Last year, our company held its first President’s Conference. The event was established as one of several new initiatives we put in place to support a key recruitment and retention strategy: meaningful employee appreciation through recognition, thanks and rewards for their efforts and results.

The conference focuses entirely on celebrating the accomplishments of our top performers, beginning with a skywriter announcing their arrival through to a closing awards ceremony and party with a celebrity DJ.

In between, attendees spend time with board members and executives, hear from an outside speaker who delivers a keynote address on a specific business topic and network and socialize with their peers throughout the company.

Meaningful Employee Appreciation

In addition to spotlighting current successes, the conference also serves to motivate and inspire colleagues to earn a spot at next year’s event. It’s common for honorees to help their teammates qualify for the conference by sharing deals or otherwise providing support to colleagues who are close to making it.

In that regard, the conference is a way to show appreciation for both the accomplishments of attendees and the efforts of everyone in our company as they strive to reach the next higher level.

Reward Employees for their Hard Work

In addition to a major event like the President’s Conference, meaningful employee appreciation can take many different forms and formats. Monthly awards, spot bonuses, or a day off are several common ways we show our appreciation at the micro level.

We also recently adopted policies for unlimited PTO and a hybrid-remote work model to offer our people the flexibility and support they need to flourish in all facets of their lives.

Hire with an Open Mind

Another way to demonstrate meaningful employee appreciation for each individual: consider hiring someone who doesn’t have the direct experience you might normally require but does have other attributes — especially soft skills — which could help them succeed.

We recently filled a sales position at our company with a former teacher who had never worked in any other field. Despite that, we appreciated the other qualities that the person brought to the job. So we made the hire and have since hired three of the employee’s friends who are also former teachers.

That’s appreciation in action.

Those of us fortunate to work in this great industry know first-hand the ever-evolving nature of the employment market and business environment. While these dynamics may require new approaches to building and strengthening relationships, some of the most tried and true virtues and values are more important than ever. Showing meaningful, thoughtful appreciation for everyone on your team on a regular basis ranks at the top of that list.

Meet the Author: Thomas C. Ioele

TalentBridge CEO Thomas Ioele

Chief Executive Officer

**This content originally appeared at Staffing Stream**