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Happy Employee Appreciation Day

To the 151,000,000 full and part-time employees working this Friday, 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 preparation for Friday, 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! Be the champion of surprise and delight in your workplace. Make someone’s day. Get your team outside. Surprise employees with treats. Hand out lottery tickets to recognize performance. Take time to celebrate! Fun is contagious and happy people are more motivated and engaged.

A strong climate of employee appreciation makes a difference in satisfaction, retention, engagement, improved job performance and ultimately increased business value. Employee recognition isn’t something that happens once a year – frequency in recognition is key to the success of your business!

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.

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