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Celebrating Employees: Today and Everyday

To the rest of my 149,999,999 colleagues who are laboring in the workforce today, I say, Happy Employee Appreciation Day!

Since 1995, the first Friday in March has been set apart to thank employees and show them appreciation for what they bring to the workplace. I’m guessing that employees have always known that they are the linchpin to any organization, long before the bestselling book, One Minute Manager, was answered by the classic 59-Second Employee.

Since MotivAction is in the business of helping companies to improve their employee engagement and recognition efforts, this is one of our favorite topics. In the spirit of the day, here are five of our favorite best practices:

  1. Keep it simple. Recognizing each other should be easy and straightforward. If employees and managers need an owner’s manual in order to thank someone, you might want to rethink your program. A program should be fairly intuitive, matching your culture and corporate values.
  2. Keep peer recognition free-flowing. Colleagues should be able to thank each other without going through a cumbersome approval process. Nobody has ever complained that they’ve been thanked too much. If you’re worried about the content of thank yous eroding, make sure that managers are copied on the notes and highlight good thank you examples in team meetings.
  3. Keep it aligned. Recognition should be aligned with your corporate values. Who do you want to be when you grow up? Make sure employees know your vision and then link your recognition to your core values and key initiatives.
  4. Make it intentional. If you want an innovative organization that takes risks, you know what you have to recognize and reward. Service anniversary awards alone will not get the job done. Create recognition that highlights and rewards those who develop new ideas and solutions.
  5. Make it fun! Do your own Harlem Shake and pass out the popcorn! After all, it’s our day to celebrate!

Share your employee appreciation ideas here or on our Facebook page or Twitter feed.