It feels good to be appreciated. Whether it’s a pat on the back or a shoutout in a meeting, acknowledging your team’s hard work and accomplishments can be a great feeling. Not to mention, regular recognition is a key part of creating a workplace culture that celebrates employee appreciation every day of the year.
Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of checking tasks off our to-do lists and meeting deadlines, we often forget to thank the people we work with every day. One Gallup Poll revealed that 65% of people received no workplace recognition in the last year – that’s neither good for morale nor your business’s bottom line. In fact, businesses with employee recognition programs experience employee engagement, productivity, and performance levels that are 14% higher than companies without such programs. If that’s not enough of a reason to convince you employee recognition is a worthy business investment, perhaps this will: March 4 is Employee Appreciation Day!
To help you commemorate this special day and recognize your employees every day of the year, we’ve put together a brief list of creative ways your business can show its appreciation for your team’s hard work. From sending out company swag to investing in professional development, here are our top ways to recognize your employees’ workplace contributions.
1. Send your employees an unexpected(but meaningful) gift for no reason at all
Gifting your employees a coveted item of swag, that is typically reserved for customers like a fine writing instrument, or a more personalized item can be the perfect way to surprise and delight your team. Even a small artifact of employee appreciation, like a coffee mug or t-shirt, can show your employees you care for them and value their hard work.
2. Share a handwritten note
You don’t need expensive gifts to pull at your employees’ heartstrings. One study by Incentive Marketing Association actually found that 66 percent of employees prefer personally-meaningful non-cash rewards over cash. To that end, have your managers each write a note to each of their direct reports highlighting a few of their personal and professional accomplishments and thanking them for the hard work. It’s a low-cost, but meaningful way to recognize your talent. Plus, it’s unique and rare to see your colleagues’ handwriting these days!
3. Express your gratitude publicly
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can make employee appreciation a very public affair. In your company’s next All-Hands meeting, make time to highlight all of the amazing accomplishments your business and employees have had over the last month, quarter, or year. Make sure you put a spotlight on both the front-of-the-house doers and the back-of-the-house doers, or the employees that typically don’t get recognized but diligently get the work done behind the scenes to allow others to shine.
4. Invest in professional development
One of the best gifts you can give your employees is an investment in their future. Give your employees the resources to learn the hard and soft skills that will further their careers. By partnering with a live online learning solution like Hone, your employees can sharpen their skills and satisfy their curiosity whenever is most convenient for them. Speak to a member of our team to learn more about how Hone is the most effective, impactful, and scalable live training solution in the world.
5. Get the team together to celebrate
Sometimes you just need to get out of the office to celebrate with each other. Give each one of your teams a budget to plan a team-bonding activity after-hours. Whether it’s escaping a room together, throwing axes, going bowling, or making cocktails or mocktails, there are tons of creative ways your business can reward your employees with an in-person or virtual night out. Just make sure that your outing is as inclusive as it can be so some employees who have young children, aging parents, or don’t drink alcohol don’t feel left out.
6. Cater or curate a meal
There’s nothing like a diverse, delicious meal to bring your team closer together. Host an in-office feast, such as asking everyone to bring their favorite dish from childhood, or choose a favorite dish from a nearby restaurant to create a smorgasbord of employee appreciation for each individual on your team.
7. Give employees a bonus day off to focus on some new learning & development
The ultimate way to appreciate your employees? Give employees a day off to focus on something they personally care about, like developing their career path. Investing in your team and caring about their growth as leaders is the ultimate way to show employee appreciation.
8. Make employee recognition an everyday occurrence
However your company decides to invest in employee appreciation, showing you care every day is key to building an ongoing culture of appreciation and recognition. At Hone, our annual campaign “I SEE” is driven by our values and by our pillars of Inclusion, Scalability, Engaging and Effectiveness.” We use the acronym “I SEE” to anchor these qualities in everything we do, as in “I SEE YOU.” Integrating appreciation into your company’s everyday culture with a common vernacular is one of the most inclusive, scalable, engaging, and effective ways you can show employee appreciation.