First and foremost, if you want to have any shot at all of communicating your appreciation for your employees, you must actually appreciate them. And you should! Your business may function without them, but not at the same level of productivity and profitability over time. It wouldn’t be so sustainable, either; a single man can only do so much! Employees give you both freedom and increased levels of success.

So appreciate them not because you have to, but because this should be a natural expression of your business’s forward success. That said, this can be easier said than done. Your employees are an investment in the future, and like any investment, sometimes you’re going to put your eggs in the wrong basket. Sometimes you’ll hire the wrong employee.

That said, this should happen a minority of the time. For the most part, you should expect to be happy with employee performance—and there are strategies you can put into play which will increase the likelihood of such appreciation. One thing you can use from the military is using sentimental but customized tokens of appreciation such as challenge coins as they are a low-cost solution that will greatly increase the bond between you and your battalion.

First and foremost, you need to give your employees the tools they require for proper success. You need to give them tools for work, you need to give them the opportunity to properly rest, you need to give them a career path they can set before themselves for purposes of motivation and to give themselves a raison d'être, or a reason to live, if you will.

The Right Tools
If you give an employee a spoon to dig a ditch, they’ll hate you, the spoon, and the job. If they finish what you’ve assigned them, it may just be a miracle. If you give them a shovel, this will make the job slightly better; but if it’s an old splintery shovel and they don’t have gloves, likewise acrimony will likely result. But if you give them a backhoe, they’ll get the ditch dug more quickly and be more satisfied; they’ll also be able to dig more ditches more quickly, tending toward more profitable operations.

What you pay for the heavier equipment is offset by expanded productivity and employee satisfaction, yielding increased levels of profit over time. This is an object example, but the same kind of reality surfeits white collar occupations the world over. With that in mind, one innovation today that is a real game-changer is BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device.

It works like this: you go with a cloud-based solution which “floats” your network such that it can be accessed from anywhere at any time—provided the connection secure, and the individual accessing the network has vetted access credentials. (This can even offset the cost of internal technological devices like servers, which could save you tens of thousands annually—there are many new considerable tech innovations today.) When you’ve got a “floated” network, employees can work from wherever they have access.

Imagine being able to work from home. You’d want to keep a job like that, so it’s likely you’d be productive, appreciative, and conscientious. As it turns out, this is the reality with BYOD—employees working through such a paradigm are likely to be more productive over time.

Internet-Based Innovations Worth Considering
You can make things even easier by giving them online clock-in parameters. Solutions like Clockspot can really save your business money while providing for more convenient working conditions among employees. Since such apps are often cloud-based, you can even monitor them with greater convenience at your leisure.

Next, you need to recognize excellence, but you shouldn’t reward everyone indiscriminately. Reward actual excellence. Do NOT give participation trophies—this lowers the morale of the whole team. You need to show that those who do well are rewarded, and anyone has the ability to be in the same boat if they play their cards right.

If you’re conscientious about seeing to the needs of your employees, they’ll be conscientious about working for you. As in anything we experience throughout life, you will get out what you put in. Put in excellence, and see employees do the same.