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10 Rockstar Companies That Are Killing it in Employee Appreciation

By Michael Heller Employee Engagement

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Did you know 78% of employees would work harder in their jobs if they were simply recognized for their work? It seems so easy to do, and yet many companies can’t manage it. No matter the industry, recognition and praise drive success more than anything else. Fortunately, there are some companies totally killing it when it comes to employee appreciation.

Employee appreciation looks and feels different for every employer and employee; and in this instance, size does make a difference. For this reason, we divided our company list in half. The first half is comprised of large companies killing it in employee appreciation, the second half is dedicated to the small (but oh so mighty) teams rocking employee appreciation strategies. Think of your employee appreciation strategy as a grab bag – some things that worked for others will

78% of #employees would work harder if they were simply recognized for their work. Read this: Click To Tweet

#1- Hyatt Hotels

In 2014, Hyatt was named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and for good reason. From 2009 onward, they have been the recipients of tons of awards for employee appreciation, diversity and more. A hotel chain might not be the first company you think of when “employee appreciation” comes to mind, but Hyatt is definitely getting it right.

So what are they doing? Robb Webb, Chief Human Resources Officer of Hyatt, said “At Hyatt, the satisfaction and well-being of our associates is fundamental to the success of our business, because they are the ones who care for our guests each and every day.” At the most basic level, genuinely caring for employees is the best way to appreciate them.

Find #employeeappreciation strategies & see how these places are winning employee love: Click To Tweet

#2- Disney

We’re not surprised that Disney, owner of the “Happiest Place on Earth” is nailing employee appreciation. Disney encourages their employees to inspire others, go out of their way to create happiness and find new ways to deliver magic—and they make sure to reward for it!

One of their favorite ways to appreciate employees is also one of the simplest. A small, sincere “thank you,” delivered consistently, lies at the base of their employee recognition programs. After the thank you comes special-edition pins for name tags, custom-made trophies, and VIP “Service Celebrations” designed to reward those employees who go above and beyond.

All this VIP treatment translates into a VIP customer experience, which is exactly how Disney wants it.

#3- Deloitte

Deloitte knows employee engagement and employee appreciation. Bersin by Deloitte often does research into that very topic. When it comes to appreciating their own employees, Deloitte focuses on career development and education. Their leadership development programs are widespread, flexible and unique.

That focus is paying off – Deloitte has been named one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 17 years in a row. They empower and support the well-being of their employees because they know when their employees feel appreciated, the whole company benefits.

In fact, over 80% of Deloitte’s workforce (according to Glassdoor reviews and data) would recommend working there to a friend and over 90% approve of the CEO. Looks like developing employees is paying off!

#4- MARS

Working with M&Ms, Snickers, and Milky Ways might be a reward on its own, but MARS didn’t want to stop there. To show their employees how much they care, the leaders of MARS offer an abundance of benefits. These include paid time off to volunteer and paternity leave, on top of a hefty 401k matching plan.

They also have extensive health and wellness programs for their employees that ensure they’re well cared for. According to their website, keeping their associates “motivated, productive, happy and healthy isn’t just important—it’s essential.”

MARS was awarded its first-ever gold “Workplace Wellness Award” by the Workplace Councils of America. The list of benefits seems as endless as their list of sweet treats, including: stress management, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation, weight management and on-site medical care.

#5- Zappos

Online retailer Zappos is committed to building team and family spirit among their employees. One of the ways they do it is through employee appreciation, which isn’t just top-down, but 360 degrees. Front and center stands their Coworker Bonus Program, which allows employees to award an extra $50 a month to a coworker who has truly gone above and beyond.

According to their website, Zappos’ working space is dedicated to treating their employees. It includes a bistro, yoga studio, nap room, gym, rooftop deck and more!

#6 Reltio

Reltio is an Information Technology company based in Redwood Shores, California, with about 80 employees. Team members have reported having excellent onboarding and teamwork experiences, thanks to their “extremely collaborative CEO.”

Reltio is a proven example of what happens when you have an inclusive onboarding process in place. Organizations with standard onboarding processes experience 54% greater new hire productivity and 50% higher retention rates.

“I was very nervous when I joined Reltio as I was new to the team and the technology was fairly new to me as well. My team members and senior management made me feel very comfortable, provided me with the right learning materials and gave additional time that was needed to catch up on the technology and processes.”

Anonymous Team Member Review

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to show your new employees you appreciate having them on your team. Reviews like the one above show the mere simplicity of it all – being prepared on your new hire’s first day and offering extended resources and training can go a long way in the retention and appreciation process.

#7 Qualbe Marketing Group

Qualbe Marketing Group has a people-first approach to their business model. Their drama-free culture is the first priority to generating company success. Did you know 33% of employees say lack of open, honest communication has the most negative impact on employee morale?

Qualbe is on the ball with their culture and inclusion; they’ve implemented an internal feedback loop among coworkers that always calls back to their company core values. Team members are encouraged to write each other “Rock Star Cards” when they catch coworkers doing something extraordinary. One employee said, Not only are we able to have fun while getting a lot of things accomplished, people here also genuinely desire to see others around them be successful.”

Read more about the benefits of jumping into a culture with 360-degree feedback!

#8 Panopto

Aside from their work from home benefits and incredibly cool office spaces in Seattle and Pittsburgh, Panopto has a robust work program for expectant and existing parents (for both mothers and fathers)!

Aside from the very generous 60 day maternity leave (including FMLA/STD, excluding personal and paid vacation days), Panopto also offers fully paid paternal leave for up to 20 days, a lactation room for returning in-office mothers and paid sick leave to care for ill children and relatives.

In addition to these forward-thinking benefits for working parents, Panopto engrains leadership and growth into their culture. For example, Panopto hosts quarterly leadership awards given to individuals who stood out in their focus on customers, innovation and ownership.

Learn more about the benefits of building up your leaders and how to get started!

#9 Button

Button operates under a very strict workplace Japanese philosophy called, “omotenashi” – the philosophy that is tied to being hospitable and always thinking one step further about what someone may want or need and addressing it proactively.

Button is completely dedicated to this philosophy with unlimited vacation time available (with a $500 stipend to pay for travels), 18 weeks of paid maternal and paternal leave with a $1,000 “baby” bonus to help offset the costs of being a new family, free parenting and childbirth classes, on-site daycare, paid nutritional consultations, 24/7 fully catered office dining 5 days a week with rooftop dining from the city’s finest restaurants and quarterly retreats for team bonding…just to name a few.

This forward-thinking company has a 99% approval rate for leadership and 115% chance for job growth in the company. Learn more about Button.

#10 Square Root

Square Root is an information technology company based in Austin, Texas with about 51 employees. Their workplace learning and development philosophy is a little…backwards compared to traditional thinking. So how do they find success? Celebrating failure,” said one employee, “We just started a new weekly companywide gathering called ‘Fail > Learn > Cake.’ People are encouraged to present situations where they tried something new and failed, but learned something new in the process.”

Sounds a little upside down, doesn’t it? Upside down, untraditional and backward in every way is kind of the winning core to this company’s entire upbringing and success thus far. From the start, CEO Chris Taylor started the company without an idea, or a team. Through this philosophy, Taylor built a team of employees who are “figure it out, make it happen,” type techies and thinkers. Many employees describe the culture and benefits as “Choose Your Own Adventure.”

While some folks think it’s scary to provide such autonomy right off the bat, we feel confident our radicals will choose an adventure that works for them and Square Root!”

Sounds like an incredible culture for dreamers if you ask us!

The lesson here is that actually caring about your employees and wanting them to succeed and be happy is the key to appreciation. You may not be able to give them an indoor swimming pool or pay for pizza Fridays every week, but a simple “thank you” can go a long way. If you don’t have the resources of a large company, wide-spread employee recognition can be difficult to implement. Fortunately, iRevü’s microfeedback system allows you to give quick and easy feedback, so your company can be a rockstar too.

Michael Heller

Posted By Michael Heller

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