What is Employee Appreciation Day?
Employee Appreciation Day has been celebrated in the US since 1995, thanks to the pioneering work of Bob Nelson, one of the world’s leading experts on employee engagement, motivation, performance, recognition and rewards. From today, the 2nd March, it’s about time all of us in the UK start celebrating this annual, but unofficial, holiday where company HR teams and their managers can thank their employees for the hard work and effort they put into their job, therefore strengthening the bond between employee and employer. Studies show that appreciation and recognition catalysts in employee happiness and engagement, so Employee Appreciation Day can make all the difference.
Why should you celebrate employee appreciation day in the UK?
Apart from general politeness and etiquette, there are many reasons why a company and its employees should celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. The main reason being that ‘almost half (48%) of UK employees are unhappy at work’ and ‘35% would be happier with greater recognition in the workplace’. These figures are clear in explaining that we need to treat our workforce better and we need to make a change. This change would result in benefits for employees and companies as a whole. This can include;
- A positive correlation between recognition and retention, meaning the more employees are appreciated, the more likely it is that they will stay with the business
- An increase in productivity, motivation, and innovation
- Positive impact on employee engagement
- Appreciation will act as a morale booster which leads to greater enthusiasm, desire and determination to do a good job
- A positive and comfortable workplace atmosphere
- Provides employees with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, in particular, social belonging needs which also provides you with self-esteem and, ultimately, it will lead to the fulfilment of self-actualisation
- A sense of loyalty and team spirit
- Your company will gain a competitive edge and your team will be a force to be reckoned with.
How can your company celebrate Employee Appreciation Day?
There are so many ways your company could celebrate Employee Appreciation Day and ensure your employees aren’t feeling undervalued and you don’t even need a big budget to do so.
- You can give personal and genuine gifts but a simple thank you goes a long way nowadays. Whether you express your gratitude in an email or show your genuineness in a handwritten letter, the impact of saying thank you and giving recognition to employees lets them know they aren’t underestimated, overlooked or taken for granted.
- Keep appreciation genuine and praise employees for actions that are in translation with the organisation’s goals and values. By praising achievements and encouraging employees to pursue their goals, you’re ultimately creating a workplace culture of encouragement.
- Make it social and show recognition for employees publically which can inspire others to succeed.
- Look out for acts of outstanding work from employees every day. I’m sure you’ll find examples all around you!
- Have a team building day to make employees feel appreciated and help achieve the organisation’s goals. Additionally, it will create a more comfortable and trusting environment to work in.
- Have a staff outing and go for dinner and drinks or opt for a fun activity such as bowling. This helps staff get to know each other better and creates a stronger team bond within an organisation.
- Throw an office party or general after work socials.
- Studies show stress largely derives from under-appreciation at work. This has a negative impact on the physical and mental health of your employees. Try showing flexibility in terms of working hours and absence days in hopes of making a difference.
- Ask employees and management to nominate/vote for the employee of the month. Alternatively, you could reward the team or department that shows great achievement. Just like way back in school, we all know how receiving a gold star made us feel appreciated and recognised and it will have the same effect now, encouraging us to repeat the actions that helped us to get it in the first place.
- Invest in your employees by providing them access to further training which will develop their skills. Also, you could purchase new technology which could make their jobs easier.
How we celebrated at Kidwells!
We understand the psychology of praising others for their good work and the fundamental human need for appreciation at work. That’s why we regularly hold staff socials and for Employee Appreciation Day we went bowling. It was a very competitive eventing too.
We have just started using a free online employee happiness measurement tool Friday.work. It measures and tracks happiness using the latest science-backed thinking. Using it will help you navigate to a happier, more creative workplace that sees staff turnover drop and performance increase. Why not as a company give it a go?
We love a day where we can celebrate and appreciate our employees and co-workers. However, employee appreciation shouldn’t be reserved for just one day, it should be integral to your company culture. Remember, your employees are your most precious assets, so why not make every day Employee Appreciation Day?