Employee Appreciation Day 2021

2 min read

Employee Appreciation Day 2021 is coming on Friday 5th March!  Have you decided how you’re going to show your employees the love?

Employee Appreciation Day started in 1995 in the USA but, like mac & cheese, gender reveal parties, and The Queen’s Gambit, it has become popular in the UK as well, and for good reason. 

Recognised employees are happy employees, and happy employees are more productive.  So for everyone involved, it’s a win!

This year, more than ever before, it’s important to show your employees that they’re appreciated.

We’ve all faced varying challenges in the effort to combat Covid-19 and work around the seemingly never-ending lockdowns.  It’s always nice to hear that somebody has noticed that we’ve achieved great things during these unprecedented times (I promise not to use that phrase again… we’re all sick of it! 🙄).

Whether your staff are all working remotely, are currently on furlough, or have had to adapt to a new working pattern, you’ll have to think a little differently than in previous years.  We can’t have the usual team lunch at Nando’s or after-work drinks down the pub, so how can you help to boost morale? 

Below are a few ideas for how you can show you appreciate your staff, even if you can only see them virtually.

Virtual office party
It’s not drinking alone if your virtual colleagues are with you

1. Provide Positive Feedback

It sounds obvious but sometimes we get so busy with the day-to-day that we forget to tell our employees that they’ve done a good job. 

Even just a brief note to let them know you’ve noticed their efforts can go a long way to making them feel valued.  Send an email, write a hand-written card, or have a quick one-on-one call, just tell them.

2. Enjoy a Virtual Get-Together

We’re all well-practiced in virtual meetings by now. 

Instead of a meeting about the weekly figures, why not organise a social get-together.  You could include games such as a pub quiz or your own version of Pictionary, which can help to increase engagement and teamwork.  We could all use a distraction from the day-to-day routine right now!

3. Offer an Early Finish

Addressing wellbeing at work can help to increase productivity and who doesn’t like an unexpected bit of time off. 

Allow your employees to sign-off early on Friday and take some time to focus on their mental wellbeing, or get out for a little fresh air now that the days are getting longer.  You’ll have fresh minds returning to work on Monday ready to take on the next challenge.

4. Host a Virtual Awards Ceremony

Go classic with “Employee of the Month” or perhaps a little more fun with categories like ‘Best Zoom Background’ or ‘Whose Tea Making Skills Do We Miss the Most?’. 

You can ask team members to vote for each other or you can decide the winners yourself.  Recognising staff achievements can help to boost morale and remind them why they’re an important part of the team.

5. Deliver Treats

Send your employees snacks to enjoy while they’re working, a drink to enjoy during your virtual get-together, or some wellbeing items to help them take care of themselves.  

There are so many choices of products that can be delivered direct to people’s homes that you can’t fail to find something right for your team.  And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a surprise gift turning up on their doorstep 🎁!

Gifts for staff
Look how happy this woman is to receive her very own WellBox! She’s definitely going to make extra sales this month

Whatever you decide to do, remember that employee appreciation shouldn’t be limited to just one day of the year. 

Your team should feel rewarded for their hard work all year-round, especially now when it’s easy to feel disconnected from the workplace and your colleagues.  Many of these ideas come at no, or very little cost to the company but can have a huge impact on how valued your staff feel. 

You’ll find once you get into the habit of showing appreciation for your employees, the easier it becomes to do.  And the more you’ll want to do it, because being around happy people can help make you happier too. 

Enjoy this opportunity to engage with your team and hopefully by next year we’ll be allowed to get together in person again for a much-needed celebratory drink.