March 1st is Employee Appreciation Day–Honor Your Rock Stars!
It’s almost the first Friday in March – are you forgetting something? Nope, it’s not your anniversary – phew! – or your youngest kid’s birthday, but it is one of the most important holidays of the year: Employee Appreciation Day!
And that’s one holiday you don’t want to forget! After all, the success of your business depends in large part on your employees’ performance, and happy workers who feel appreciated are a lot more likely to do a good job. Do you think your staff feels appreciated? Do you think their paycheck is “appreciation” enough? You may be surprised to learn that your team doesn’t view the workplace the same way management does.
Since it first appeared on calendars in 1995, Employee Appreciation Day has reserved the first Friday in March as a time for employers to officially acknowledge their employees’ hard work with more than just a regular paycheck. So don’t let Employee Appreciation Day slip by this year; instead, reward those rock star employees of yours with special recognition that lets them know just how important they are!
In almost every single workplace, there are employees who work hard day in and day out, never say “no” to anything that’s asked of them, never have an unkind word for anyone and just do their work. It is these employees who often get overlooked when it comes to giving an occasional pat on the back. They’d never point out something they did that went above and beyond the call of duty as that would be “tooting their own horn.” They just sit back quietly and read/hear about how wonderful the select few are doing.
Hand Write Some Kind Words
In a world dominated by e-mailing, texting and Tweeting, the handwritten note has gone by the wayside. Seriously, when was the last time someone took pen in hand and sent you an actual, handwritten note?
This phenomenon has resulted in two effects:
- A widespread epidemic of truly terrible penmanship
- Handwritten notes’ rare status means that they’re extra meaningful.
Fortunately, the “meaningful” part totally cancels out the sloppy handwriting part. So pick out some beautiful thank you cards and set aside an hour to write out some personalized notes telling your employees exactly why you value them.
Make an investment in your employees’ morale and hire a local masseuse or manicurist to come to the office on Employee Appreciation Day. They can go from office to office, cubicle to cubicle, performing their services in 10 or 15-minute increments. Just make sure your employees know that participation is voluntary!
If your company can afford it, make Employee Appreciation Day a half-day. Let your workers go home early that day to spend time with their families. Not many things say “thank you” quite as much as paid time off!
Whichever route you choose, it’s important to let your employees know how much you value their hard work. Even if you don’t have the time or means to hold a large celebration, even a certificate of appreciation will boost morale.
If your management team only speaks to employees when a mistake is made, you can be certain your employee morale is low. People may even dread coming to work. That can all be changed with a few kind words, a note, an early day out on a Friday or some other “privilege” that is earned. Think back to your last ten conversations with employees–how many of those ten interactions included a positive word or something that let the employee know you value him or her? If you’re hard-pressed to remember the last kind thing you said to a worker, then there’s a very good chance your employees are unhappy.