Employee Appreciation Day occurs every year in early March, more or less. We’re not exactly sure what about March makes it a prime time for appreciating employees. Maybe because your managers and HR leaders have finally emerged from all the new 2020 requirements, like annual reviews and brand-new W4 forms? Maybe because March doesn’t (with apologies to St. Patrick’s Day) have many notable holidays.
According to the 2019 Gallup survey, there’s about a 35% chance you feel fully engaged at your workplace. If you’re engaged, great! As one of your employer’s most passionate and driven employees, you’re in a great place to help your managers promote employee appreciation at your workplace. But perhaps your employer doesn’t know how to ensure all your fellow employees are as engaged as you are. That’s where this guide comes in.
Does your company celebrate Employee Appreciation Day?
If you want to help your company do better on the employee appreciation front, first look into whether your company is doing anything to mark Employee Appreciation Day. If you don’t see anything on your company calendar, ask your head of HR or your manager.
So let’s say that Employee Appreciation Day, right now, looks like any other Friday on your company calendar. Time to get the word out, but how?
Do you have an employee satisfaction survey? This is a great place to talk about what you want. These surveys are most likely anonymous as they should be – but if you want to talk further about how to help your workplace find opportunities for employee appreciation, you should consider identifying yourself by name or email.
Talk to your manager and/or HR leader
Feedback is always welcome – any good manager or HR leader will welcome your input.
Start a company Slack channel
If your company is on slack, and if you have permission to create a Slack channel, create a channel called #appreciation and share ideas for ways to make sure employees feel appreciated. Employers will be delighted to have pre-vetted ideas for employee appreciation shared with them.
Share Your Research
Make sure your employer knows that employee appreciation isn’t just warm fuzzies, it’s good business too. A study from the Journal of Labor Economics shows that happy employees are a whopping 12% more productive than less appreciated and cheery employees.
Ideas for Your Employer
Now that you’ve made the case to your employers, what should you suggest for Employee Appreciation Day? For added benefit, remind them that appreciation shouldn’t be just a one-day or one-week initiative, but something to be done year-round. Most of these suggestions make sense as continuing activities.
One of the fast tracks to a better sense of contentment and connection in the office is enhanced physical and mental wellness. Suggest a plan of regular massage and mindfulness in the office—employees will see results almost immediately. (If you’re asking your employer about appreciation at the last minute, fret not: Zeel can turn around a great in-office massage session at the last minute.)
According to Harvard Medical School, volunteering not only helps you connect with other people, but reduces stress and improves mood. Volunteering with colleagues during work hours for a good cause promotes this camaraderie in the office, and gives employees the satisfaction of making the world just a little bit better. Why not suggest a volunteer half-day every other month?
Free (and Better) Snacks
In the latest research report by the Society for Human Resources Management 32% of employers offered free snacks. Snacks are great for mood and appreciation—they prevent hangriness, help manage that occasional forgotten lunch, and taste good—but make sure to ask for some wholesome and tasty goodies in addition to (or instead of) cookies and chips. Fruit, nuts, and yogurt are healthy office snacks that will give you energy.
Working from Home
According to Indeed, working from home is one of the most desirable benefits a company can offer – a great way to promote employee appreciation. A study on remote work from the job website Indeed shows that 57% of employers report that allowing a flexible or work-from-home schedule improved employee morale, 50% said it improved absenteeism, and 50% saw cost savings. Among employees, 75% said that remote work improved their work-life balance, and 57% said it reduced stress. That said, there are benefits to working from the office too, so if your employer limits remote work currently, suggest a slight adjustment, like one day of WFH per week, rather than an abrupt change.
We hope you enjoy your Employee Appreciation Day, whether you are working from the office or not that day, and wish you a year full of appreciation, recognition, and happiness in the workplace.