Did you know that tomorrow (March 4th) is National Employee Appreciation Day? This day was created in 1995 as a way of focusing the attention of organizations on employee recognition. It is a reminder to employers to celebrate and find ways to show appreciation.
Showing appreciation to your team is a great way to increase employee engagement and productivity, spark enthusiasm, show employees you value their efforts, and decrease turnover. According to Forbes, lack of appreciation is the number one reason employees leave their jobs. The study goes on to say that appreciation is the number one thing people say causes them to do great work.
Even if the company you work for does not recognize this holiday, you can still take a couple of extra moments to remind your employees and colleagues how much you value and appreciate them. You'd be surprised how far a well-timed, thoughtful and specific word of praise or appreciation can go. And, the good news is that it doesn't have to cost a lot of money (or any) to do it.
Here are some ideas:
• Look an employee in the eye and thank them for a job well done. Provide as much specific detail as possible and let them know how it ties into the strategic goals of the organization.
• Send an email thanking someone for their hard work.
• Write a hand-written note thanking someone for their efforts. This personal touch can go a very long way.
• Let a colleague from a different department know how much you appreciate their teamwork and collaboration.
• Create an appreciation bulletin board for your team at the office or on-line.
• Set aside time in your next meeting to provide recognition or appreciation and invite others to join you.
• Spend a little extra one-on-one time with members of your team to discuss the impact of their work and their invidiual aspirations and career goals.
• Treat your team to lunch. Pizza parties are always a big hit.
• Give employees some extra time off (even letting them go an hour early can have an impact).
• Be transparent - if you hold a senior role in your organization, be sure to share what you can as often as you can. Keeping employees in the loop goes a long way towards making them feel valued.
• Schedule some fun activities outside of work (start a company team, cooking classes, company bowling team, dinner or BBQ, etc.)
• Start a new company or departmental tradition.
• Celebrate milestones at the company.
Showing your appreciation to your employees will go a long way in boosting morale, teamwork, productivity and engagement. And, it will make your workplace a more enjoyable place to be.
Please feel free to share any other ideas you have to show employee appreciation!