On the first Friday of every March, Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated throughout the United States and Canada. Over twenty years ago, this holiday was created as an opportunity for companies to practice recognition in the workplace, thanking employees for their hard work and efforts over the past year by organising fun events and activities or giving out corporate employee awards and gifts.
With more and more businesses beginning to see the importance of employee recognition and rewards for increasing job satisfaction and motivation levels at work, this unofficial holiday has slowly begun making its way to the UK over the past few years. Whether hiring a caricaturist to do portraits of all the employees (Secret Escapes) or simply treating their employees to a pizza takeaway lunch (Skillsoft), businesses around the country have embraced this tradition in many varied and creative ways.
Whilst it is all well and good to have a national day to recognise and reward your employees and they can be a great way to boost employee participation in your recognition activities, it is important not to limit this to just one day per year. Instead, it should form part of your business culture and should be practised regularly throughout the year. Without this, all the positive effects that Employee Appreciation Day can have will quickly dissipate – by continuing to recognise and reward your employees regularly, these will be maintained and the trust between employer and employee will grow ever stronger.
Why not treat this day as an opportunity to begin afresh, making a promise to your team to recognise their efforts, reward their results and celebrate their career milestones, not just on Employee Appreciation Day but throughout the year?
Here are our top tips on how to fit employee appreciation into your everyday work routine:
- Put it in your diary
According to Gallup, employees need some form of recognition every seven days to prevent their productivity levels waning¹. To help keep you on track, make a note in your diary or to-do list to recognise someone each day, even if it is only for something small. Once you begin making a conscious effort to look for good performance, you’ll begin to notice it everywhere
- Timing is key
Don’t wait to recognise someone for their work – appreciation will begin to lose value if it is not given in a timely manner. When you see good work being done, be sure to speak up at the time.
- Be specific
Generic praise rarely motivates anyone. Be sure to tell your employees precisely what they have done to earn your appreciation.
- Make it personal
Make sure to personally thank employees who do a good job individually – it only takes a few minutes of your time and the impact of the recognition will be much more powerful.