Running your own appreciation day for your employees
How great does it feel when someone tells you how much they appreciate you, and how motivated are you to please them again?
There is a strong link between recognition and engagement. Nailing employee recognition will encourage your teams to form a stronger commitment to you and your business.
But it’s essential you remember you are working with individuals, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
So here is why it’s worth your time to invest in employee appreciation and where you can start.
What is Employee Appreciation Day?
Employee Appreciation Day officially occurs on the 4th of March each year and is your chance to thank your employees for their hard work.
However, you can have your own employee appreciation day whenever works best, and however often you like. In fact, it’s encouraged!
Recognition is a crucial element of a successful business strategy and focusing on acknowledging and celebrating your employees’ achievements will reinforce positive behaviours.
Why should you care?
It comes down to employee well-being, the importance of which had been growing even before a turbulent 2020.
But their well-being isn’t only the size of their pay packets (although 69% of UK adults believe that is your primary responsibility). Your main focus, then, should be your employees’ physical and mental well-being.
British homeworkers are having trouble sleeping, feeling more fatigued, and have been working longer hours this last year. And almost 50% of those suffering from mental health issues said their condition had worsened.
Morality aside, you have a real financial incentive to address these issues. Healthier employees are more productive. They take fewer sick days and are more engaged in their work, meaning your company will perform better.
To put that in perspective, companies that actively invest in workforce health and well-being enjoy significant financial advantages, achieving 79% more stock growth than competitors that do not.
How do you get your employee appreciation day right?
Your team members will be feeling more detached than ever. Whether you’ve been running your business as usual, working from home or on furlough, your employees have gone months without seeing their loved ones.
So, here are a few ways to help you show you appreciate their contributions and patience throughout this challenging year.
Put your money where your mouth is
If you needed evidence, a recent survey found that receiving a bonus was the top way employees said they would feel appreciated.
Though perhaps obvious, putting your hand in your pocket shows that your appreciation is more than lip service.
But appreciation can be free and still effective. Research shows employees value highly personalised recognition for a job well done. Let them know exactly how they did a fantastic job, and they’ll adore you.
Try handwriting a note recognising their contribution over a tough year. Perhaps congratulate them on achievements in their personal life, alongside their work contributions. If your team members are local, go and drop off a care package and chat for a few minutes.
You’ll surprise yourself with how much you enjoy the interaction. And the personal touch shows you listen and will go the extra mile, so they will likely reciprocate.
When in doubt, ask. Crowdsourcing ideas means you’ll please your employees with what they actually want.
Typeform, for example, makes this unique by plugging an iPad into a typewriter to take employee suggestions.
If you left your typewriter in the ’80s, however, you can use more modern means. For example, apps like Kudos and iAppreciate invite staff to show appreciation for their peers and double as messaging platforms for ideas on incentives. You could also use a Slack channel or Whatsapp group.
It might surprise you how simple their requests are, like a giant table of pizza. On the other hand, it may not surprise you that people generally respond well to a giant table of pizza.
Until group lunches are possible again, try delivering delicious lunches to your employees’ doorsteps. Then, hop on a quick video call and tuck in as a team. You could even set up a virtual cooking class everyone can take part in from home.
Eating is a social event for most and could help to strengthen the connection between your team members. This will help them operate as a cohesive unit and work more effectively for you.
Just make it count
Whatever you decide to do, make it count. An employee appreciation day is your chance to show your team what they mean to you. Get it right, and they will reward you ten times over.