How to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day Every Day
All too often, employee appreciation is either grossly overlooked or attempted with too little sincerity. When this happens, employees don’t feel truly recognized and respected for their hard work.
Both of these instances are more likely to hinder an employee’s sense of value in the workplace than to boost it, even when working remotely. But it’s high time for that to change. Employees are the lifeblood of any organization, and showing gratitude for their efforts is vital for continued growth and expansion.
National Employee Appreciation Day comes around once a year on the first Friday of March. In 2021, the day was celebrated on March 5th. While this day is well worth celebrating, it’s actually far more important to show appreciation for your team members in some way every day.
By investing time and energy into the self-esteem, confidence, and sense of value that your employees have within the workplace, everyone can enjoy the benefits that come with a healthy dynamic of mutual respect and gratitude.
Better employee retention, higher performance, improved productivity and an increase in employee engagement within the workplace are all-natural by-products of regularly showing how valued each person is.
While gift cards, ice cream, and other tangible rewards are a great way of showing employees appreciation, there are other, more fundamental ways your company can demonstrate gratitude.
In this article, instead of focusing on a once-a-year employee appreciation gift, we’ll go through some simple but highly effective employee appreciation day ideas. Each idea aims to add more value to your team members' daily lives and enhance your company culture.
Provide a Comfortable Working Environment
One way a company can express appreciation for its employees is by providing them with a comfortable working environment that promotes productivity.
Physical comfort is a basic need for any worker. But going a little above and beyond can demonstrate your desire to make their day as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
Investing in ergonomic chairs, adding some indoor plants, and making sure the office is always looking fresh and inviting will reflect your gratitude for employees in a simple but extremely tangible way.
Maintaining great care of the spaces your employees occupy should be a given. It shows continued effort on the company’s part to make their days as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
If employees work remotely, ensure that they have the tools they need to get the job done. Working from home is already fraught with additional challenges. Ensuring your employees have a comfortable set-up with the right tools and equipment can reduce stress and improve morale.
Regularly Ask for Employee Feedback
Many times, management is clueless about how to really please employees—but there’s a simple solution: asking.
By making sure that employees from every level are provided with the space to speak up about new ideas or issues that concern them. You can hear directly from them how they would like to be treated and what changes they might like to see in the future.
Holding feedback sessions or creating a “suggestions” box can help to stay in the loop about what kinds of rewards and expressions of gratitude are appreciated most.
It also provides an opportunity for managers to pick up on any bullying, harassment, mismanagement or otherwise that may be happening behind the scenes.
One of the best gifts you can give employees is a platform for their voices to be heard. And most importantly, responded with sincerity and a genuine desire for improvement.
While not everyone likes having their birthday celebrated, those that do tend to feel rather hurt when it is overlooked.
Creating a birthday tradition in the workplace gives employees something extra to look forward to once a year. Plus, it provides everyone with a wonderful excuse to get away from their desks and enjoy a slice of cake!
Birthday celebrations are a simple but significant way of showing employees appreciation. Anyone that doesn’t want to participate does not have to.
Keeping a birthday calendar in a communal space can help employees get to know each other better and give everyone an annual opportunity to feel celebrated.
Provide Mental Health Days
While your employees may do everything they can to keep their body and mind healthy, sometimes they need a little help. What better way to show your sustained interest in their well being than providing them with the space and time to improve their mental health? Most organizations offer sick days and personal days. But they don’t provide days off for those battling with poor mental health.
You can show your care, concern, and appreciation for an employee’s hard work by providing mental health days. These days are particularly beneficial to those suffering from anxiety, depression, or even high stress. However, they’re also good for when employees feel just a little burned out or in need of a short break.
Just like sick days, you can offer mental health days in a limited yearly supply, with the option to extend them if a serious issue arises. This is a great way to display a sense of empathy for employees and ensure that their overall mental state is in as good a shape as possible.
Make Celebrating Achievements the Norm
One of the biggest mistakes a company can make with regards to employee appreciation is failing to offer recognition and reward for good work—and who is doing it. Employees need affirmation for the honest efforts they put in, and an incentive to continue doing so. Choosing to celebrate employee achievements is the best way to go about doing this.
Making sure to actively and outwardly recognize work will make employees feel valued by superiors, and encourage them to maintain the momentum. Setting up an employee recognition program provides everyone with the opportunity to be officially recognized and promotes productivity in the workplace.
Offer an Upskilling Program
Upskilling is currently one of the most desirable factors in employment positions. Now, more than ever, employees want to know that there is room for them to grow and expand their careers. Offering an upskilling program is one great way to give them exactly that.
The rapidly changing world of today means that constant reskilling and retraining exercises are necessary for certain employment roles to stay relevant. Implementing an upskilling program is one of the most useful, valuable, and future-oriented gifts a company can give its employees in 2021.
Give Career-Based Rewards for Performance
One of the most practical ways to show your appreciation for employees is to give them rewards based on furthering their careers. A bigger working space, a private working space, mentorship, and more responsibility are all highly valued rewards by strategic employees.
Using career-based rewards as incentives for high performance shows that your company is ready and willing to compensate for hard work with realistic opportunities for individual career advancement. Growth opportunities are worth a lot more than happy hours, coffee shop coupons, and social media shoutouts in the long run.
Speak Out Against Discrimination
Having a company culture that refuses to tolerate any form of discrimination is essential. But taking measures to frequently discuss what that means will improve the employee experience and everyone’s sense of safety and empathy.
No employee should be made to feel uncomfortable or discriminated against by any person or policy within (or outside of) the working environment.
Show your appreciation for employees belonging to a minority or often discriminated groups. Make it easy for them to bring up concerns and normalize zero-tolerance for bias, bigotry, and discrimination of any kind.
The Final Word: Always be Authentic
However your company chooses to celebrate achievements, express its recognition, and reward employees, the most important thing is that it’s done with authenticity.
People can pick up on forced or disingenuous gratitude far more easily than you’d think. That kind of expression is only going to cause a wave of eye-rolling and resentment within the workplace. Neither of which are good for the employees nor the company side they work for.
Instead of wasting their time with plastic key-chains and mandatory once-a-year lunches, consider the practical and personal needs of your employees. Show your gratitude for them in ways that can actually improve the employee experience—both in and outside of the office.
9. Contact passive candidates
Promoting your job offers and then choosing candidates from the applicant pool is great, but it's not a guaranteed way to find the right person. Sometimes, notwithstanding the number of people who've applied, you cannot find the person who is the right fit.
Here's when the passive applicant pool can come to help. But who is a passive applicant? The person who is not actively looking for employment or may even be employed seems to be a good fit for the position. LinkedIn is one way to reach those candidates, but there are also many other platforms such as SeekTalent that you can use.
When reaching out to them, make sure to craft a personalized message telling them about your company and why you think they would be a perfect fit for the available position. Try to keep the conversation engaging and offer to organize a minor call or even a meeting to discuss possible cooperation.
10. Improve the interview process
It's hard to overestimate the importance of the interview process. Be it online or offline, and the interview is the first time your company representative will meet with the applicant face to face as part of the hiring process. For a successful and effective interview process, there are several vital points that you need to consider.
Don't put the interview off for too long - If there is a long time frame between the application and the interview, the applicant may be put off, or they may find something else. Take your time to screen all the applicants and carefully assess them, but make sure it doesn't take months before you call the candidate for an interview. If they don’t pass the screening section, send them an email notifying them. You may have hundreds of applicants, which may seem time-consuming, but using different SaaS email templates and setting up an automated email will simplify the task significantly. Overall, using email marketing in the hiring process is a good decision, as it will keep the official part and make it easier to keep communication with the potential employees.
Try to be innovative - Video interviews are becoming increasingly popular. While they may not fully allow the parties to feel for each other, they offer convenience and cut the time needed for the interview. Don't stick only to in-person interviews but try to provide options that may benefit you and the potential hire.
Share the hiring process with the applicant - As we've discussed earlier in the article, you need to have your hiring strategy planned out in the beginning. If you've done it, you probably know all the steps both you and the applicant need to follow. For example, if there is a task and an interview with the team lead, share it with the applicant upfront to know what to expect.
Discuss finances - If the pay range wasn't part of the announcement, you'd probably need to discuss it during the interview. Ask the applicant about the pay range they feel comfortable with and then discuss your company's amount in mind. This will save a lot of time down the road and help avoid any misunderstanding later.
Try to communicate all the concerns you and the applicant have in a friendly and accessible manner, ask them questions, and clarify if they have any. Then, after the interview, make sure to reach out to them with the decision as soon as possible, be it positive or negative.
Having a well-developed recruitment strategy is not just a need but a must for any company for long-term success. The process and tactics discussed in this article are some of the safest bets for recruiting the best candidates. Take your time to experiment with different tools and strategies to see what works best for your company and brings the best results.
Author Bio: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement, and intranet software. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, employee productivity, and to save you valuable time!
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