Happy Employee Appreciation Day!

Employee Appreciation Thank You

Did your organization celebrate Employee Appreciation Day last Friday? Believe it or not, this non-official holiday has been around for some time now. It began in 1995 under the direction of the “Guru of Thank You”, Dr. Bob Nelson. Since then, Employee Appreciation Day has caused a shift in the employee recognition mentality of many employers.

Last Friday, we saw tens of thousands of tweets and posts around Employee Appreciation Day, including pizza parties, breakroom doughnuts, and silly photos. However, the effects go much further than social media sensationalism, and can actually help your business by reducing turnover.

Employee Appreciation: More Than a Day

According to a recent study by CareerBuilder, 50% of employees shared that they would stay with their current employers if they were tangibly recognized. Another study revealed that 85.5% of employees who felt meaningfully recognized would go above and beyond their formal responsibilities to get the job done.

In light of new findings in this area of study, it may be time to analyze your own approach to the issue. So how can you level-up your employee appreciation game?

If you really want to see results, you need to cultivate a culture of employee appreciation. This will look different for every organization, but we’ve put together 8 ideas to get you started. Try out a few that seem like a good fit for your business until you find the perfect mix for your team!

1. Live your core values.

What are the core values of your business? Do you know them? More importantly, does your team? Your core values are the foundation of your company’s culture.

As leaders, you and your managers are responsible for continually reflecting these core values and shared mindsets in everything you do.

So if you want to cultivate a culture of employee appreciation, the first step is to get your management team on board.

2. When it comes to appreciation, A is for Effort.

Granted, we’re not saying you should throw all your other metrics out the window. However, there’s something to be said for acknowledging good efforts in the workplace.

It’s the same as a coach shouting “Good idea!” after a play that didn’t quite work out, but had potential.

Rewarding a proper mindset prevents your team from getting discouraged, and acknowledges efforts that–with a little more work–can lead to the results you’re looking for.

3. Keep it classic with a thank-you note.

Do you remember the last time someone gave you a thank-you note? What about the last time you sent one?

Handwritten thank-yous are warmer and more special than other forms of thank-yous. And studies are increasingly demonstrating the positive impact these notes have on recipients.

It only takes a minute or two to put your thoughts to paper. So take some time at the end of each day or week to write a small thank-you to someone on your team!

4. Happy, happy birthday, from all of us to you…

Birthdays are a great reason to celebrate year-round. If you don’t already, consider making these celebrations a part of your monthly routine.

You can order in lunch or get a cake so the whole team can celebrate together. Additionally, consider other incentives that would resonate most deeply with your team.

Whether it’s time off the phones, a day out of the office, or something else, find a way to thoughtfully show your employees you see their struggles and appreciate having them on your team.

5. Put it on display.

Employee appreciation should be public, so find a way to make your team shout-outs an office focal point!

For example, you could send an email to the whole company to recognize an employee’s good work, have a hall of fame, or even share these on social media.

Here at SDP, we have a Core Values Board with different colored cards for each of our core values. Whenever we see a team member demonstrating one of these core values, we write their name on the card with an explanation of what they did on the back.

Then, at our monthly meeting, we read all the cards from the past month. After the meeting, employees can collect their cards to put on display at their desks!

6. Treats, just because.

Don’t wait for a formal holiday to treat your team. Instead, make a point to regularly do something special–just because you appreciate them.

This could be doughnuts and bagels in the break room, special company swag, or even an impromptu pizza party!

The point is to show your employees a little extra love for everything they do for you.

7. Celebrate personal and professional wins.

Your team is making a positive impact in the world, both inside and outside of your organization. And it’s important to recognize these achievements, even if they’re not work-related.

At SDP, we start every meeting by going around the room and sharing each person’s personal and professional best. It helps us to see what else is going on in their lives, and provide support beyond the cubicle.

As a manager, it’s important to keep tabs on your employees. Remember that they’re people, too–and treat them as such!

8. Listen up!

Need a little help figuring out what types of recognition will work best for your team?

Go old-school and try using an anonymous suggestion box! It’s a powerful tool to show your employees you want to listen to them.

Additionally, opening up this avenue of communication can provide you with valuable insights to improve your company culture and boost employee satisfaction.

What do you think?

What does your current employee appreciation strategy look like? We’d love to hear your own experiences and what has worked for your business! And don’t forget to let us know in the comments below which of the strategies above you plan to implement in your own organization. Want more HR tips and tricks to decrease turnover and increase profits? Be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to make sure you never miss a beat!

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