Why should you celebrate Employee Appreciation Day? Any small business owner who wants to build a strong and successful company should be interested in doing whatever they can to make sure their employees are engaged.
According to the Harvard Business Review, organizations with a high level of engagement are 22% more productive than companies staffed by workers who are merely going through the motions, What’s more, engaged employees are more likely to be happier at work and therefore are less likely to be on the lookout for new jobs. They’re also likely to produce better work and be healthier—and therefore in the office more often.
Despite the obvious benefits of creating an engaged workforce, a majority of U.S. workers remain disengaged. According to Gallup, only 32.5% of employees were engaged in January 2016. Phrased another way, more than two-thirds of workers are disengaged. As a result, their organizations suffer from decreased productivity, lowered morale, and higher turnover.
The good news is that companies can take proactive steps to improve employee engagement. A recent study revealed that 58% of employees believe their organizations could improve engagement simply by recognizing their efforts more consistently. This makes sense because anyone who’s busted their tail at work and not received any credit for their efforts knows how discouraging it can be. What’s the point of working hard if nobody seems to notice?
When your workers go above and beyond, be sure to compliment them on a job well done. Repeat the behavior every day, and over time your employees will become increasingly engaged.
If you’re ready to launch an employee recognition initiative, the calendar is in your corner: Friday, March 3rd is Employee Appreciation Day. As the name suggests, the day is the perfect time of the year to tell your employees how much you appreciate their hard work.
5 Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day
Host a catered lunch
Everyone needs to eat, and for some reason, food tastes a whole lot better when you’re not the one picking up the tab. Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day by springing for a lunch catered by a nearby deli or restaurant. Make sure to include some vegetarian and vegan options so everyone has something to eat. Not sure where to order from? Rope your employees into the process.
Have a painting event in the office
If you feel like tapping into your employees’ artistic side, schedule a private painting party at your office or head to a nearby paint bar. A talented artist will teach your team how to paint a specific picture, walking you through every step of the process. At the end of the event, you’ll have a number of different interpretations of the same picture. If space allows, hang them on the walls of your office to add some excitement to the environment. As an added bonus, these kinds of events usually feature a healthy amount of wine. A simple Google search should help you find a local company that can turn this idea into a reality.
Take a field trip to a nearby museum or park
When’s the last time you’ve taken your team out on a field trip? If the weather’s nice, head to a nearby park or open space area. Go for a hike through the woods. If it’s colder or your team’s not too outdoorsy, you can opt to head to a local museum or art gallery instead.
Make an exciting new announcement
Let’s say you’re sitting on some major news that you know your employees will love. It might be time to give your workers new computers or maybe you’ve decided to allow your employees to work from home once a week. You could have just landed a big contract or agreed to an exciting partnership that you know your employees will love. Whatever the case may be, use Employee Appreciation Day to announce the big news.
Give out silly company-specific awards
Maybe your budget is a little tight and you can’t afford to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day as lavishly as you hoped. That’s perfectly fine and understandable—these things happen. You can always recognize your employees by holding a mock awards ceremony like The Office‘s The Dundies. Drawing a blank as to what kinds of awards you can give out? Give the MacGyver Award to the employee who’s always fixing something. Give the Godot Award to the employee who’s always a few minutes late. Give the Marco Polo Award to the person who knows where everything is in the office. Give the worker who’s always bringing in food the Julia Child Award. You’re bound to have a good time and share lots of laughs.
Happy Employee Appreciation Day!
Ready for more?
Apply for funding and find out if you qualify today