Ever wonder what employee appreciation looks like?
I was going to write a blog post about how we do employee appreciation at Snowfly. I could have written about all of the wonderful things that we, an employee recognition, performance, and rewards company are doing using our own tools. Yes, we use Snowfly at Snowfly. There is peer and manager recognition, and people on our team are regularly given points they can redeem for rewards. Of course, we use our own product.
I thought about asking our leadership team what Snowfly does to show appreciation to employees but, again, this felt like the wrong approach. And finally I got the bright idea to ask our team members how they feel appreciated. You can have bosses and leaders talk all day long about what they do to appreciate employees but if the employees don’t feel appreciated then it isn’t working. Below are some of the things our team replied with.
What Employee Appreciation Looks Like
Let’s start with someone you may have talked to, Emmett. Emmett heads up our outbound sales efforts. He hails from the
very cold recently thawed Texas, in Austin, where he is helping keep Austin weird. Emmet has been with Snowfly for over a year and a half and has been instrumental in bringing on some awesome new clients. Emmett had a lot to say about working at Snowfly, and feeling appreciated. I’ll include just a portion of what he shared with me:
I have been told one-on-one how important I am by all of the ownership/leadership. I have been told in conference calls how my attitude and energy are appreciated and I have been recognized copious times by leadership and co-workers in our performance system for progress, achievements, recognizing others, and sales accomplishments.
Darrin called me one evening, only a few months after joining Snowfly. He had heard something about me negotiating with a prospect. I was just starting to work on the Price Estimate document. I was nervous about it because I was new and didn’t want to screw up and obligate Snowfly to something I didn’t mean to obligate them to. Darrin called me out of the blue and told me he had my back. He said if I make a deal with someone he trusted me to do what was best for Snowfly and he would back me. I was pretty taken aback by his unsolicited support and pretty stout backing. We ended up visiting for over an hour.
Elijah is such a good person by every conscious and unconscious (instinctual) metric. It took me a long while to really believe it. I work with him more than anyone because of demos and pricing document cooperation. I have had a chance to get to know him through some pretty stressful situations. He is either missing out on being a high stakes poker master, or he is one of the best human beings I have encountered in my life.
Eli is the definition of a good leader in almost every respect. He is effusive with compliments and praise, yet doesn’t come across as patronizing or too sappy. He is considerate and encouraging of others and their thoughts and opinions on issues. He is ridiculously engaged with Snowfly and seemingly always thinking and working for us. He is also very approachable, friendly and genuine. Eli is the type of leader people WANT to follow. He leads by example and makes everyone want to be and do better.
Another familiar name is Ryan, who works directly with customers helping ensure their programs are effective and their employees are engaged. He helps understand budgets and make sure each customer is getting the most out of their incentives budget, improving ROIs. Ryan shared:
I appreciate the company culture of family first the most. We can still attend all the things that are important to the family because Snowfly will allow you to make the time for it and adjust your schedule as needed. It’s the #1 benefit at Snowfly because it allows me to appreciate my family since they put this first. I also appreciate our Snowfly program. We have peer recognition that is great because it allows employees to give unforgettable recognition in the moment.
Concise and to the point, we have some thoughts from our developers. These are behind-the-scenes people who make the magic happen, with new features, fixing issues, and optimizing the user experience. Tim shared perhaps the shortest feedback, but something that is very important to anyone who wants to feel appreciated:
I feel appreciated when someone gives me a problem to solve.
Tim has been working on some very cool new technology, and finding problems for him to solve hasn’t been an issue. Isn’t it interesting how having meaningful work helps people feel appreciated?
Rodolfo responded to my question with thoughts about the to leaders he works closely with:
To Eli: you are always warm and caring to everyone and you are very keen on every detail. With you on the team I always feel welcome as you are always cheerful yet always decisive.
To Kyle: You’re humble and kind to everyone. Even with your busy schedule you always find time to help. You are incredibly good at listening, very attentive, and fun to work with.
Rodolfo is relatively new to Snowfly, although his impact has been felt in a big way (speed of the servers, etc.) Isn’t it interesting that he points out attitudes and how his manager’s work with him? This shows that employee appreciation is more than just a random bonus here and there, it’s the culture that is created and modeled by leadership.
Asher is also relatively new, but the work she has been given is critical for our customers. Right away she was able to make a difference to Snowfly. Here’s what she had to say:
I feel my time and work is honored and respected by Snowfly. The collaboration and communication is tricky, and I’m still very new and figuring it out, but everyone is helpful and grateful. Elijah does more than anybody else, so it’s easy for me to have motivation to work harder and do more. He also makes time to check in, not only with work tasks but with work load and makes sure there is support and resources. He lives his product, he not only finds the good in his employees and business, but also makes a point of expressing it.
Liz, also relatively new to Snowfly, adds:
I feel very good working at Snowfly because the people here are very sensitive to others. As a result, we try to do the right things to add value in everything we do. This is a result of the good leaders in the company. For example, Eli is a very good person. He regularly gives genuine appreciation to employees. He is a friend and is sensitive to our personal and professional needs. This is very important to feel good at work. This helps me want to give my best to my work and to the success of the company.
Rene sums up a lot of our feelings with his thoughts… you can tell he feels appreciated:
Working at Snowfly has been great. We have a great team. Everybody is happy to help you, and it’s cool to work remotely with people from different places. Working here has allowed me to learn from great people.
In each of these comments you see some consistencies. Leadership shares appreciation privately and in front of the whole company. Leadership sets an example, is kind, fun to work with, etc.
Like I said in last week’s post, employee appreciation is not a once-a-year event. It isn’t celebrated with sheet cake in 30 minutes in the break room. Employee appreciation happens throughout the year. It is felt when employees know they matter, their work matters, and their priorities matter. Employee appreciation should be part of your cultural DNA, expressed in everything you do.
Showing real appreciation is not faked. If it is, it won’t be felt.
This is much bigger than the first Friday of every March. Employee appreciation should be talked about in leadership meetings. It should be intentional. And, you should hire the right leaders to help build this into your culture. This is how you increase performance and employee satisfaction. This is how when you start seeing ROI.
Don’t forget Friday. It’s the big holiday. But make it a point to make every day employee appreciation day through your actions.
Feel like you need help to up your employee appreciation game? Contact us!