Employee Appreciation Day is taking place on Friday 4th March this year. If you’re looking for ideas about how you’ll celebrate with your team then you’re in the right place!
March also marks 2 years since the UK went into the first lockdown due to the Covid pandemic. Employees found themselves dealing with a new way of working, whether that was working from home, implementing social distancing and PPE in the workplace, or finding themselves furloughed.
Although a return to a ‘new normal’ is in sight, it’s been a tough journey to get here. It’s a great idea to show them how much you appreciate their efforts during this time.
Employee recognition has benefits for your company too. 63% of employees who feel appreciated by their company are very unlikely to seek a new job in the following 3-6 months compared to 11% of those who don’t feel that same appreciation (Source: SurveyMonkey).
So let’s get started making plans for how you’ll be thanking your staff this year!
Start with the Basics
Do you say “thank you” to your employees when they’ve done a good job? It may seem like a little thing but saying thank you is good for business.
A personal, genuine thank you can mean the world to your staff members. It shows their work has been recognised and was worth the effort that they put into it. There are grander ways to be thankful but make sure you’re not missing this basic step. It’s quick, easy and free to do but can have a big impact.
If you’re not already doing this, use Employee Appreciation Day as an excuse to get started and build your culture of appreciation from there.
Get a Change of Scenery
One big difference this year compared to the last two, is that you can actually get together with your team in person!
You could take them out for a meal or, if you’re feeling more active, a team activity such as bowling or taking on the Crystal Maze can help with team bonding. This is of course easier to organise if all your team live locally. If you have a remote workforce with team members living further away, make sure nobody is getting left out. Some companies now offer hybrid events that can be enjoyed in-person and virtually at the same time.
Give Gifts With Meaning
A well-thought-out gift delivered to their desk or doorstep can bring a smile to your team’s faces.
Make sure it’s a gift that they will make use of because a gift that ends up straight in the bin is just as bad as no gift! Food & drink is usually a safe bet, we all have to eat after all! If your team like games, you could consider sending puzzles to test their brainpower. Alternatively, if they’re in need of some relaxation after a physically draining day you could send them items to treat their aching muscles.
Adding a personal note explaining why you’ve sent the gift helps the recipients understand the thought you’ve put into it. You could also consider customising the gifts with your branding to add that extra personal touch.
Take a Break
Give your employees the chance to concentrate on their own well-being by offering them some extra time to do so in.
This could either be in the form of an extra-long lunch break or an early finish on a Friday. They can use this time to get out in the fresh air to help clear their minds or to join a yoga class. They’ll return to work feeling refreshed and ready to clear their to-do list.
Make Positive Feedback a Team Effort
Of course your staff want to hear positive feedback from their manager but it can also be nice for them to hear their colleagues appreciate them as well. Colleagues can sometimes recognise efforts that go into day-to-day activities that you maybe haven’t spotted.
Ask all members of your team to provide feedback on each of their colleagues. You can then collate this feedback and read this out to the team. This could be done as part of one of your regular team meetings or you could combine it with another event such as a team outing.
Give Back to Your Community
A great way to raise team spirits and improve people’s feelings of self-worth is to give them the opportunity to do something good for someone else.
Make it easy for your staff to help others by giving them a day off from work to do some volunteering in their local community. This could be helping out at a food bank, getting their hands dirty working on a community garden, or helping to create care packs for people living on the streets.
Charities have had a particularly tough time in the last couple of years with not being able to hold their usual fundraising events so they will appreciate the offer of additional support.
Involve Friends and Family
Show your employees that you care not only about them but also about their loved ones by holding an open day.
This is an opportunity for friends and family to see what their loved one does each day while also showing your staff how much you care about them on a personal level.
Depending on your business, this could involve a tour around your building or holding a party with a buffet and music to allow people to socialise and get to chat with the team. You could also hold an awards presentation to let everyone celebrate the achievements of your staff.
These are just a few ideas to give you some inspiration. The best way to know how to make your employees feel appreciated is to ask them. They’ll let you know whether some time off or a gift would be most beneficial to them. Even just knowing you’re listening to their needs helps them feel appreciated!
Although Employee Appreciation Day is a good time to start, remember that recognising your employees’ achievements should be a year-round effort. Even just a note to say thank you reminds people that their hard work is noticed and is appreciated.
Once you get into the ‘routine’ of showing appreciation, you’ll find it gets easier to do and you’ll start to find that appreciation gets shown back to you. Your workplace will become a place where positive feedback is a daily occurrence and that fosters a more positive environment.
We hope you are able to enjoy Employee Appreciation Day and if you’re looking for some gift ideas, we have a range of products that can be sent out to individual addresses with ease! Start here