Why You Should Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day
By: Mady Peterson
The first Friday in March is Employee Appreciation Day, meant to honor employees everywhere. It was created to focus the attention of employers — in all industries — on employee recognition. But what does appreciating your employees really mean?
We know that employees are a company’s greatest asset. When employees feel their company cares about their well-being, they’re 38 percent more engaged and 18 percent more likely to go the extra mile. In short, when employers or managers express gratitude, say thank you and actually show appreciation through celebration and encouragement, employee job satisfaction and engagement increase.
So, what can you do to show your employees you care? Check out our tip sheet below for ways you can show appreciation for your employees today.
3 Reasons to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day
1. A little recognition can make a big difference
Employee recognition isn’t one-size-fits-all. Money might motivate a top performer, while a team happy hour for a job well done might motivate another. But the truth is, most employees need to know their efforts are recognized and valued in some way to drive high performance. In fact, according to an analysis by Gallup, more than 80 percent of employees included in the analysis say recognition motivates work performance. Plus, employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to quit.
How to give employees public recognition:
Send out a companywide or teamwide email to congratulate an employee for a job well done
Share an employee success story in a team meeting
Compile a list of wins across the company to highlight at your next company meeting
2. Employee retention is critical to the success of your company
Great employees can be hard to come by. And if you lose them — it can be costly to your bottom line. In order to retain your top employees, they need to feel valued, recognized and that their role has real meaning. This can be directly tied to employee engagement — the deep connection and sense of purpose at work that creates extra energy and commitment. When employees feel supported by their employer, they’re 17 percent more likely to still be there in a year. In order to increase employee retention, focus on employees’ engagement and well-being — and always put your people first.
Ways to increase employee retention with appreciation:
Encourage employees to take an extra-long lunch break to recharge
Offer work-from-home days
Send an employee to a conference of their choice for personal or professional development
Offer a free financial session or yoga class
3. When employees feel valued — beyond their managers — they work harder
Employees recognized or rewarded by their manager is one thing. But when employees feel like they’re making a real impact on the business with appreciation from a co-worker, client or even executive — they feel even more valued. Employees who see the results of their hard work and are reminded just how important their work is, will ultimately work harder.
We know that when a company invests in the well-being of employees, they’re more engaged. And more engaged employees, means better business results. In a study conducted by Harvard Business School, researchers found that workers are distressed when managers don’t say thank you or express appreciation for their work. Recognition for achievements or simple gestures for doing well reinforces employees’ accomplishments, which motivates them to do more.
How to motivate employees with appreciation:
Design jobs that are fulfilling and provide ongoing organizational support
Offer growth opportunities such as putting them on a big project or involving them in strategic decisions
Go to coffee with your employees to discuss their unique goals so they know you’re invested in their personal and professional success
Looking for more ways to show appreciation? Download our tip sheet for 7 things you can do today.