company, the effects will be the same: employees that want to stay because they feel their best.

Appreciate Them on Social Media

Whether it’s their birthday, a sales anniversary, or they’ve done something spectacular, shower your employees with love on your company socials (with their permission, of course). Post a fun photo, have other employees join in with kind words, and let your followers know the real people behind the products and services they love.

Not quite sure what to say? Let us help!

Alpha Moose provides social media services, staff email newsletters, staff spotlights, and other ways to include and celebrate your team. Schedule a sesh with owner Becky Strohl today to find out more.

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