Employee Appreciation Day is always the first Friday of March.
Why celebrate it? Jared Weitz, founder and CEO of United Capital Source LLC, puts it bluntly this week in a Forbes column on why employee appreciation should be a top priority.
“If you aren’t making a conscious effort to let employees know how much you appreciate them, your employees are not performing to the best of their ability,” he writes.
It’s really as simple as that.
And the solution to a disengaged, under-performing workforce is simple, too: start by saying “Thank You” more, and recognizing small achievements.
In the end, it’s about how you make employees feel. And everyone responds positively to appreciation and encouragement.
“What’s one of the few things every successful person has in common? Confidence,” Weitz writes. “If you want your employees to perform shortly after recruitment, it’s your responsibility to build up their confidence with outward encouragement and appreciation. …. They will remember the lengths their leader went to make them feel confident for the rest of their careers. And, when a daunting task comes their way, they will feel up to the challenge thanks to their knowledge that, in their leader’s eyes, they are the very best at what they do.”
What better time to commit to a more gratitude-filled workplace than Employee Appreciation Day? Take time in the coming days to get inspired, take notes, brainstorm with colleagues and reflect on ways to show appreciation to your team.
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. Read on for inspiration to get started.
How Companies Are Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day 2018
Forbes recently highlighted eight companies with Employee Appreciation Day initiatives this year. From parties and just-for-fun contests to professional development and volunteering opportunities, the strategies these companies take inspire us to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day — and everyday employee appreciation — the right way.
Here are some takeaways:
1. Ask what employees want
It’s their party, right? So seek feedback on how employees would enjoy celebrating it. Kate Kastenbaum, senior HR manager at Certain, tells Forbes that crowd-sourcing ideas is an essential first-step to Employee Appreciation Day planning:
“Since we’re appreciating their work and awesome, go-getter attitudes, it’s important we know what they want! The day itself will likely involve some type of food (our employees love free food) and some type of activity (which in the past has varied from picnics to games).”
2. A little friendly competition gets everyone in the spirit
Collin Holmes, CEO of Chatmeter, builds excitement for Employee Appreciation Day with some friendly work-related competition between employees.
“We’re using Employee Appreciation Day to celebrate some of our best team wins and favorite off-the-clock activities, while also stirring up some competition in true Chatmeter fashion. In the week leading up to Employee Appreciation Day we are running a social media contest for employees to post their favorite picture from a past Chatmeter activity, with a caption naming an idea for something fun or crazy the team could do next.”
Once all submissions are in, everyone gets to vote on the best idea, and the company will fund the winning activity.
3. Focus on employee health, wellness and happiness
At GroundTruth, employees will get a “Thank You” in the form of stress-busting health & wellness activities and perks. Jessica Bartlett, Head of People Operations, explains:
“Employee Appreciation Day is really important to us at GroundTruth and this year we’re planning a day that will be focused on wellness. Specifically, we’ve been vetting options that will teach our employees techniques that can easily be done by anyone, at any time to reduce stress and increase overall health.
“Our goal for the day is to reduce emotional exhaustion and improve job satisfaction through these types of connections and offerings. We also want to create an event that will help our employees feel happier and more in touch with what they love about their jobs.”
So far, ideas include a healthy breakfast provided by the company, a meditation class and a paid subscription to a meditation app.
4. Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day(s) throughout the year
Cupertino Electric, Inc has a distributed workforce with multiple offices so it organizes Employee Appreciation Day a little differently, according to President and CEO John Boncher:
“Rather than having one event/day that all employees feel pressure to attend, we’ve invested in in-person gatherings that appeal to different groups. We have an employee appreciation party for California-based employees in February (post-holiday season) and host a big party in Las Vegas for employees working across the U.S.”
Plus, he tells Forbes, “We have quarterly philanthropic activities that unite people who work on causes that matter to them. These events have something for everyone and focus on fun.”
Whatever approach your company takes to Employee Appreciation Day, it has to be unique to your organizational culture and employees. So have fun with it, and above all, make employees the stars!
Make Employee Appreciation Day Every Day: Download Your Calendar
Celebrate appreciation in the workplace all year-long while invigorating your employee recognition planning! Download gThankYou’s FREE “Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar” today and start building an everyday culture of appreciation that employees will love.
We’ve updated our annual day-to-day appreciation calendar with lots of new topics, new case studies and even more holidays and reasons to celebrate! As in previous years, the gThankYou calendar is jam-packed with insights into the latest HR trends, how-to tutorials for engaging and thanking employees, case studies to inspire you, examples of holidays to celebrate each month, and research statistics to help you make the business case for appreciation.
Download yours FREE today!
Learn More About gThankYou!