Working an hourly job is …

“ … like playing in an orchestra. It’s not about what you do alone but what you create together,” said Peter Harrison, CEO of Snagajob.

“ … way more difficult than I remembered. It takes constant concentration, attention to detail and patience,” said Jocelyn Mangan, Chief Operating Officer of Snagajob.

“ … more challenging and requires more focus and experience than meets the eye,” said Jim Monroe, Chief People & Customer Officer of Snagajob.

And we couldn’t agree more. While we think every day should be Employee Appreciation Day, we’re keeping the celebration going at Snagajob by sharing our lessons learned from working a shift in an hourly worker’s shoes.

1. Create a culture of appreciation

Lead by example. Positive energy and meaningful recognition is contagious. Get on the floor with your employees, so you have a true understanding of their jobs and what’s praise-worthy. Regular interaction with them is important. If employees don’t feel you truly understand their contributions, your recognition efforts won’t have the same effect.

2. Crowdsource feedback

Don’t just let recognition come from the top down. Ask your employees’ peers to weigh in, and let them be the ones to recognize achievement and reward it. Your employees’ coworkers are the ones on the ground level, seeing the ins and outs of what a day is really like. Plus, peer-to-peer acknowledgment works wonders for morale and teamwork.

One of our customers, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, even has locations that call “Thank You” meetings. The name says it all. Coworkers gather for a short amount of time each month just to give each other shout-outs in front of one another. Sometimes, saying thank you in a group setting means more than any kind of tangible reward.

3. Be creative

Speaking of rewards, get creative with the way you express gratitude. A bonus doesn’t always do the trick for your employees. Maybe it’s a half-day off to spend with their families, a handwritten thank you note or a fun, team-oriented outing. Ask employees what kind of rewards they would value. Give them a reason to go above and beyond. Rewarding team members in a way that goes deeper than their pockets, creates a mind-body connection that will encourage them to continually do great work.

4. Don’t overthink it

Getting creative with your employee recognition efforts doesn’t mean your program has to be elaborate. What you want to avoid is creating a system that is too complicated for everyone to be involved and that isn’t too time-consuming that it deters from productivity. Having employee appreciation efforts in place in general is far more important than having a “system” in place.

5. Remember the R.I.S.E. formula

Making recognition Regular, Immediate, Specific and Encouraging is the basic formula for any great employee appreciation program. It may sound obvious, but these are the fundamentals for ensuring that on-the-spot feedback is valuable.

The desire to feel appreciated is part of human nature. When the need is understood and fulfilled in the workplace, you’re creating a positive environment, where employees feel respected, valued and motivated to excel. And who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?