How do you show your staff appreciation?
Staff Appreciation Vertical

How do you show your staff appreciation?

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Whether it’s Thanksgiving or any other time of the year, you’ll want to show your staff appreciation for what they do: Consistently support you and your firm, and in many cases, help grow your firm.

We asked some of our Intuit® Tax Pro Center authors to tell us how they show appreciation. Here’s what they had to say.

Louise Cochrane, CPA, EAL.F. Cochrane & Associates: I find that it is actually rewarding to show my staff appreciation in real time throughout the year rather than just at the holidays. If I can sense that an employee is struggling or having a hard day, I do one or more of a few things: Grant them a mental health day, or Venmo them funds with a specific memo such as: “Treat yourself to mani/pedi,” “Get DoorDash,” or “Take the family out for a meal.”

I love celebrating wins: Passing the EA exam, birthdays, and anniversaries. My favorite day to show appreciation is Valentines day, perfectly timed during tax season. I pre-order flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries for my virtual assistant (she LOVES them and hides them from her family), and for my more health-conscious employee, I order a fruit bouquet. I make sure to order using my personal email account so that my employees don’t see the surprise coming.

Just like a marriage, showing appreciation is the most important priority for success. When you genuinely show you care, you provide a priceless component to employee retention. But appreciation comes in so many different forms and means different things for different people, so I make it personal, individual, and unique.

Renee Daggett, EAAdminBooks: At our firm, expressing gratitude toward our staff is a way we show our deep appreciation for their hard work.  We take the time to understand their individual preferences, whether it’s to learn their favorite restaurant, snack, favorite ways to relax, or their top languages of appreciation in the workplace. We try to tailor our gestures to resonate with what matters most to them. This could mean gift cards, flexible work hours, or paid time off, all aimed at making them feel valued in and outside the workplace.  Some non-conventional acts are team bonding events that foster a sense of camaraderie, and we prioritize their mental well-being by providing access to services from Marketplace Chaplains. However, our grandest gesture this year was to fly our virtual team to Vancouver, Canada, to take a cruise down the western coast to San Francisco to celebrate 20 years of being in business!

Hugh DuffyBuild Your Firm: Recently, we had a client call our office on a weekend who left a voicemail raving about a Technical Support staff member who has been here six months.  The client was so impressed that he felt it was worthy of calling and letting us know how impressed he was.  To acknowledge this new hire, we sent an email to all employees with the recording so they would listen. And we provided the new staff member with a gift certificate for $75. Recognizing this new employee and emphasizing great support is so important these days.  

Sharrin FullerGlass Wallet Ventures, LLC: To show my team my appreciation for their dedication and hard work, I employ a multitude of methods tailored to prioritize their well-being and professional development. I give them the freedom to select the platforms and software we integrate into our company, ensuring they are in the most conducive environment for their skills and preferences. Recognizing the importance of work-life balance, I offer open PTO, flexible scheduling, and 100% remote work, allowing them to manage their time effectively and cater to personal commitments. On special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries, I provide gift cards and give shout-outs to celebrate their milestones. As a team, we also embark on trips, strengthening our bonds and fostering a sense of camaraderie. My open-door policy encourages transparent communication, enabling staff to approach me with any concerns or ideas. Most importantly, I take the time to understand each individual’s aspirations and growth trajectory, actively aiding them in their professional journey. All these efforts are my way of demonstrating my genuine appreciation for their invaluable contributions.

Bhairavi Parikh, CPAAnalytix Solutions: Showing appreciation is an essential aspect of not only maintaining a positive work environment, but also fostering a strong team dynamic. At Analytix, we have various ways to show appreciation:

  • Personalized thank you notes and/or emails: Even though verbal recognition takes precedence over any other form of communication; the second best method is the written personalized message. Keeping leaders, management, and the entire team in the loop, I like to acknowledge my team or individual’s efforts by sending praise emails to highlight their efforts, and what they did that positively impacted the entire team and/or company.
  • Employee of the Month programs: We have a monthly Rewards and Recognition program. The heads of departments nominate employees from their department for two awards, Impact Maker of the Month and Change Maker of the Month. This list is published across the company and there are monetary rewards linked with these awards.
  • Employee welfare budget: Analytix provides a welfare budget to all departments. Each department can use this budget in their own way as a work vacation/trips or team lunches for the deserving team. Apart from the budget, whenever I meet my remote team—usually once a year—I take them out to lunch or dinner to show them appreciation.
  • Flexible work hours or remote work: We allow flexibility in working hours or offer remote work options when feasible. This demonstrates trust and appreciation for their work-life balance.

Regardless of the method, I believe the key to effective appreciation is personalization and sincerity!

Mary C. Thomas, CPA, attorney—Thomas, Thomas & Thomas, PC: First, we say “thank you!” Second, we listen to one another, extend grace as needed, and honor that people have their own lives that are separate from work. We take random days off, have a company lunch, and visit at least one beautiful place, such as a park or nursery, that we enjoy together. We do not pressure ourselves or anyone else to be perfect. Instead, we give ourselves the space and permission to be collaborative. The result is a very relaxed environment in which to work. We also gift one another with a poison pill: The right to nominate difficult people for amicable release. We value gratitude, peace, and harmony, and we deliver it every day. 

Michelle WeinsteinThe Pitch Queen: I take the staff to Cabo San Lucas annually, have dinners when we are in the same city and location, and give thoughtful gifts with meaning and purpose behind them.

What do you do in your firm to show your appreciation? Leave a comment below so others can learn some of your best practices.

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