Employee Appreciation

Jim goodnight

March 6th is Employee Appreciation Day! 

This year, Employee Appreciation Day falls on Friday March 6th.  Since 1995, the first Friday of March has become the day when businesses celebrate their employees by showing special and sincere appreciation for all that is accomplished in the year.

Although Employee Appreciation Day is a non-official day, many bosses around the world will choose to honor their teams on March 6th. There is an incredible ROI on recognizing employees for who they are as a human beings. Honoring strengths, individuality, contribution and participation in the course of conducting daily business is second to none.

Is there a long term advantage and a payoff to celebrating employees?

Yes, most definitely! No question! Without a doubt!

It is well known fact that employee recognition leads to building greater confidence, trust, and serves as a great motivator that encourages the repeat performance of recognized behaviors. There are studies that prove happy, passionate and engaged employees  offer a better customer experience resulting in higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. Think about the impact that fact has on the company’s bottom line.

Employees are the heart of any business. When they become disgruntled or apathetic  good energy  is being yanked out the front door, escapes through the windows and dies inside of people.  Of course the opposite is true when employees are fully engaged. They pass on their enthusiasm to teammates, customers and even take it home with them.

The Psychology of Recognitionshow appreciation

There is a very strong case for building a “culture of recognition”. A lack of consistent feedback, recognition, and appreciation have proven to perpetuate an ongoing disconnect between employees with their employers and their customers. It has been reported that employees are:

  • 5X more likely to feel valued,
  • 7X more likely to stay,
  • 6X more likely to invest in the company, and
  • 11X more likely to feel completely committed in their jobs

Many of us are familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of basic needs – Survival , Safety, Belonging, Esteem and Self-Actualization. Recognition is an important psychological need. When employees are honored in their workplace, appreciation and belonging is created. Although compensation and benefits support  fundamental needs it is recognition that supports  higher-level psychological needs. Cash doesn’t last and is most definitely not king!

15 ideas on how to acknowledge Employee Appreciation Day this yearIDEA

  1. Treat staff to a delivered breakfast
  2. Throw a pizza lunch party
  3. Stagger the day and give staff part of the day off
  4. Organize an outdoor team building exercise
  5. Take crazy and fun pictures and post them on the company social media pages
  6. Organize an afternoon event – paper airplane contest, company employee quiz , treasure hunt, beach party, goofy Olympic Event, murder mystery
  7. Purchase a company “toy” your employees would most enjoy; a cappuccino machine, dart board, ping-pong table
  8. Coordinate a potluck lunch prepared and served by management
  9. Arrange an outside of work bowling, matinee movie
  10. Send a company-wide email showing genuine appreciation
  11. Give everyone a Starbucks gift card
  12. Have a masseuse come in for a ten minute neck massage
  13. Have an afternoon high tea with small sandwiches and pastries
  14. Have a Happy Hour get together with drinks and snacks and toast the staff

And #15, last but not least, my personal favorite is to share the fun on Employee Appreciation Day!

Bottom line on employee appreciation and recognitiondid you know

  • Did you know the #1 reason most employees leave their job is that they feel under-appreciated?
  • Did you know that nearly 75% of organizations have a recognition program despite the fact that only 58% of employees think that their organizations have recognition programs?
  • Did you know that if employees anticipate that they will be recognized for a job well done they have a much stronger incentive to do so?
  • Did you know that recognizing employees is one of the most overlooked facets of managements that even great leaders sometimes forget about?
  • Did you know that a good employee recognition strategy offers a better method to reduce and minimize stress in the workplace?

So why wait for Employee Appreciation Day each year to recognize your people? Why not implement an ongoing program that will build on itself? Is it time to define a solid and appreciative corporate culture, improve employee engagement levels and build healthier teams?

The good news is you don’t have to break the bank and spend a lot of money to boost employee engagement by showing appreciation on a regular basis. Affordable staff appreciation activities are very easy to develop and execute.

6 simple concepts or year-round Employee Appreciation and Acknowledgementacknowledge good work

  1. Publish a “kudos” column in the employee newsletter, intranet or create a billboard.
  2. Set up a schedule to speak with each employee, each month and personally thank them for a contribution they have made in the last month.
  3. Track and celebrate employees’ birthdays and employment anniversaries one day each month
  4. Make a point of knowing every employee’s first name so it can be used to address them when saying hello or good morning
  5. Acknowledge an employee’s good idea at a public meeting with other employees
  6. Send personalized thank you notes to employees who work long hours or overtime

In closing

Acknowledging and celebrating Friday, March 6th will demonstrate to your employees how much they are valued every day, and especially on Employee Appreciation Day!

“Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”

~ Sam Walton, founder of Walmart

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