Employee appreciation is arguably more important in 2020 as unemployment numbers in the United States are still at an all-time low, giving employees much more flexibility to jump ship when they don’t feel recognized at work.
According to a report from ExperiencetoLead.com, the Department of Labor says that the top reason people seek out other job opportunities is that they don’t feel appreciated. A Deloitte survey of 16,000 professionals found that 54% would be happy with a verbal “thank you.” Another 31% would like a written “thank you” in order to feel appreciated. Keeping top talent could be as simple as saying thank you–who knew?
Do a little more to show your employees you’re tuned in to their contributions this year with a few ideas to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day:
- Old fashioned cards
The most cost effective way to show appreciation for a job well done is verbally thanking employees. Take it a step further by keeping certificates and appreciation cards on hand. Check out our free printable certificates here. Or, for those who appreciate a good pun, our printable mini appreciation cards:
- CEO Speak
Have your CEO and other senior leadership shout out achievements and give thanks. Employees like to know their work is recognized and that they are making a difference.
- Host a Photo Challenge
Have employees submit workplace photos of things like favorite wins, artistic shots of normal days, or hilarious candids of coworkers and award winners with an extra day off or rewards points within your employee recognition program. Order lunch for the winner announcement and use culture-appropriate rules for judging.
- EA Day Lunch
If you don’t have room in the budget for a big appreciation day initiative, simply treating your team to lunch will certainly convey your thanks. Make it a long one :)
- Make Personal Achievements Public
Get to know your employees’ goals and achievements outside of the workplace. Uplifting employees and celebrating proud moments aligns personal and professional goals, creates a bond between employees and management, and ultimately boosts employee engagement. For example, for an employee who has begun a fitness journey and successfully ran a 5K, find photos, have them printed and posted along with a gift card for coffee or breakfast.
- Snack Bracket
Show employees appreciation and keep their bellies happy with a snack bracket. Gamify employee snack preferences with a snack bracket. Provide healthy (and the occasional indulgence) options for employees to vote on and incorporate them into your break room supply. Look into fun and helpful services like Snack Nation for supplies. Not only do snacks boost employee happiness, they also are more likely to keep employees close to the office and ultimately their work.
- EA Day Breakfast
Order in or have it catered - surprise your team with breakfast galore on the big day. Walking into another work day with the smell of the day’s most delicious meal in the air is sure to let your employees know you appreciate them. There are even services and chefs you can hire like Hello Cheffy to set up shop and cook up pancakes and omelettes for the fete.
- Bring employees together with a think tank
Pull everything you’ve done for employees in the past and have employees vote on their favorites. Also invite employees to suggest new and exciting ideas, pool them together in a hat or bucket. Have a different employee pull one each month and award the team. You can also host competitions through your recognition and rewards platform, like this one that allows employees to submit ideas for management to moderate and award winners.
- Keep them on their toes
Treat your employees to team pedicures. Even if nail salons aren’t places some employees frequent, even if your idea is met with some resistance, get the team in a massage chair and see if they don’t feel pampered. Some salons offer champagne.
- Give employees bonus rewards points
The best way to show appreciation to your employees is to extend gratitude year round with an employee recognition program. Tie achievements to rewards that employees really want and make it easy to get them. Incorporate company values and encourage peer to peer recognition to boost employee engagement.
- Give out physical buttons and badges
Remember flair? Physical buttons or badges can also do wonders in the workplace. Recognize a job well done with a decorative button or magnet. Items that can be collected and displayed following an achievement remind employees and those around them of the positive affirmations associated with outstanding work. (You can also use badges with your digital employee recognition platform!)
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