Every year, Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday of March (5th March 2021), and it's truly a day dedicated to recognising and thanking your employees - no matter what their position, level or contract type - for all their hard work and for contributing to the greater business.
Maintaining a motivated workforce that understands and breathes what your organisation is about and stands for is invaluable. Having dedicated employees that are passionate and want to come to work are indeed your organisation's lifeblood which will ultimately help your organisation and its teams to thrive and grow. It's as simple as that.
So, what's the secret? Employee appreciation! Studies (and common sense) have shown that unhappy, unmotivated employees are not necessarily loyal and do not tend to stay in jobs where they don't feel valued and appreciated.
In addition, Covid-19 has radically changed the world in so many ways; from peoples' personal lives, to the way businesses are operating, to routine changes with children not at school, financial struggles as well as many people still working remotely. This poses supplementary challenges and barriers for employers when it comes to recognising and thanking their staff. More so than before, employers need to show support, care and appreciation for their teams to ensure raised productivity levels, a sense of morale continuity and ongoing loyalty and commitment. Employees are feeling frightened and uneasy about what the future holds.
Employees need to know they are valued, appreciated and most importantly, not forgotten. This needs to be done regularly, not just on Employee Appreciation Day, yet a dedicated day is a good anchor for company-wide appreciation. Companies need to work extra hard in creating and fostering this sense of appreciation and engagement during these tough times. With an unlimited amount of distractions at home, it’s no wonder disengagement and demotivation emerge and unfortunately, often trump over engagement and commitment.
So, with this in mind, here are 5 effective and fun ways to show your employees you appreciate them without breaking the bank, especially while the team is dispersed and working from different locations:
1. Recognition, recognition, recognition
Back to basics: one of the most simplistic, yet much needed, human necessity is to feel appreciated, recognised and acknowledged. So, whether it's informal recognition such as taking the time to say a simple "thank-you" via a Zoom call with the team, or a short video which can be emailed out, or a formal reward and recognition programme, they can both do wonders. Employees will feel motivated and passionate and their drive and desire to do more and more will duplicate. Showing this simple appreciation will harness a great sense of warmth and passion back into the business. Invest the time and effort, as the rewards speak for themselves.
2. Send digital thank you e-vouchers or online gifts
It's so crucial to appreciate and ensure your team are acknowledged (and feel it!). There's nothing more successful in boosting the morale of your employees by saying thank-you, especially on a day dedicated to celebrating them! An easy way is to send out digital e-vouchers or gift hampers to each recipient. If this can be done digitally, this will enhance efficiency and streamline the process. Alternatively, gifts can be arranged to be delivered to individual locations, such as champagne, care kits, food hampers...
3. Virtual dinner party
With the majority of teams still working remotely, one great way to celebrate is to set a dinner budget for each team member (and their partner, budget dependent) and let them choose a meal of their choice. Then all join up online, whether it's team by team or the whole organisation, and enjoy a catch up over a nice, personalised meal.
4. Host virtual Employee Awards Ceremony
Why not hold an employee awards ceremony online to celebrate successes and milestones in your team over the last 12 months? This could be for excellent leadership and team engagement, displaying great social skills, going the extra mile to meet a deadline - it’s up to you. Again, this can be a nice way to recognise the team in front of everyone, the same way it would be if were to be hosted face-to-face. Plus, everyone loves a bit of glam!
5. Donating on your employees' behalf
Why not pay in forward in your employees' honour? Consider making a donation to a charity which is close to your employees’ heart in their name, and as a token of your appreciation. If a particular employee hits a milestone, shows exemplary behaviour or goes beyond the call of duty, especially whilst working from home, this gesture may not only make them feel valued, but so too that of the charity. This is a fantastic way to show you care about what’s important and meaningful to the employee.
So, once you've vested that necessary time and effort in finding the right employees, show them gratitude and that they are indeed valued and needed. There should be no excuses to the amount of times a little thank you, or well done is expressed. And in the wise words of Richard Branson, "I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised."
Employee recognition can help boost employee appreciation, engagement and business success. Download our free e-book to find out more.