Do you ever feel like you’ve got a revolving door for high school employees? There are three key steps to employee retention: hire the right teen, offer employee training, and keep employees engaged and satisfied.

One of the best ways to take that last step is to let your teen employees know you’re thankful for what they do. And it’s important to do that more often than just on an employee appreciation day.

Read on for a look at seven ways to step up employee appreciation—without blowing your bottomline.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Note Your Thanks

It sounds old school, but a handwritten note is a great way to say “thank you.” In case you haven’t written a thank you note in a while, here’s the key: be specific.

Instead of Thanks for your help on the party, identify what the employee did and why it mattered. Thanks for coming early to set up for the party. The guest of honor was amazed at how this place was transformed. We couldn’t have done it without your ideas and effort.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Heap on the High Fives

This one may feel a little corny, but it’s an understood and appreciated gesture. High fives are a quick way to say “Way to go!”

This is a timely form of recognition that can happen on the fly. Make it a point to look for things to praise. And it doesn’t have to be a high fives.

Fist bumps, elbow taps, thumbs up…it all works. This is a great way to recognize part-time employees right in the moment, even if things are hectic. Encourage your team to high five each other too for little wins, great service, and other job well done situations.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Post Your Part-time Employee Praise

Here are a few ways to sing the praises of your teenage employees internally and externally:

  • Post Employee of the Week on the board in your break room with a specific reason for choosing them.
  • Text your team to share customer compliments.
  • Share employee milestones on Facebook—whether in an employee group or on your business page.
  • Tweet praise for employees.

Mix it up and give both public and private praise.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Give Teen Employees Incentives

If you saw the word incentives and thought expensive, keep reading. We promised these ideas wouldn’t blow your bottom line—and most won’t cost a dime. Incentives will cost you, though they still don’t have to break the bank.

Cash bonuses work as employee incentives, but so do gift cards or surprise gifts. The key to make it really work? Make it personal.

Think an iTunes card for your music-loving employee and a card for the movie theater for a cinema fan. For a no-cost incentive, offer to take over an unpopular task for the day if your team meets a certain goal.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Create a Culture of Thanks

Managers set the tone for a team, but they shouldn’t be the only ones offering appreciation. Encourage your team to help each other out—and to recognize the contributions others make.

Let them nominate Teammate of the Month. End a meeting or huddle asking people to give a quick shout out to another part-time employee.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Celebrate Your Employees as People

Show your employees that you care about them as people not just workers. Give them the day off on their birthday.

Share news of accomplishments outside of work: Leila got accepted to UMKC! Nicky was named homecoming king! This lets your employees know that they’re celebrated for more than just their status as an employee.

Beyond Employee Appreciation Day Ideas: Use Right Now Recognition

Sometimes we put off recognizing people. We wait until the holiday party or the company picnic. We choose an employee of the month or celebrate weekly achievements every Friday.

There’s nothing wrong with these formal times of recognition, but they aren’t enough. Show your thanks in the moment: “I appreciate your hustle! We’re going to make this deadline” or “You really kept your cool with that angry customer. I’m impressed. How’d you get them to leave smiling?”

Showing appreciation doesn’t have to cost a lot, and it has a big pay off. Stellar employee recognition makes thanks timely and personal. So hire well to start with and make showing appreciation for part-time employees a regular practice. #TeenHiringGap

Before you can show appreciation to your employees, you’ve got to find the right teens to hire! HipHire’s at your service—and that’s our specialty. Get started today.

Download our 50 free part-time job interview questions

Instantly have this 11-page PDF of 50 free part-time job interview questions emailed to you today!