Insights - 01 October, 2022

How Financial Services Leaders Can Show Appreciation to Their Employees

Think of a top member of your financial advisors’ team who does everything perfectly - copes with responsibilities and all the obstacles along the way, develops his skills and abilities, meets deadlines on time, and manages to help everyone around, exceeding all expectations. The question is: when did you last demonstrate your appreciation to this star employee of yours?

If you cannot remember the day, then you are not alone. Complimenting your employees for their efforts is one of those things that is easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day teamwork. In fact, 40% of employees feel that recognition is not a priority for their current employer, and 52% want more recognition from their immediate supervisor, Quantum Workplace & BambooHR says.

Problems begin when the diligent and productive work of employees go unnoticed. There's no doubt that employee recognition and appreciation have a major impact on financial business. Recognition statistics state that employees who feel appreciated are more productive, more engaged with their work, and more likely to remain in a company. According to Reward Gateway research, 90% of HR responders believe that a successful recognition program positively affects the company's bottom line and 91% agree that it increases retention rates. 

Therefore, more and more financial services companies are making employee recognition their highest priority. Hopefully, our suggestions for showing appreciation to your associates will help you on your way.

Recognition VS Appreciation

In everyday speech, recognition and appreciation are frequently used interchangeably and construed to mean the same thing. However, despite their importance, there is a significant difference between the terms. Understanding the difference is critical for leaders who want their teams to succeed and for financial services businesses that want to build cultures of engagement, loyalty, and high performance.

Recognition is defined as an acknowledgment of someone's ability, achievement, or success. On the other hand, appreciation is recognition with gratitude. In other words, recognition is about noticing what somebody has done right, while appreciation adds a layer of thankfulness to it. 

In the workplace, recognition is given to employees when they accomplish something right or go above and beyond expectations. Occasionally, this comes in a formal manner: awards, bonuses, pay increases, and career promotions. Sometimes, it is expressed informally as a spoken thank you or a personal message. 

However, recognition does have its boundaries:

  • Based on performance: Therefore, it's dependent. 
  • Built on the past: It focuses on what has previously been accomplished. 
  • Confined: There is a limited quantity of praise to go around — not everyone can get a bonus or be promoted — and it may be difficult when many people are competing for a small amount of recognition.
  • Comes from the top: recognition is often bestowed by senior management.

Many financial services companies have set up programs that allow peers to highlight each other's efforts, but the significant forms of recognition (promotions, raises, and so on) usually are given by senior leaders.

On the other hand, appreciation is shown when supervisors and peers express gratitude for their employees' hard work, diligence, and dedication. Acknowledging an individual's intrinsic worth is what appreciation is about. It's not about what they've already achieved but about the process and their value as a person and colleague. 

Consequently, while both recognition and appreciation are essential for motivating employees and fostering a positive work environment, appreciation tends to be more impactful since it conveys a message of sincere thanks. Even when your advisors are successful on a day-to-day basis, there's no way to avoid all the setbacks and obstacles. Depending on the project, there may be no certain outcomes to refer to. A financial services leader will miss numerous chances to encourage his team members with appreciation if he just relies on complimenting favorable results and recognition.

Ways To Show Employee Appreciation

Personal praise

If you want to create a powerful impact on your employees, start with praise. Harvard research says that praise is one of the most powerful ways to build strong relationships among staff members while also fostering trust within the company as a whole - making it an overall better place for everybody involved.

Praise has a more motivating effect when it is delivered in person. In fact, 24% of employees say that the CEO's personal praise was their most memorable recognition due to Gallup's research, while 52% of personnel are seeking greater recognition from their direct supervisors, according to Quantum Workplace & BambooHR. 

A handwritten note or even a sticker is more powerful than a typed letter, and a sincere verbal thank you face-to-face is much more valuable than an email. Eventually, nothing surpasses receiving genuine praise from your boss. The fact that the financial services employer personally praises his associates will prevent him from turning a statement of gratitude into an empty formality.

Going out for lunch

Everybody enjoys delicious food in good company. So why don't you use it as a benefit? 

Monday morning meetings in a coffee shop or Friday evening pizza & drinks with your team may become a motivator and a source of unification. If everyone feels at ease, a little lunch meeting may do wonders for company's morale. Plan a get-together with some fine dining at a convenient location or suggest your top performer name a venue. Don't bring up work all the time at those events.

Ordering coffee or snacks for your staff during a burning-busy day before the deadline for a project could be a noticeable gesture of appreciation to your employees. And for the work-from-home team, using a takeaway or transaction app to transfer lunch money can show your personnel how much you appreciate them.

Personal and team celebrations

A statement that every employee is special and valuable means nothing if their leaders don’t congratulate them properly on their special day, such as a birthday or another major life event. properly. A personalized cake to share with the team staff is not so costly but definitely a memorable act of appreciation from the company. Alternatively, giving a "whenever-you-want" day off as a birthday present  can do wonders for your employee morale.

Yet birthdays are not the only celebration occasion to show appreciation. State holidays, successful project launches, specific organization events, or some non-obvious celebrations may be the most enjoyable time to make your advisors happier. For unplanned parties, choose a day and time when your personnel may be straining to keep up with the pace of the workday.

Statistics say that employees are more inclined to depart after a year of work in one spot, and younger generations are more likely to change jobs often. For this reason, celebrate the anniversary of an employee's hiring to reward them for loyalty. 

Create a staff page

A quick look at the company website can speak volumes about the level of employee appreciation. Does it have a staff page? Can you learn about CEOs only, or are mid-level workers included? Is there a way for clients to meet financial services organization employees before they enter your office?

Obviously, you can't put everyone on your website if you run a large firm or have privacy concerns. But you can place an adequate number of your best talents on the staff column, no matter the position, and allow them to create their own biography description. 

Reflect on presents

Presenting gifts to employees is not an unexplored recognition method to discuss. But when it comes to actual and meaningful appreciation, individual preferences matter. What motivates one person may not inspire another. The Bonusly research found that 44% of employees prefer to get gift cards as rewards, and 41% chose a paid vacation with coworkers. Consequently, it is essential to consider what they value.

For peep-to-peer engagement presents, you may use a cue from the "secret Santa" tradition and establish a "secret pal" gift exchange. Each financial services employee should write their name on a piece of paper and place it in a box or a jar. Then each individual draws a piece and surprises the person, whose name was written, with a small, not expensive present. This may become a great way to build a warm peer-to-peer appreciation in your working environment. 

Take care of their health

Physical activity, both exercise as well as relaxation-related, is widely recognized as an effective way to maintain both physical and mental health. After all, preventing diseases, nervous breakdowns, burnout, and strengthening the body and spirit are much more pleasant and profitable than lengthy and costly treatment. And if this is also a way to show care for your advisors, as well as a method of uniting the team, then it should definitely be used by a financial employer.

Gym training, fitness incentives, group Zumba meetings combined with yoga, relaxation courses, or even talk therapy can make your workers less anxious, more focused, fulfilled, and adaptable. That will affect staff productivity and creativity and build a healthy company culture. 

Promote staff LinkedIn profiles

Promotion and salary raises are employee recognition methods, which are rare, budget-based, and limited. The advantages of employee appreciation from this point of view are obvious - the employer can help boost your staff's career development and show appreciation beyond the workplace.

Writing a glowing LinkedIn recommendation for a team's top talent is a great example. Such recommendations can help and encourage the employee to achieve more success in their current position and in the future one.

Recognize victories outside of the workplace

Your workforce includes individuals who are accomplishing amazing feats outside of work. They spend their free time crafting, helping the homeless, feeding animals, volunteering, and engaging in various other social-important activities. Why not acknowledge them for those selfless acts in front of everyone? 

We all prefer to share information about ourselves with others, yet most of us don't like to boast. Share your excitement about the team's great qualities and talk about your employees. That shows how much you value your worker's personality, not just their business achievements, and has a significant positive effect on morale.

Make "thank you" contagious

Employee appreciation will be more forthcoming in a financial organization where workers express thanks for little contributions on a habit basis. For instance, take a look at email signatures with thank-you messages. This holds true for Slack, Asana, and other office communication tools as well.

A company may create a workplace where managers and workers consistently show appreciation for one another by adopting these concepts. Employee engagement will gradually increase over time, and the goodwill fostered by this appreciation culture will also influence customer relationships.

Ask "how are you," meaning it

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. Whoever said that it's a wonderful reminder for a financial services leader. Contact the employees you work with. You may demonstrate your concern for someone by asking them how they're doing and what challenges they're facing at the moment. Ultimately, actually meaning what you say and not just trying to be polite is more authentic and meaningful.

Eventually, building a culture of appreciation ultimately boils down to a variety of simple, commonsense behaviors, such as not taking your employees for granted, expressing your gratitude in a genuine and personal manner, and demonstrating your interest in the personal development of your staff members.

If you would like to discuss the original and effective ways for appreciating your workforce, book a call with me or with my team members at Provision People and we’ll share what some of the most successful financial services leaders do to ensure their staff is happy to stay with them.