Are you ready for Employee Appreciation Day? It takes place on the first Friday of March every year (March 4th this year), and it’s a great opportunity to show your employees how much you value them.
Why should you bother with Employee Appreciation Day? When employees feel appreciated, they are much more engaged, perform at their best and are less likely to leave. And happy engaged employees will work even harder to service your customers and exceed their expectations. On the other hand, when employees don’t feel appreciated low morale will creep into your teams and will tank your productivity and often leads to higher and higher employee turnover — costing businesses in this province millions each year. Ouch!
Here at Munn Insurance, we consider employee engagement as one of our core strategic pillars. We go out of our way to recognize and thank our employees and create a culture where people love coming to work; whether that’s in the office or when they take advantage of our work from home option. Our people have fun and go above and beyond to deliver brilliant service to our customers.
There’s no better time than Employee Appreciation Day to start putting ideas for year-round recognition into practice. This year, go beyond the basics to show your employees that you really get them. Here are 10 ideas you can easily put into place to thrill your employees and keep them motivated on Employee Appreciation Day and beyond.
- Just say “thank you” — Simply saying “thank you” can have an enormous impact on your employees, boosting everything from productivity to retention to engagement. Encourage everyone to get in the habit of recognizing people frequently and soon every day will feel like Employee Appreciation Day. Make sure that the business leaders and owners take part as recognition from managers and executives often means the most to employees.
- Craft a special message — Create a heartfelt video from the CEO or encourage people to write thank you notes. An actual piece of paper thanking someone for their work can go a long way and really stand out in a digital world. Whether it’s as simple as a quick post-it note or an actual card, your people will greatly appreciate the thought. Receiving personal comments from leaders is an important way to show employees that their work really counts.
- You can’t go wrong with food — Everyone likes to eat. The gift of food brings people together and will help to strengthen interpersonal relationships in the office. Host a BBQ in the parking lot and have the executive or managers do the cooking and serving, Have a pizza lunch. Grab bagels or muffins and leave them in the break room. Gratitude in the form of food is one of the best ways of showing appreciation! Our Munn Insurance staff members love to see a food truck coming!
- Get social — Show you appreciate your staff by extending it beyond in-house thanks and recognition. Let your customers know through social media. Broadcast so your team can be seen by their family and friends as doing great work and being appreciated. Take a photo, talk about how much you appreciate what your people do, and how they earned recognition.
- Have a trophy — In professional sports, the championship trophies travel from one year’s winner to the next. Individuals get a day with the trophy to share with friends and family. Steal this idea. Create a trophy of sorts (an actual trophy, or something more humorous) that is recognized as a symbol by your people of appreciation and pass it around the workplace to those who have accomplished something extraordinary.
- Host a team-building activity — Team building can range from quick in-house ice breakers to full day activities. Team building can help your employees get to know each other on a more personal level and help build better relationships, which will boost employee morale.
- Give a gift — Few employees will be disappointed with a present, whether it’s some company swag, a gift card, or a cash bonus they will certainly appreciate the gesture. Wrap it around the theme of appreciation. Say thank you and let everyone know that you value their contributions.
- Offer in-office self care — Mental health is a big priority for people – especially during these stressful times surrounding the pandemic. Too often the importance of mental health goes overlooked. In addition to long-term changes to support mental health, consider bringing in a yoga teacher or meditation expert to teach a class during Employee Appreciation Day.
- Support work-life balance – People who are well-rested and have time to spend with their family and friends are more engaged and productive at work. Encouraging your employees to have a full and rewarding life outside of work is vital to preventing burnout.
- Turn Employee Appreciation Day into Employee Appreciation Week — If one day is good, five days are better! Consider expanding your celebration to add some fun every day. You could provide breakfast, coffee break snacks, and/or lunch on different days, dedicate one day to revealing a gift, etc. Spread out the joy for maximum impact! Remember Spirit Week in high school, when each day was given a theme and you dressed accordingly? If this is the type of activity that would energize your employees, go for it!
But most importantly, if employee engagement has taken a back seat these days, get back in the game. Do something. Anything. Do something simple and easy and build on it. You will see how easy it really is. And remember that showing your appreciation for your employees can cost as little or as much as you want; a thank you or a great job goes a long way in making someone’s day!
If you have any questions or would like further suggestions, please reach out to Brittany at [email protected].