Do you remember the last time you said “thank you” to your employees? Who was it? Where did it happen? What were you thanking them for?
Employee appreciation plays an essential part in a company's success and is an important reflection of company culture. The definition of employee appreciation is:
The act of recognizing and rewarding employee contributions to the workplace either through formal or informal channels — Toolbox
Simply put, it’s any action from you to show your gratitude to your employees.
It sounds so simple yet, there is a holiday just for a seemingly everyday gesture. Why is that? Because we tend to forget the most crucial yet ordinary things. When was the last time you thanked someone with sincerity? The business of everyday life can sometimes get in the way of recognizing what others have done for us. It’s time for us to reconnect with the people we really care about, especially those who are contributing their time and effort working in the business.
In this article, we will delve into
What is Employee Appreciation Day?
Why is it important?
How can you make this day a memorable experience for your employees?
Employee Appreciation Day is always on the first Friday in March. People in leadership positions take the time to thank and reward employees for their support and hard work in the past year. Although it’s not an official US holiday with many businesses staying open, a few companies do give employees an extra day-off as a gesture of gratitude. Corporations might give out special perks or hold group celebratory events recognizing individual contributions. Depending on the size of your business and the resources available, there are many options to planning a successful day.
Borrowing ideas from Toolbox’s article, there are different variations of employee appreciation based on who is showing appreciation, what to appreciate, and ways of appreciation. Managers and peers alike are all great candidates for expressing appreciation for individuals. Special occasions and milestones such as hitting revenue goals and anniversaries are all worth acknowledging on this day as well. Ways of highlighting achievements include giving a formal speech, sending out a company-wide gratitude newsletter, or writing a simple shoutout on Slack. No matter how you demonstrate your thanks, remember the most important aspect is the emotion and authenticity behind your message.
A company’s employees are its greatest asset and your people are your product — Richard Branson
When the plethora of projects and tasks take over, we oftentimes forget about the people working behind-the-scenes aren’t machines. We’re all human. We need to take time off to rest and recharge. With the changes from the previous few years, it’s more imperative than ever to take a day to reflect on accomplishments and sincerely thank colleagues. Research shows that employee engagement is a key factor to company success as companies with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable.
HR Executives report that about 70% of employees say COVID19 is the most stressful time of their career. Employees endured many challenges and adapted to various changes from 2021. Openly address the overcoming of such hardships on this day to praise the work everyone in the company has done to make this day extra special in 2022.
Planning for a successful Employee Appreciation Day doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are three simple ways to say thanks to your employees this year:
Give them a day off
Host an event
Send a gift
Employee Appreciation Day is not a national holiday. Most businesses open for business as usual, but this is an opportunity for you to create positive word-of-mouth by starting an annual trend of giving a day off. Even if it’s for half a day too. Give them an extended 3-day weekend so they can spend it with family and friends. Remote workers can decrease their screen time by logging off early and spend time cultivating their interests. Breathe a little earlier in the week yourself and enjoy a relaxing weekend.
Sometimes take a day off isn’t feasible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take an hour or 2 out of a workday to host an event. Whether it’s a formal employee recognition event or a team bonding event, make sure it features the contributions of your staff. Putting a fun event in the calendar also gives people something to look forward to and a break from regular routines. There are a plethora of virtual activities available to spark your creativity on what fits your team.
Imagine coming home to a package with just what you wanted inside. How excited would you be? Surprise your employees with personalized gifts for each individual to boost morale. Choose a gift based on your knowledge of their preferences and needs is more meaningful than mass gifting impersonal swag items. Receiving company T-shirts and mugs is outdated and seems insincere. Instead, customizing each gift indicates genuine consideration and understanding the unique personalities of your team. If you’re pressed for time, there are platforms specializing in employee gifting to help you convey your gratitude.
Looking for gift ideas? Giftpack helps businesses create meaningful touchpoints with employees through cost-effective and time-efficient gifting at scale. If you’re struggling to find the time and energy to select more than 50 gifts, give them a try.
Looking for Gift card ideas? Gusto specializes in sending gift cards right to the recipient’s inbox and offers a variety of gift card options for a range of products and services. WeGift has the largest collection of digital gift cards to fit anyone’s needs.
In the end… these are the people who will help you realize your dream. Treat them with respect and kindness. There are 2 powerful words that add value to your employee’s motivation, yet frequently forgotten in daily life.
Say it often. Show your recognition by saying “thank you” every time your employees finish a task, help you on a project, or any work worth emphasizing. It doesn’t cost you anything and can make a priceless impact on someone else. Make it a habit starting from Employee Appreciation Day.