A Taste of Talent Development: Gratitude at Work
To support a workforce that satisfies employer demand and to position the Baton Rouge Area favorably for economic growth, BRAC executes a variety of initiatives to cultivate the region’s talent. The talent development program focuses on two aspects – recruitment and retention of talented professionals in the nine-parish region.
It’s easy to get caught up in our daily lives and not think about acknowledging all the things we are grateful for, including our staff. So, how do we show our gratitude for the work they do? Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Survey your employees. Don’t know what your employees want? Ask them! It seems like a no-brainer, but like we said, it’s easy to get caught up in our daily tasks and forget about things like this. Surveying your employees will give you real insight into what they want and how they would like to be rewarded for a job well done.
- Culture. Create a culture of appreciation in your office. To do this, you can dedicate a place in a break room or common area where employees can give shout outs to each other. If you don’t have the space for something like that, encourage employees to leave sticky notes of praise on each other’s desks. If you want to go bigger, consider giving out certificates or trophies.
- Inclusion. To make someone feel appreciated, first make sure they are included! This means making everyone feel comfortable and choosing activities/events that everyone can participate in. You must think of your introverted staff members, the non-drinkers, and those that have family responsibilities after work. Certain events may be hard for them to attend.
- Money. Don’t panic, money doesn’t always have to be a raise. It could mean free or reserved parking, gym memberships, gift cards to restaurants or stores, a desk or supply allowance to buy some new swag for their working space, or professional development opportunities.
- Time. Just like money, it is something we all want more of. Maybe talk with your employees about a flex schedule, work from home days, or even extra days off for their birthday, company anniversary or holidays.
- Food is another one that brings people together and makes them feel appreciated. Host a cooking demonstration, or better yet have your staff take a cooking class together. Coordinate a themed potluck or cooking competition. Celebrate one of the many “national” food holidays (think National Donut Day) by bringing in that food for a surprise treat for your staff.
- Milestones. Birthdays, babies, graduations, weddings, and work anniversaries are easy to celebrate with cards, cakes, days off, and company promo items. But it’s those other major life events that you don’t want to forget either, like buying a first home, running a marathon, or helping a service organization achieve a goal. Whatever that “thing” is that gives them joy, celebrate that moment with them.
- Play. This one is going to sound a little crazy and may not be for every office culture or staff. BUT, set aside some time to play together as a team. This can be super easy and free; play an icebreaker game before a staff meeting or retreat or step it up a notch with a board game tournament. If you are willing to spend a little more, find an escape room or a local restaurant that has a trivia night. Don’t underestimate what a little shared fun can do when it comes to feeling appreciated and building a team.
Remember that happy employees are productive and engaged and most importantly, loyal. If they feel appreciated, they will want to contribute to your company’s success because it becomes theirs as well.
BRAC is an investor-driven organization leading economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area. One of BRAC’s strategic goals is to cultivate the region’s talent to meet workforce demands and each month we highlight one of our talent development initiatives. To learn more about our talent development strategies and resources, contact our director of talent development.
Written by Maggi Spurlock
Maggi Spurlock is the Director of Talent Development for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. In her role, she leads all aspects of BRAC’s talent development program, including talent attraction and orientation.