Employee Appreciation Day is right around the corner! March 6th has been officially dubbed Employee Appreciation Day in the United States and Canada.
Although you should make it a regular practice to praise and recognize the loyalty and hard work of your employees, you should also take a little extra time to plan a special Employee Appreciation celebration for your staff with some of these simple ideas.
March is a busy time of year. So you might be feeling overwhelmed with deadlines and responsibilities, but always remember, showing your people that their work matters is as important as offering a regular paycheck. Recognition and gratitude are powerful drivers at work--eliciting positive feelings of appreciation and satisfaction for employees.
To make Employee Appreciation Day memorable, be sure to plan a celebration that your employees will actually appreciate! You cannot read your employee's minds, so the best way to figure out what will make them happy is to ask them directly. You can poll your staff and offer them a variety of celebration options to choose from. As a result, you'll be more likely to spend your time and resources on a celebration that will be fun for your employees instead of trying (and possibly failing) to read their minds.
Employee Appreciation Day is a celebration! The most meaningful celebration should have some hype built around it. When managers and executives show enthusiasm surrounding the event, that energy will rub off on the rest of the team. It will also demonstrate that you are taking this day seriously—real time and effort went into organizing the holiday. Undoubtedly, when your employees understand the effort you put in, it will make them feel all the more valued.
When the actual day comes around, be sure to recognize everyone publicly. If you are a small enough team, make time to assemble in one room. A top executive or manager should prepare a short speech to communicate their appreciation for the staff. Don't rush this. Make it sincere, and it will resonate with your people. A quick a simple thank you is usually the most heartfelt.
Take the afternoon to loosen up and connect with your team. You can do this by organizing and planning some easy team building activities in or outside the office. Remember, this is a celebration, so have fun with it! If you want your team to feel appreciated, allow them to have a good time, and most importantly, to relax! In our busy modern times, a mental break is the sweetest gift an employer can offer.
In that spirit, if you're short on time and resources, sometimes an afternoon off is the best gift or token of appreciation for your employees. Considering the celebration falls on a Friday, it's the perfect opportunity to offer employees a head start to the weekend by allowing them to leave work early. Promoting a healthy work-life balance has been shown to contribute to higher employee engagement and satisfaction.
A classic idea that never gets old because employees always appreciate a paid lunch or "happy hour" with drinks and snacks. Food and beverages are also a simple way to bring people together to mix and mingle. You can choose to do this alone or incorporate activities into the mix for an even more memorable day.
A break from the routine of day-to-day office life is always welcome. If you have the time and resources to organize an outdoor activity or excursion, do so, as your team will truly appreciate the effort. For example, you can plan to visit an escape room in your area or take your staff to a local park for a picnic if you're on a tighter budget. What matters your employees are offered a break from their responsibilities, an occasion to relax and unwind.
Make this into an even more significant and important celebration by allowing your staff to invite their spouses, children, and significant others. We hear our coworkers talking about their loved ones every day, getting a chance to meet the people closest to them strengthens the bond between colleagues. Inviting family and loved ones demonstrates to your employees that you not only care about the job they do, but you care about them as people.
If it's your first time celebrating Employee Appreciation Day, remember, you might not get the celebration perfect the first time. That's OK! Doing something is better than doing nothing at all. And remember: Offering verbal recognition is the most crucial component of this celebration and is 100% free!
Pro tip: Once the celebration is over, gather feedback from your team. Get their honest opinion. Doing this will help you understand how they prefer to celebrate this important day. As a result, this holiday will only get better and more memorable with each passing year.
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