Employee milestones can be a powerful way to show appreciation and motivate employees. Not only do milestone celebrations strengthen relationships between coworkers, they also help employees feel more connected to the company. Whether it’s a birthday celebration, an anniversary of joining the company, or achieving an important goal, marking employee milestones is essential for creating workplace camaraderie and loyalty. But what should a modern employer be doing to take the typical milestones and go even further?
After all, a recent Forrester report stated: “Employee recognition…plays a key role as part of an overall talent enablement strategy….to support employee engagement and mitigate burnout… measure behaviour for performance enablement… and support culture.”
To win hearts and minds, it’s key that businesses throw their all into recognition – with what’s been called a 360 approach.
In our opinion, and that of many HR pros – it’s all about a 360 strategy to employee milestones. Whereas in the past, the role of HR and people management was to focus on tenure (long service and work related milestones) the new switch is to recognize and reward employees for performance, skill-building, and positive behaviours, as well as their efforts in balancing work and home. It’s a 360 approach that means we are seeing employees as whole humans with diverse and complex lives and backdrops. Recognition and rewards move from ‘output’ to ‘effort’.
Not only is this valuable to employees, it also comes with an understanding that celebrating these milestones can create greater employee loyalty which leads to higher engagement – which positively helps in the areas of churn and staff turnover – with added benefits on recruitment costs.
With this in mind, it’s increasingly important that businesses support employees at all stages of their career – from recruitment through onboarding, to providing training and development opportunities, as well as acknowledging achievements with milestone celebrations.
We asked on our Instagram channel what employee milestones our follower’s business marked.
Here’s what employees have said:
“My boss sent me a gift card when I completed a tough project. We didn’t actually win the contract, but he sent me the card after I did a pitch meeting that was new for me and super stressful.”
“I spent an extra two hours on a project right before the Christmas break, and my boss sent me a nice personalized thank you card with a small gift. It made such a difference to know that she noticed my hard work.”
“My boss takes us all out for breakfast when we have a birthday.”
“We do 6 and 12 month work anniversaries. It’s. great way to bridge that gap.”
Some examples of employee milestones that can be celebrated include:
– Hiring anniversaries – marking an employee’s time in the company is a great way to show appreciation for their commitment and dedication
– Promotions – celebrate employees who have worked hard to move up within the company, as it can be a great motivator for those who are looking to advance
– Birthdays – birthdays are the perfect opportunity to show appreciation and make employees feel special
– Work anniversaries – celebrating the accomplishments of an employee over their time with the company is a great way to recognize their hard work and contributions.
– Retirement milestones – celebrate the achievements of those who are leaving the company, to recognize their years of hard work and dedication.
To create an effective recognition strategy that covers all angles, a business needs to consider creating employee milestones for:
– Achieving team goals
– Making professional development progress
– Completing training successfully
– Reaching sales targets
– Celebrate successes – no matter how big or small.
– Take into account the personal life of the employee, and mark the important milestones with them such as birthdays or anniversaries.
– Get creative! Make milestone celebrations special and tailored to each employee.
In addition to the traditional milestones, employers should also consider adding some extra elements. For example, offering employees “Thank You” cards for going above and beyond on a project or task can be an easy way to show appreciation. Or perhaps providing small gifts when employees reach certain milestones of success – such as hitting a sales goal or completing a difficult task.
These are just a few of the creative and thoughtful ways employers can mark employee milestones. By going above and beyond, you can show your team that you appreciate their hard work and recognize their achievements. Celebrating even small successes will help motivate employees to continue pushing themselves to be great at what they do.
By celebrating these employee milestones, employers can show that they value their employees and foster a positive workplace culture. Celebrations like these create a sense of belonging and community, which can help to motivate employees and inspire loyalty.
At the end of the day, celebrating employee milestones is an important part of showing appreciation for your team’s hard work. It’s a great way to show that you value their contributions and recognize their dedication to the company.
At Simply Thank You, we are here to help. Our platform and service makes it easy for businesses to quickly and easily recognize employee milestones, with customizable rewards and recognition tools. Get started today by speaking to us about your aims.