When people are the true assets of your company, it's important to say thanks for all the hard work they've helped to build your business. In celebration of Employee Appreciation Day today (yay!), Human Resources spoke to various HR and business leaders from across APAC on how they ensure that staff feel appreciated.

Token redemption

T-Systems Malaysia shows its appreciation to employees in many different ways. For example, thank-you notes, Special Recognition Award, Wall of Fame, anniversary and birthday celebrations. Additionally, employees are encouraged to give certain tokens of appreciation to their colleagues at various occasions, and last but not least the company also has a point-based recognition scheme called T-Awards.

Explaining further on the scheme, vice-president of human resources at T-Systems Malaysia, Vaclav Koranda, commented: “Customers, managers, team leads as well as basically any employee can nominate any other employee for their achievement and the employee receives a specific amount of points credited to their appreciation account once approved.”

“Employees collect points and can advance through bronze, silver, gold level and redeem their points for valuable gifts accordingly,” he added.

According to Koranda, recognition boosts engagement and performance and hence contributes to company growth indirectly. He said: “Recognised employees are more engaged and can therefore better engage with customers.”

Open recognition

For leaner teams such as halal beauty-brand Zahara, their secret lies in open communication. Amira Geneid, CEO, Zahara, shared: “We have a meeting once a week where we discuss what we did the previous week and we always take the time to appreciate and commend each other on the work when it’s called for and support each other when we need help to achieve our goals.”

When asked how it has helped her business grow, she added: “I’ve found that employees will always work better when they understand the contribution that they are making. It helps them realise how valuable they are to the company and it’s a great driver for employees and thus the company as a whole.”

Goodie bags

According to Jillian Cheong, the director of human resources at YOTEL Singapore; part of the brand’s values are their 31Practices - which are translated to all employees across YOTEL, (one for every day in a month).

She shared: “Some of the practices include having each others' backs, putting oneself into the shoes of others and making an effort to please, as well as going above and beyond to bring smiles to the people around them, through kind words and gestures.”

“As front-line staff, it is important to observe these practices when interacting with guests, but employees also emulate these practices internally to colleagues alike,” she continued.

Moreover, YOTEL gives employee incentives to thank them for their hard work during busy periods. Cheong added that YOTEL acknowledges the efforts of all their staff members with employee goodie packs when they experienced a hundred percent occupancy rate in December 2017 to January 2018.

“It is with staff recognition that employees will feel a sense of appreciation, and be motivated to take pride and ownership of their work,” Cheong emphasised.

Travel perks

At The Travel Corporation (TTC), the travel firm aspires to inculcate the value that every day is employee day. In fact, it finds every opportunity throughout the year to celebrate collaboration as colleagues.

Robin Yap, President, The Travel Corporation, Asia, commented: “Every employee is given 2-days Paid Volunteer to spend meaningful time to help in the community. Our CSR day is a company event Cycle for Fund to help the needy. After completing one full year of service, staff are entitled to join our Europe tours at staff rate and after five years, they are given a free tour of up to 8 days inclusive of airfares.”

A day of fun

At wellness brand Young Living, staff are shown appreciation in various ways. Speaking to Human Resources, Karen Cornejo, country manager, Young Living, said: “We set measurable targets for our staff and achievement of goals are recognised accordingly. Exemplary performance is recognised during staff assemblies and rewarded accordingly through various forms ranging from gift certificates to bonuses.”

Not only that, it also holds regular team gatherings that focus on making each employee feel involved and giving them the opportunity to realise the importance of the role they play in the Company. Cornejo commented: “These gatherings vary from staff assemblies, team get-togethers, corporate events and team building initiatives. We recognise that teamwork, camaraderie and having fun is key in a young workforce. Annually, we close the office to bring our employees out for a day of fun and for employees to bond with each other cross-functionally, an event which everyone looks forward to.”

To Cornejo,employees are the cornerstone of any business. They are the ones who make serve your members and are the face of your brand. She said: “In Young Living, we strongly believe and have witnessed how authentic and meaningful recognition tied to corporate values, produce a positive corporate culture which in turn produces happy, engaged employees who are aligned with business goals and strengthen company sustainability.”

“Furthermore, each of our employees have different strengths but not all of them are evident. We need to know how to trigger these strengths and though each employee’s motivating factor varies from the other, recognition is, by far, one of the most powerful triggers of an employee’s strengths and true potential.”

Similarly, Joanne Chew, head of HR, TWG Tea, commented: "At TWG Tea, we show staff appreciation in different ways, from organising team lunches to welcome a new employee to large scale events such as the company annual Dinner & Dance. In fact, we have just concluded a Lunar New Year Dinner for employees across all culture background to experience the festivities."

"Apart from the wining and dining, these activities are great for team bonding and for a chance for employees of all levels to come together, mingle and have fun," she added.

Photo / 123RF