With Employee Appreciation Day being celebrated on Friday 3rd March this year, leaders have the perfect opportunity to recognise the invaluable contributions of their team. Of course, year-round appreciation is crucial to highlight what your team is doing well, but this dedicated day is a prime opportunity to give thanks and recognition to the people that are the beating heart of your organization.
The workplace is continually evolving. With an unsettled economic climate and continuous talks in the media about a recession, it has left many employees feeling anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed personally and professionally. In fact, a recent Remote survey found that nearly half (44%) of employees are concerned about the security of their jobs due to the possibility of a global recession. This uncertainty can take its toll on an employee’s mental and physical state, resulting in feelings of detachment and reduced productivity in the workplace.
With this in mind, a current leadership priority should be making sure their employees feel secure, fulfilled and happy. Financial incentives are, of course, important however this is only part of making employees feel appreciated. Here are five ways that leaders can recognise and praise the efforts of their team this Employee Appreciation Day.
Training and development opportunities
Employee Appreciation Day could be a prime opportunity to announce a new training and development scheme to your teams. This could be the introduction or increasing of training budgets, new mentoring schemes available or scheduling in one-to-one to discuss career trajectories. Whatever the best fit for your organizations, demonstrating your commitment to training and development is a clear sign you prioritize your employees’ whole careers and see the potential, not just their current role.
Treat your team to lunch
Depending on the size of the team, it may be easier to order something in. However, if it is feasible, take the entire team out of the office environment for some food and to unwind. Take the time to describe how every person in the team is valued and appreciated. There would be plenty of opportunities to chat with one another and build deeper relationships. It is a great way to boost morale amongst the team and the stronger bonds will enhance productivity.
Give them half a day off
Being told that you are being treated to an extra half day off is music to the ears of most employees. Allowing team members some unexpected time off, enabling them to have some down time, spend time with family, or book in an appointment they need for example, is a great way that leaders can show their appreciation. It also demonstrates you recognise the importance of work-life balance and that plenty of time doing the things we love ultimately results in better work.
Take a day trip
Organizing a day trip in the local area is not only a fantastic way to acknowledge Employee Appreciation Day, it is also a great way for the team to support their community. Ideas for a field trip include, visiting a local brewery or going on a wine tour, having a picnic and sports day in a nearby park, or having fun at the beach. Perhaps you could all spend the day showing that appreciation for others volunteering at a local cause. A memorable day will be had by all, and employees will feel valued and happy that they work for a great company. Whatever you choose, always keep inclusion in mind by surveying teams for their preferred options and how you can make it fun for everyone. You could organize a couple of different trips.
Freshen up the workplace
With it being nearly nine weeks into 2023 and Christmas feeling like a distant memory, for many of us our energy might be flagging. A simple way that leaders can make their team smile is by giving the office a refresh and adding a pop of color into their working environment. This could be buying some fresh flowers, or a potted plant, or it could be giving the office a fresh lick of paint and / or adding some artwork to the walls. It could also be by adding some new resources, new chill spaces or coffee machines and catering facilities. By leaders acknowledging their team’s workplace, each employee will feel happier, respected, and appreciated.
When an employee receives recognition for their hard work, they will feel valued by their manager and organization. This will cause a positive ripple-effect, as their job satisfaction and sense of purpose will dramatically improve. Furthermore, and probably the most important factor, the employee’s overall wellbeing will be better.
Something everyone can do this Employee Appreciation Day, at the very least, is say ‘thank-you’. It takes no time or money to offer your heartfelt thanks to your team, not only those employed but also the contractors, freelancers, suppliers and part-time employees that make the cogs keep turning.
Recent data reveals that 55% of workers would want to stay at the company they work for for ten more years if they felt their employer cared about their wellbeing. It is a no brainer. Leaders should make it their priority to show their respect and recognise their staff this Employee Appreciation Day. Team morale will be heightened, and each employee will feel like a valued member of the team, which will in turn, lead to improved employee retention and a stronger organization.
About the Author
Lewis Maleh is an executive recruitment expert and the founder and CEO of Bentley Lewis, an award-winning global boutique executive search firm. He is one of the leading global minds on what’s next in the workplace, how hiring and attracting talent is evolving, and what people are really looking for from work. He shares his expert insights as a global speaker and host of “The Recruitment Show” and “Don’t take out your phone!”.