The first Friday of March is set aside to mark national Employee Appreciation Day – March 4, 2022. This unofficial holiday on the workplace calendar aims to bring attention to the valuable contribution of employees in the workplace. Employee Appreciation Day is a golden opportunity for employers to recognize and appreciate how employees contribute to business growth.
The Idea Behind Employee Appreciation Day
Employee Appreciation Day was a concept originated by Bob Nelson, a founding member of Recognition Professionals International. The first day of employee contribution in the U.S. was launched in 1995 to remind employers and managers that positive employer-employee relations are the foundation for a company’s long-term success. Taking the time to value and appreciate employees is a great way to get them to not only give off their best but to go above and beyond expectations.
4 Payoffs Of Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day That Has A Real Impact On Profit Margins
A robust and healthy employer/employee relationship is a win-win situation. A little recognition from managers can make a huge difference to employees and positively impact their productivity. Why does it matter?
Drive engagement and productivity
An unhappy workforce can have a significant impact on productivity. For example, research has shown that an organization can experience a 37 percent higher rate of absenteeism and 18 percent in reduced productivity levels.
Recognizing and appreciating employees’ contributions provides encouraging testimony of how much their employers value them. It is the key to unlocking the potential of an increase in productivity. Findings provided by a Glassdoor study revealed that 81% of employees surveyed believe that they would be more motivated to work harder when shown appreciation by the powers that be.
Workplace recognition sets off a powerful chain reaction: higher engagement levels lead to more motivation, improving performance. In addition, recognizing a specific action taken by an employee is more than likely to follow similar behavior in the future.
Retain loyalty of good workers
In addition to improved productivity levels, showing employees that they are valued members of a company goes a long way to retaining their loyalty. The pay and benefits could attract people to a job, but appreciation encourages them to stay.
Findings from an OC Tanner research study show that 79% of employees left their jobs due to lack of appreciation. Another insightful statistic indicates that the second largest factor that decreases employee engagement is feeling undervalued. 82% of employees look for more recognition from their managers.
Far too often, a decrease in productivity means employees leaving the job; Now, you are searching for a replacement. Unfortunately, once the position is filled, it takes time for a new employee to be brought up to speed. As a result, organizations lose internal knowledge (when they lose experienced employees) and encounter frustrating interruptions in their ongoing operations.
Managers should not forget that to replace even a single employee comes at a price. Research conducted by Gallup shows that conservative estimates of employee replacement costs can vary between one and a half to double the employee’s annual earned income.
Avoid the cost of employee disengagement
It is not only the cost of replacing employees that can drop profit margins; the cost of employee disengagement can be punishing, too. Another Gallup statistic indicates that unhappy employees show a 15% lower profitability.
Build a strong company culture
Company culture can be the reason that attracts top talent to an organization. Corporate culture is a workplace intangible that assures employees that the company prioritizes its people. Employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention are some of the key factors that relate to company culture.
The benefits of a strong company culture include giving hiring managers a competitive edge to select the best out of the talent pool, creating a compelling sense of workplace community, and reinforcing employees’ commitment at work.
7 Ideas to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day
The type of Employee Appreciation Day celebration chosen will depend on the size of the company, its organization, and the budget. For example, some companies may offer individual gifts, while others may gather all employees around the lunch table.
Here are some great ideas to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in 2022.
- Ask your employees how they’d like to celebrate the day
Get input from employees on what would make them feel appreciated. A suggestion box or survey is a helpful way to gauge employee expectations. With this, managers will know their appreciation ideas will be meaningful, and employees will appreciate being heard.
- Enjoy a fun group activity.
Take time out for bingo, bowling, karaoke, or any other activity that sounds fun to your employees. As a result, employees can unwind and strengthen relationships with co-workers.
- Hand out personalized self-care packages
Who doesn’t love a day out at the spa these days? Wellness retreats, spa gift certificates, yoga sessions, and pamper gift packs are wonderful gift ideas that focus on wellbeing.
- Individualized “Thank You” notes
Saying thank you with personalized “thank you” notes is a great way to make each employee feel valued and appreciated. Acknowledge them for the differences they make to the company.
- Treat employees to lunch.
Everyone loves a tasty lunch, whether it’s pizza, pasta, burgers, or burrito bowls.
- Send them home early.
There is one gift that money can’t buy, and that is time. So close shop early for the day and let employees go home and spend some extra time with their loved ones.
- Introduce an employee wellness program
These programs focus on employee health and wellness. Programs can include stress management, meditation, resilience training, and psychological wellbeing and exercise programs.
The returns on investment of recognizing and appreciating employees this Employee Appreciation Day are boosted by encouraging job satisfaction, wellbeing, a sense of purpose, and trust. Keeping employees well-motivated translates into measurable desirable business-promoting benefits.
Appreciating employees should not be reserved for just one day in the year but form part of a smart management strategy.