Any time is a good time to say thank you to employees! Workers who feel valued and appreciated will be happier, more productive and more loyal.
The transition from spring to summer presents a wide variety of established opportunities to show appreciation that naturally fit into this season, but don’t lose sight of the impact of saying thank you and showing gratitude any day of the year.
“The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
- O.C. Tanner revealed that 94% of regularly recognized employees said it motivates them to do great work
- WorkHuman shared that 89% of regularly recognized employees are highly engaged
- The Wall Street Journal reported that 81% of employees say they work harder for a grateful manager
- Glassdoor disclosed that 53% would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss
Culture impacts every corner of your business. Leadership stays on the same page. Employees are happier and, therefore, more engaged and productive. Prospective employees are more interested in joining and staying with your company. Perhaps most importantly, all these components work together to give your company its competitive advantage.
Let’s take a closer look at how some companies achieve workplace cultures that are distinct and positive and year after year are recognized as great places to work. Want to dive into the data? Take a look at Great Place to Work, the organization that certifies the best workplaces. Their website has a free downloadable report, “2019 Fortune 100 Companies Best Trends: Employee Experience at the Best Workplaces in America” which has lots of insights, data, helpful infographics and yes — even some “secrets.”
Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.
Why Celebrate Easter in the Workplace?
Sharing Easter employee appreciation is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate colleagues regardless of employee religious affiliation; it marks the beginning of spring and celebrates the joy, hope and gratitude that come with the changing seasons.
It’s an opportunity to show you care.
Frequent employee appreciation is key to a productive, happy workforce which is good for the long-term health of your business. Easter employee appreciation puts gratitude front and center. Invite company leaders to write Thank You notes to employees using this popular gThankYou guide, “Writing Thank You Notes Employees Will Treasure”. Include the notes in Easter gift baskets or have managers hand them out personally at an Easter employee party. Add a small seasonal gift or not. A sincere note of thanks can stand alone.
Easter is a springtime holiday with cultural, non-religious traditions which appeal to everyone.
Finding celebrations that appeal to a diverse workforce can be challenging. Easter-time is an opportunity to find ways to brighten everyone’s day with the focus on spring and the secular aspects of Easter — fresh flowers, spring decorations, Easter baskets and treats like chocolate eggs and fun themed cupcakes.
Easter’s themes of renewal and resilience are universal.
Regardless of religious affiliation, we can all identify with and appreciate Easter themes of renewal, growth, gratitude and new beginnings. Easter-time is a chance to honor the hope and joy of the spring season, invest in employee resilience and celebrate growth. We all enjoy the optimism that spring brings. It’s an opportune time to invest in employees’ personal growth and giving back to the community.
When you show gratitude to employees at family holidays, you’re communicating you value work-life balance.
Thanking employees for a job well done is one of the most reliable, affordable ways to motivate excellent performance. But it’s also important to recognize employees outside of their work, as people. Communicating that you value work-life balance is important to today’s workers.
After all, if you want a workplace culture that employees love and that attracts others, having the occasional workplace fun and making sure employees feel appreciated and valued are important ongoing investments. Take advantage of the ability to tie into everyones’ excitement about the emergence of spring and build workplace camaraderie with a little Easter holiday fun. Who doesn’t enjoy an unexpected “thank you – we’re so glad you are on our team” and a chocolate bunny?
Tips for Managing Religious Holidays in the Workplace
Worried about what is and isn’t appropriate? Consult HR expert and TalentCulture founder Meghan M. Biro’s blog post on how to approach religious holidays as workplace celebrations.
“No sheaves of palms or crucifixes allowed,” writes Biro “bunnies, ducks, candy, chocolate, colorful eggs, flowers and other items commonly associated with Easter shouldn’t offend anyone”.
The folks at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) always offer sound advice. This blog on making holiday celebrations more inclusive focuses on the winter holidays, but there are still valid takeaways to apply to Easter.
Here’s a quick recap of their advice for holding more inclusive events:
- Create a diverse planning committee.
- Avoid scheduling mistakes.
- Make it voluntary.
- Create awareness of other religions.
- Offer floating holidays.
- Invite feedback.
- Be forgiving (of yourself if you make some missteps).
Easy, Fun & Affordable Ways to Celebrate Easter at Work
Here are several tips to make Easter celebrations in the workplace special (without busting your budget). For even more ideas, check our blog post, “Employee Appreciation Gifts for Easter and Spring”:
1. Decorate the Office or Break-rooms
Remember the “Hawthorn Effect”? Respondents change their behavior because they think supervisors care simply by changing something simple in the workplace environment.
Show employees you care; fill your workplace space with inspiration from spring and Easter – plants, flowers, butterflies, bunnies, colorful eggs and festive Easter baskets. Pinterest is full of seasonal decoration ideas!
2. Host an Easter Egg Hunt
Adults like a good Easter Egg hunt too! Weather permitting use outdoors. Use an egg hunt as an opportunity to do team building. Create teams along department lines or mix them.
Fill large plastic eggs with candy as well as other prizes such as gift cards, game tickets, restaurant gift certificates and other fun surprises. Or, have employees turn eggs in for prizes that their teams can share. End the event with holiday inspired treats and an opportunity to connect with coworkers and management.
3. Have a Party with Fun Holiday-Themed Treats
You don’t need to break the budget to host a party with fun Easter-themed treats. If you can’t afford to cater an event, scale it back and provide drinks, Easter candy and cookies. Be sure to provide a big helping of gratitude and employees will appreciate the festive break.
4. Give Easter Baskets
Just like the Easter Bunny, share Easter baskets anonymously or have managers hand them out as employees arrive for an unexpected surprise! Don’t limit yourself to candy.
5. Give the Gift of Something Green
A small flowering plant or seeds and a pretty pot are a thoughtful way to share the excitement of spring. For work-groups or workplace cultures less inclined to the sugar and the treat focus of Easter, consider this thoughtful alternative.
6. Organize a Community Service Project
Most of your employees would be thrilled for the opportunity to help local organizations along side of colleagues. Consider finding a community project that your organization can get behind supporting and can accommodate your workforce. How about planting a flower bed for a service organization or fixing-up a local park? Provide materials for employees to assemble Easter baskets for an elder-care home or families in need. Host egg dying or cookie decorating at a shelter. The options are endless. Find ones that make sense for your organization and culture and spread Easter joy and hope to those who need it most.
Healthier Easter Treat Alternatives
While many us would be happy to have a celebration full of sugar, there are easy ways to provide great-looking and slightly healthier food choices to your Easter baskets or parties. Once again, recipe sites and Pinterest can help with healthy Easter treat inspiration.
Here are several easy ideas to consider:
- Chocolate dipped fruit
- Fresh fruit – skewers, pineapple flowers, etc.
- Trail mix (with a hint of colorful candy)
- Hard boiled eggs
- Fresh carrots and other raw vegetables
- Fruit juices (Naked®, Bolthouse Farms®, or if you can, offer a juice bar)
- Fruit and yogurt smoothies (in fun spring colors)
- Granola Easter eggs
- Carrot cake
Why Sharing an Easter Ham is a Popular Workplace Gift
Eating a ham at Easter is a tradition going back hundreds of years, as far back as the sixth century.
It’s the centerpiece to a big family meal that marks new beginnings and a new season. Many of us fondly remember gathering with family to celebrate Easter around a savory holiday ham.
The gift of an Easter Ham is one that’s family friendly and meaningful. Everyone appreciates the gift of the centerpiece of their family holiday meal. By sharing the gift of a ham, your thoughtfulness and generosity will be remembered long after the holiday meal has passed. Sharing an Easter Ham gift is good for your business.
gThankYou makes it easy for organizations to buy and share a holiday ham gift, even with distributed work-forces. gThankYou! Ham Gift Certificates allow recipients to choose any brand and any preparation of half or whole ham, at virtually all grocery chain stores in the U.S. Recipients choose the ham they want for their family and redeem their Certificate at checkout just like a Manufacturer Coupon. It’s that easy!
For a more diverse workplace, giving Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates provides recipients the choice of centerpiece to their family’s springtime celebration. This year Passover begins on April 19th and turkey is a welcome part of a Seder dinner.
It’s easy to add your holiday appreciation to employees with free customizable gift Enclosure Cards with any purchase of gThankYou Gift Certificates. Check out our range of Spring and Easter Card Designs and be inspired!
Easter also has a strong association with candy, which can include chocolate in all shapes and sizes, from eggs to bunnies, and baskets of colorful jelly beans.
For a cost-effective fun workplace reward, share gThankYou! Candy Gift Certificates for the candy of their choice. Who won’t love that! Distribute alone or add to Easter baskets and employees will get a candy treat today as well as a chance to pick out their own favorites for later.
Springtime is the Perfect Time to Thank Customers Too!
Your business depends on loyal, happy customers so why not share some springtime appreciation and brighten their lives too. You’ll not only make their day, you’ll feel happier yourself. Gratitude is like that. The more you share your gratitude, the better you feel and the more you inspire others to share theirs.
Attracting new customers is much more expensive than investing in making sure existing customers feel loved by your business. This spring, share your company appreciation with customers.
Did you know that the third Thursday in every January, April, July and October are all designated “Get to Know Your Customers Day”? That means Thursday, April 18th is the perfect time to engage, thank and celebrate customers with spring and Easter in mind!
For inspiration and fun ideas for thanking customers, check out gThankYou’s “6 Easy, Affordable Easter Customer Appreciation Ideas” and enjoy Help Scouts’s “25 Ways to Thank Your Customers”. You’ll have a long-list of good ideas in no time.
Here are some of our favorite ways to acknowledge customers:
Write Thank You Letters
Provide stationary and treats and have your team write thank you letters to customers. Putting your company thanks in writing makes a great impression – and handwritten notes are a way to make your business memorable.
Throw a Customer Appreciation Party
Send out invitations and throw a party for customers. Make sure employees are invited and management is there to personally and publicly thank customers. Be creative. If your organization is small and customers are local, take them to a sporting event, rent out a movie theater or host a picnic. If you are a brick and mortar business, celebrate longer and offer customers a service, experience or product for free.
Take Advantage of “Get to Know Your Customers Day”
Invest in getting to know your customers better and you’ll learn insights into improving your business. Embrace customer feedback. Here are: “10 Ideas for Every ‘Get to Know Your Customers Day’ “.
Make a Personal Thank You Call
Can you remember the last time you got a “Thank You” call from a business contact — not selling anything, not responding to a customer service issue, with no other purpose other than to express appreciation? It’s rare! And that’s all the more reason to do it.
Share a Team Thank You Video
For customers who are remote, consider creating a thank you video. It doesn’t have to be big-budget. Just go for sincere, thoughtful and consistent with your workplace culture. Customers will appreciate that you took the time and effort to share a thoughtful and creative thank you. Grab your tissues and enjoy this version of a customer thank you video – “This Bank’s Awesome Thank-You Video Will Have You in Tears” shared at vidyard.
Send an Affordable Gift
If some or all of your customers are remote, they don’t have to miss out on the celebration! Include them in the fun by sharing an Easter holiday treat like pie with a $5 Pie Gift Certificate from gThankYou.
While some may pick the official Employee Appreciation Day to celebrate their employees’ contributions, really any day is the perfect day to thank employees for their hard work and dedication to your business!
March is full of occasions to build workplace happiness:
- March 1 Employee Appreciation Day
It’s always the first Friday in March (wow February seemed to fly by even faster than usual). You can check out some our blog posts about this day from prior years for more ideas and to learn why employee appreciation is so important but here is a key takeaway – just share your sincere appreciation – that’s it.
“Your Employee Appreciation Day party-planning doesn’t need to be extravagant, expensive or time-consuming — what matters most to employees is hearing a heartfelt, honest “Thank You” directly from company leaders.”
- March 10 International Day of Awesomeness
Any day that has a tagline of “No one’s perfect, but everyone can be awesome” is indeed awesome. Start gathering some tips to help get your awesome on in the workplace.
- March 20 International Day of Happiness
This year’s theme is Happier Together. “Because life is happier when we focus on what we have in common, rather than what divides us.” Get daily “happiness action” messages when you download the app at www.dayofhappiness.net.
- March 14 Pi Day (3.14 get it?!)
How about a pie baking contest? Or how about some Pie Gift Certificates from gThankYou? Or an office challenge to see who can recite the most digits of pi from memory? Let’s not forget that pies can be savory too – order pizza for your staff at lunch.
We spend more of our waking hours with co-workers than we do with our significant others, so take advantage of Valentine’s Day and celebrate colleagues! If you focus on gratitude and appreciation, it’s perfectly appropriate and thoughtful to do.
Valentine’s Day in the workplace should be about celebrating workplace colleagues and a culture of kindness and compassion. Steer clear of romance and relationships. The opportunity is to communicate value for great working relationships and a culture supportive of compassion and camaraderie.
Celebrate Workplace Friendships – They’re So Important
Gallup always seems to have their fingers on the pulse, so when Annamarie Mann reported on data about workplace friendships, we’re inclined to pay attention.
It turns out that our friendships at work are quite significant:
We want work to feel worthwhile and having trusted confidants and supporters helps foster that feeling. We go to our work friends when we need to celebrate and commiserate about our personal and professional lives.
Gallup’s research has shown a link between having a best friend at work and the amount of effort expended by employees in their job. Women who strongly agree they have a best friend at work are more than twice as likely to be engaged (63%) compared with the women who say otherwise (29%).
Gallup has consistently found that for women and men having a best friend at work leads to better performance.
When employees possess a deep sense of affiliation with their team members, they are driven to take positive actions that benefit the business — actions they may not otherwise even consider if they did not have strong relationships with their coworkers.
Here are some ways leaders can encourage friendships at work:
- Promote open communication and collaboration – communication and collaboration are cornerstones of an inclusive culture and provide a natural pathway to friendship.
- Encourage people to get to know one another – when employees are involved with projects with employee outside of their immediate team can lead to opportunities for personal connections. Participation in philanthropic events can benefit the community and allow employees to make connections with colleagues they wouldn’t have interacted with.
- Promote and participate in social activities -leaders set the tone for workplace culture and through their actions make it acceptable or unacceptable for employees to become friends.
We all know that New Year’s resolutions are often hard to keep. But if one of your workplace goals was to get a better handle on employee engagement planning in 2019, that resolution is now easier to keep with the use of gThankYou’s 2019 Day-to-Day Employee Appreciation Calendar!
If you are familiar with our annual calendar chock full of engagement and appreciation ideas, then you’ve probably already done the free download because you know what a valuable (and fun) tool it is.
Not familiar with it? Start by filling out the short online form and you’ll have a FREE, indispensable and inspiring guide at your fingertips. Here’s what to expect for each month in addition to meaningful, compelling (yet easy-to-read) articles on an array of topics meant to inspire your planning and workplace activities:
- Key stats (in case you still need to prove to leadership how critical employee engagement and appreciation is)
- Ready-to-Go Celebration examples (so even if you think you aren’t creative you’ll have turn-key approaches to create more fun in the workplace)
- Mini-case studies (learn what’s worked for other organizations)
- Plenty of graphics (which make this ebook feel like fun, not work)
It’s here!! Our very popular Day-to-Day Employee Appreciation Calendar is newly updated and back for 2019!
New Employee Appreciation Calendar + New Year = New Opportunities
Our annual employee celebration calendar is full of creative engagement concepts and festive year-round celebrations. It’s a wonderful resource for supporting employee engagement and recognition planning for the new year. Whether you have big budgets or need no or low-cost ideas, we have content and suggestions for you.
Every year we strive to update our calendar with the latest research and thinking about building great workplace cultures. You’ll find mini-case studies, research, and how-to’s in addition to daily and monthly celebration ideas.
Our intent is to provide a fun resource that helps workplace leaders:
- Stay current in the space of employee engagement and recognition
- Provide actionable gratitude-based engagement and celebration how-to’s for busy HR personnel
- Share new ways to engage and celebrate employees
- Spark creative thinking for building the workplace culture you want