What Will You Do To Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day 2022?
On March 4th, the world celebrates Employee Appreciation Day, and if the last 2 years have shown c-suite executives anything it’s that employees deserve more celebration then ever.
This March, employers across the world have a chance to spend one day focusing on their people, taking the time to give back to their staff what they put into the ongoing success and growth of their company.
What is Employee Appreciation Day?
Employee Appreciation Day was ostensibly founded by author Dr. Bob Nelson (the “Guru of Thank You”) in 1995, in support of the release of his book “1,001 Ways to Reward Employees”.
Since then, this unofficial day of celebration has taken the US (and now a fair portion of the western world) by storm, with EAD now a conduit for ideas on how to show appreciation for workers.
Why should companies celebrate Employee Appreciation Day?
Consider the following:
- Corporate Communications Experts in Australia note: “Appreciation keeps employees engaged. In addition to improving productivity, showing appreciation in the workplace also increases employee engagement and dedication. Appreciation helps build staff loyalty”
- As per Emergenetics In Ireland, “Employee recognition and appreciation can also create unique company culture and strengthen employee relationships”.
- As per the American Psychological Association, “(we) found that 93 percent of employees who reported feeling valued said they were motivated to do their best work, and 88 percent said they were engaged.
Showing appreciation from management to employees is more than a pat on the back, job well done – it’s psychologically imperative to maintaining productivity, happiness and engagement in work, and central to an employee’s sense of meaning and passion for their career.
Appreciation, and reciprocal emotions like gratitude, are also enormously effective at improving happiness. Positive Psychology notes,
- “When we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, the two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside”.
More recently, the global upset of working norms caused by COVID-19 has pushed empathetic leadership to the fore, with more and more guidance on management being active in helping the welfare and mental health of their workers.
McKinsey released a report in 2022, titled Cultivating compassionate leadership in a crisis, which focused on this, and a range of other emotionally-driven responses to the coronavirus crisis:
- Numerous studies show that in a business-as-usual environment, compassionate leaders perform better and foster more loyalty and engagement with their teams,
- We find that four qualities can mitigate these natural tendencies and help leaders find the compassionate voice: awareness, vulnerability, empathy, and compassion.
In light of our contextual present, and with a nod to a brighter future, we wanted to give HR teams and business leaders some ideas for how to show your employees a little more appreciation in our post-COVID normal.
The Renaix Appreciation Guide
Showing appreciation doesn’t have to mean celebration bells and whistles at every available moment. As HBR notes, “building a culture of appreciation comes down mostly to a lot of small common sense practices: Not taking your people for granted. Remembering to say thank-you in a personal and sincere way. Making it clear that you’re interested in your employees’ growth and in them as individuals”.
So here are some simple ideas to show your team some well earned appreciation:
Virtual Happy Hour – an informal, sociable and COVID-safe way to show a little love to your teams, all from the comfort of home and can be drawn up next to a half day off to really let your team relax pre-weekend. You can use this to play games, simply chat with friends, or do a small roundtable to show your appreciation. The stage (screen) is yours!
Personal Recognition – we could not urge personalisation enough. Offering appreciation should be personal, after all each member of your team will have accomplished something of worth and rightly should have their day in the sun. Whether this is a personalised video, a handwritten letter, or a simple meeting face to face, let your staff know you value them.
Gifting – the go-to for businesses who want to do packages of Thank Yous or rewards to great staff. However, make an effort to find something unique, rather than simply offering a high street or amazon voucher. There are so many great gifting websites online – which you can search here for a small selection of the most visited – you’re spoilt for choice.
Get people out of the office – although limited somewhat by restrictions (if they still apply), there is a large cohort of people who want to reconnect with their teammates and rebuild some of the rapport lost over the months of remote work. From the added serotonin release of vitamin D and laughing on a day out, to a meal-on-the-house at a local restaurant, simply offering to treat your team will do wonders to their mental state and their feeling of belonging.
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