The first Friday of March is celebrated as Employee Appreciation Day; an opportunity for managers and supervisors to remember the importance of showing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. Following the last 12-months, we think this is more important than ever, as people across the world have adapted and thrived in a changing working environment.
Below we’ve listed 14 ideas for you to show some love to your team, and whilst it’s recommended to take time throughout the year to make your employees feel valued, celebrating this occasion can really help to boost morale and improve the bond between employer and employee.
1) We all love a freebie so vouchers and tokens can be great gifts for everyone whether they’re working from home or are still at your workplace. You could add a personalised message so that each individual knows that they are valued and appreciated for going the extra mile over the last year.
2) If you’re still operating from your usual workplace, why not treat your staff to some food? Takeaway meals such as fish & chips or pizza are always popular, or if you fancy something sweeter, cakes and donuts are well received and will show your employees that you appreciate their efforts, especially if you turn this into an occasion where everyone can take a break for a while. For maximum impact why not give everyone the afternoon off afterwards?
3) Is there something that would bring pleasure to the workplace such as a new sound system, a games area or coffee machine? A fancy coffee machine will show your staff you care and will delight the caffeine fans in your workplace!
4) Check out the shop floor and find out if there is something that would make the working day brighter for all. Redecorating the staff room for example can be a great way to show your staff you appreciate them and are thinking about their comfort. You can announce this on Employee Appreciation Day and ask for suggestions, keeping your employees invested with the decision.
5) A cash bonus or some extra time off always goes down well whether your employees are working remotely or are still turning up for work. It can be isolating working from home so receiving some sort of acknowledgement will boost morale and keep your home workers aware that they’re still an important part of the team.
6) You could start an employee recognition newsletter that’s emailed to the team. This could come out every month, every quarter, or every other week, depending on the size of your company.
7) Because of the COVID restrictions, you can’t arrange a works party or trip to a restaurant for everyone right now, but you can schedule this for the future and announce it on Employee Appreciation Day.
8) Reward your top performers with a spa trip or similar to be claimed once the regulations ease.
9) Offer flexible work schedules (even after the pandemic ceases). Where possible, you could offer the flexibility to work from home for part of the week, or even be open to employees taking extended breaks to go to the gym or take a walk; it can boost productivity and encourages trust.
10) Host a virtual games night or escape room filled with challenges, laughter and plenty of bonding. Giving your employees the laughs and the memories is the perfect creative way to show your appreciation.
11) Subscription boxes to online streaming services can be very well received right now. Offer a couple of options so that your employees can choose which option is best for them.
12) Implement an employee of the month award and reward the winner with a gift such as a voucher for a meal out / gym membership or a personalised gift. If your employees realise that good performance is rewarded and appreciated by everyone, they’re more likely to make the extra effort going forward.
13) Ask your employees for their input about fun activities that you could do as a team – what do they want to do? You could bring this up on Employee Appreciation Day and set a date once you’ve decided on an activity.
14) Finally… everyone likes to feel appreciated and valued by their employers. Just telling your employees that they have done a good job will go a long way to improving workplace morale. Employee Appreciation Day is a great opportunity to say thank you to your staff for their past efforts and it sets out an effective framework for a happier workplace in the future.
Showing that you appreciate your employees helps to build a strong company culture and often improves productivity. Appreciation and gratitude are healthy for team-building and help to inspire your workforce, and with lack of recognition being one of the top reasons for people leaving a job, it’s also invaluable for staff retention.