February 28, 2019

MotivAction’s “Sustainable Six” for Employee Appreciation

Employee Appreciation Week has come and gone and we experienced some really inventive recognition activity in our client base. We love that you love your co-workers, and we love that you take a little time to let them know you care, appreciate and recognize their contributions. And we think that’s a really great place to start.

Last year we aired our perspective loudly and proudly: Employee appreciation is not a day, it’s a way of life. So how do you ensure your people get the notoriety they deserve throughout the year? There are hundreds of tactics to consider, but we think there are some hard and fast principles that can help guide you along the way.

We call them The Sustainable Six and they go something like this:

Get together. Not just in cliques for happy hour, but get everyone together, often. We have an area in the back of our offices that serves as a great space for our appreciation events. It’s the area we congregate for birthdays, holidays and special occasions like big cookie and pizza day, and company meetings, and it’s where our Good to Give committee gathers, counts and preps our community donations for delivery. But most important, it’s where we gather once a month to celebrate our great efforts and recognize individuals for their contributions to our client’s success.

Get social. Tell the world about your people, and your people will tell the world about you. So often a company’s social media strategy focuses simply on products, services, awards or accolades. Rarely does it focus on the employees that power the team. We think when someone does something great, you should absolutely shout it from the rooftops. Recognizing an employee on your LinkedIn or Facebook page for their great contributions says a lot not only about the individual, but about the value your organization places on the people that make you successful.

Get personal. There’s nothing that says, “thank you” like simply saying “thank you”. Literally, walking up to someone and just saying “thank you”. It’s sweeter if there’s a note, a gift or a few redeemable award points that go along with it. But the gesture itself can go a very, very long way in making someone feel appreciated.

Get official. Partner with an agency that specializes in enterprise engagement to help ensure that the culture of appreciation cascades to every corner of your organization. Technology, automation, immediacy and impact are the result of systemization, and that commitment will ensure your appreciation is felt far beyond the simple tactics of an annual Employee Appreciation Day.

Be authentic. Find the thing that your brand stands for and your people appreciate. For us it’s giving back to our communities. Our Good to Give committee is the team our entire workforce wants to be a part of. In 2018 alone our Good to Give committee packed over 350 boxes of toiletries for Blue Star Moms, raised thousands of dollars in our annual bake sale and silent auction for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, collected and delivered more than 500 packages of supplies weighing in at over 200 pounds for our school supply drive, donated more than 900 boxes of cereal to feed approximately 1200 recipients for one week, and supplied over 25 gifts from our holiday tree that went to a family of 5 in need. And our employees appreciated every single minute of it.

Be consistent. Work from the inside out, get beyond simple milestone recognition opportunities, engage every corner of your organization with both recognition and incentives, and carry out your instances throughout the year.

These are just guideposts that can help you design your strategy, and we’d love to help craft a plan that makes the most sense for your brand and your people.

For us, it’s a way of life.