The Importance Of Celebrating National Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday of March every year. It’s important to make your employees feel appreciated and valued every day. However, this day is a great opportunity to do so on a bigger scale. Showing…

Ailsa Smillie, author of blog about Employee Appreciation Day

Blog28th Feb 2024

By Ailsa Smillie

Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday of March every year. It’s important to make your employees feel appreciated and valued every day. However, this day is a great opportunity to do so on a bigger scale.

Showing your appreciation and thanks for your employees doesn’t have to break the bank. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to perform at their best. If you’ve not already planned, you still have time. This day is a great platform to roll out year-round recognition for a job well done that will quickly become part of your culture.

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

The day was originally coined by Dr Bob Nelson to celebrate the publication of his book ‘1001 Ways to Reward Employees’. In his book he highlights that it’s not an increased salary or a promotion that motivates your employees to do well. It’s actually intangible, unexpected, and genuine gestures that signify real appreciation for a job well done. The importance of recognising good work can sometimes be a huge difference maker when it comes to retaining top talent.

It’s often the case that feedback is only given when a problem has occurred or when a task hasn’t gone to plan. While that’s not an issue, when positives are always ignored it can leave doubt in an employee’s mind of their ability to complete their work to a high standard. Especially when the good more often than not outweigh the bad.

Do I need to get involved in Employee Appreciation Day?

You might be thinking- is this day just performative do I really need to get involved? Failing to show appreciation and thanks for your teams at all might be a huge mistake. After all, employee engagement is one of the strongest ways you can drive employee success. How? Motivated and satisfied employees create a better and more positive culture which in turn delivers a productive and high performing team.

Top tips for Employee Appreciation Day

Here are just some examples you could implement on the day and thereafter:

  • Investing in wellness for your employees- this could be providing them will wellness apps such as headspace or organising workout classes such as Pilates or Yoga within the office.
  • Hosting an awards show specific to your organisation- this will involve the whole team as they vote for the person they think deserves the award most. Boosting employee engagement and morale as the team recognise their achievements.
  • Bringing sweets and snacks into the office for everyone to enjoy- sometimes it’s just a small gesture that works too.
  • Team building activities- who doesn’t love a quiz or a challenge? Some healthy competition can be fun and can also help to bring the team closer together and help them get to know one another better.
  • A simple thank you- no matter what you do this Employee Appreciation Day make sure that the first thing is to thank your employees. This will go a long way and should be something you implement regularly.

Employee engagement

While Employee Appreciation Day is a great starting point it’s not itself going to transform your working environment or culture. There are roughly 250 working days every year. So, recognition on only one of those days isn’t going to cut the mustard. Instead, you want to invest in a clear Employee Engagement Strategy year-round.

How do I create a successful employee engagement strategy?

Ultimately the best employee engagement survey is one that is tailored to your organisation. The most important part of creating such a strategy is hearing from your teams themselves- what they think might be missing, what they’d like to see and what they’d like to stop. Once you collate this information you can share findings and next steps with your team.

There’s no magic wand for us to wave and fix a disengaged employee or negative culture. However, we are on hand to support you to start those conversations and create a bespoke employee engagement strategy that meets the needs of your people and your organisation. Creating a strategy that will bring you success is only doable when you have the data to back it up. We’ll ensure we provide you with regular feedback session touchpoints after implementing a strategy. Reviewing progress will help us to see how the strategy is working and if there’s other room for improvement.

Appreciation for your employees should never occur in isolation. It’s important to remember to continually thank and praise the people who are pivotal in driving your organisations success. Creating a positive feedback culture and taking steps to creating a more engaged workforce will help you to retain top talent. If you have any queries about how to create a successful employee engagement strategy, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Ailsa Smillie or your usual AAB People consultant.

By Ailsa Smillie

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