Nonprofit employees are truly unsung champions. They work tirelessly for the causes they care about, and usually for a lower wage than their for-profit counterparts. They deserve our recognition and celebration, but it can be hard to show your appreciation on a shoestring budget. Here are easy, cheap (or free) ways to show your employees how much they mean to you.
Block out time for recognition
The easiest way to show your employees that they’re doing good work is to verbally recognize it. It sounds simple enough, but so often a job well done goes unnoticed. It might be because your organization doesn’t have time set aside to recognize staff.
At Nonprofit Hub, we block off an hour of our Friday mornings to celebrate everything that was accomplished that week. Sometimes we bring in donuts or breakfast pizza, but none of the bells and whistles are necessary. Each and every team member gets recognized for their work every single week. Celebrate jobs well done!
Change the norm for a while
You probably don’t have the extra cash to throw around for bonuses or extravagant gifts for your employees. However, something else might work just as well, and it won’t cost you anything—not directly, anyway. If your office usually enforces a dress code, consider easing up on it (or eliminating it) for a week or two. Frame it as a reward for your employees for their hard work.
Or, if your employees are expected to show up for work at 8:00 am, try pushing it to 8:30 or 9:00, or let them leave a little early. Not only will employees appreciate the gesture, but research shows shortening workdays can actually improve overall productivity.
Go beyond work
Believe it or not, employees do have lives outside of work. They have hobbies, passions, families and other projects that keep them sane when they’re out of the office. And while some employees like to keep their work life and personal life separate, it can’t hurt to show interest in what they do beyond their nine-to-five.
For example, if a member of your staff writes poetry in their free time, go see them read at an open mic night. Or if they’re runners, go cheer them on at a race. Of course, you’ll want to make sure they’re comfortable with it, but showing that you care outside of the workplace can reinvigorate your staff when they’re on the clock.
Broadcast successes to the world
Okay, you might not get primetime TV airwaves to brag on your employees, but you should still share their successes with whomever you can.
Post finished projects on your social media, publish success stories on your blog or feature staff in your newsletter. There’s no reason why the success of your team should be kept to yourselves!
These are but a few ways you can appreciate your employees without spending a penny. If your team shows that they care in other ways, take it to the comments!