Employee Appreciation Day, or Week, or Month (however we choose to celebrate it) has come and gone. Hundreds, thousands, even hundreds of thousands of gestures changed hands in March helping punctuate our belief that indeed, our colleagues and co-workers matter.
But do you still care today, more than a month later? So often we lift our heads to recognize the day, and then we put them back down and lose ourselves in our own tasks. Though well-intentioned, this reminder to pause and thank employees often becomes an expected event of food and fun, absent of a sustained commitment to our company’s most valuable assets. So it bears saying, loudly…
Employee appreciation is not a day, it’s a way of life.
Employees could very well believe that the recognition they got back on that early March day was simply a result of the day. It might even feel disingenuous. But when acts of appreciation are sustained – when they are ingrained in the culture of your organization, and consistent in their delivery – they become authentic.
So how can your message of appreciation be one that employees truly respect and remember?
- Make it consistent. There are hundreds of recognized days for corporate celebration, and they last throughout the year. Celebrate one or two a month and ensure that recognition is a part of your organization’s culture. We’ve put together a calendar with a few of those dates that you can download, hang on your wall and reference throughout the year as a starting point.
- Make it inclusive. Consider all your employees—including store, remote, and global employees. When you have live events at headquarters or other locations, take a minute to recognize those who aren’t in your area code. “You need not be present to win”. One way to include everyone in your celebrations is to add an online game to your recognition platform for a day or a week. It’s a way to create a common experience and stimulate fun conversations between employees.
- Make it personal. Have managers write notes of appreciation to their employees throughout the year, or hand them an on-the-spot reward. What does Sasha consistently bring to the job? What makes Lee especially good with customers? A personal note or reward card lets employees know you notice their contributions, and you appreciate them. A hand-written note will be remembered long after the calendar page turns.
Although the day has come and gone, the spirit should last throughout the year. Employee appreciation is not a day, it’s a way of life.
Interested in making the most of Employee Recognition for your organization? Download our Employee Recognition Success Guide. Our team of Certified Recognition Professionals® has assembled a comprehensive guide to help you design effectively, communicate smartly, train appropriately, track accurately, and deliver successfully.