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Successful businesses understand that their success is the result of the hard work of their employees. Employee Appreciation Day can help!
We often take for granted this valuable group of people and sometimes need to be reminded to show our gratitude for their efforts.
Friday, March 6 is National Employee Appreciation Day.
I know, I know it sounds like one of those hallmark holidays, and that may very well be where it started.
However, you need to remember that your employees make your organization, and you should take advantage of every opportunity to show employees that you are thankful for what they do to help your organization succeed.
Recognizing employee efforts is one of the critical components of strong cultures of employee engagement, so take this opportunity and let them know you care and appreciate them.
15 Things You Can Do To Show Appreciation
1. Provide A Free Breakfast
Surprise employees by providing a continental breakfast in the break room.
This can start the day off in a positive way and provide an opportunity for employees to engage and interact with each other.
Use this time of meal sharing as an opportunity to do some team-building.
2. Cater In Lunch
Have lunch brought in and gather all employees for a meal together.
Take the time to reflect on employee efforts, and then spend a moment and thank employees for their hard work.
Add a game with prizes, and you’ll surely have a hit for the day!
3. Mail Box
Employee mailboxes are their personal space.
Surprise them and put a little something in each employee’s mailbox.
A chocolate bar, someone’s favorite candy, or a gift card to the local coffee shop can send a positive message and make employees feel special.
4. Handwritten Note
Handwrite notes to all employees thanking them for their service.
Personalize these notes and get specific about why the employee is special and valuable to the work team.
If there are hundreds or even thousands of employees – ask line managers to write a special personalized note to each of their direct reports.
I still have a file of notes from former supervisors that are a valued treasure.
5. Bring On The Games
Most people love to play games.
Take an hour out of an afternoon and host a game event.
A game event can be anything. Be creative and plan something special.
Bring in board games, puzzles, or video game tournaments is something most employees would enjoy participating in.
Make it a competition and award prizes to the winners.
Anything that gets them up, moving, and laughing will be a win-win!
6. Customer Testimony
We all value positive feedback from the customers that we serve.
Find an appreciative customer and have them stop by to thank employees for the products or services they provide.
Or, go and videotape a few grateful customers and share it with employees.
Nothing sends a more positive message than hearing directly from those we serve.
7. Compressed Work Day
Nothing excites employees more than unexpected time off of work.
Notify employees of a compressed workday.
Allow them to come in late or leave early with pay to make them feel special and valued.
8. Pot Luck Meal
Ask the cooks in the group to participate in a potluck lunch.
Find someone who enjoys showing off their culinary skills (caution, not everyone likes to cook!) to share with the rest of the employees.
People who like to cook enjoy blessing others with their creations! Offer to pay for ingredients to offset their costs.
9. Work Team Group Photo
Photos can be a treasure for positive memories.
Bring in your camera and take photos of employees with their workgroup and manager.
Email digital copies to everyone or have the photos printed and framed for everyone’s desk or work area.
10. Small Gift
Surprise employees with a token gift on their desk or workstation.
There are many things that can show employee appreciation without breaking the bank.
Try a gift card to the local attraction, restaurant, or even movie tickets.
11. Visit Work Areas
Employees are proud of their work, so take some time to stop at employee workstations and thank them for what they do.
It is also a great opportunity to ask them how you can help make their jobs easier. See if you have the guts to ask this one question.
You’ll be surprised at what you learn if you just ask the question.
12. Bring A Pet to Work
Pets are like family to many people.
If the work environment allows, let employees bring their (manageable) pets to work.
A small dog, kitten, or pet rabbit may lighten the mood for the day.
Schedule a time when employees can share their pets with each other.
Work on some expectations (like kenneling their pet during busy hours).
13. Bring The Family
Employee families are their main support system.
Acknowledge this by including the family in office activities.
Invite family members to come in for a late afternoon reception with food, drink, and activities.
This makes employees loved ones feel like they are part of their family members’ work life.
14. Free Lessons
Happy people have hobbies that help them relax and find pleasure.
Find out what employees like to do and have an artist come in and give a painting class, a golf instructor to give golf lessons, or a dance instructor to show them how to do the latest dance moves!
Identify those special things that make employees happy and reinforce it at work.
15. Group Class
Class participation is a great team-building exercise.
Schedule a cooking instructor to come on-site to do a hands-on cooking class.
Get everyone involved and watch their creative juices flow!
The goal of acknowledging Employee Appreciation Day is to demonstrate gratitude for what employees contribute to the organization.
Be creative and surprise employees to add a bit of excitement to the day.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money; just a bit of creativity, thought, and planning will go a long way. Your employees will appreciate you acknowledging them and thanking them for what they do!
Do you have plans for your employees on National Employee Appreciation Day?