Your employees dictate the success or failure of the company. If you have a poor work environment, the business is far less efficient. This means you could lose money in sales as well as production value.
This Employee Appreciation Day, give staff a reason to praise the brand. Sometimes even the simplest things can produce a profound impact on the workforce.
And the rewards are great for everyone involved.
Embracing Employee Appreciation Day
National Employee Appreciation Day is the first day in March of every year. It’s a celebration of those who work hard to keep the business afloat in both the United States and Canada.
Because without the employees, there really wouldn’t be much of a business.
Happy employees are often more productive. In fact, studies show how happy employees are 20% more productive than those who are unhappy. By investing in your staff, you’re also investing in the success of your company.
Let’s face it, no one wants to work in a job they loathe. This leads to increased employee turnaround as well as lost production value. This is because unhappy employees are more likely to call in sick or take as much vacation as possible to avoid work.
But if you make it a fun experience, you may find people are more likely to embrace the company and work harder for its success.
“Coming together is a beginning… Keeping together is progress… Working together is a success.” – Henry Ford
So, here are 9 things that you can do for Employee Appreciation Day. And many of them won’t cost the company much to implement.
1. Use Fun and Games
Some small businesses will use a gaming element to engage their employees. I’ve seen some host a small “carnival” in the workplace complete with games and small prizes.
Even the business itself was decorated with balloons and streamers.
In fact, you could include customers in the fun and games and make it a local event. Of course, this really depends on what kind of business you operate.
Something like an internal carnival doesn’t have to be overly expensive either. You can pick up a lot of “prizes” and trophies at your local dollar store. It’s not about the value of the reward, but the meaning behind it.
Some of my most treasured items from businesses I’ve worked in the past were nothing more than a printed “appreciation” certificate.
This can also work in an online-only environment. For instance, you could run trivia games through chat systems and ship prizes or offer in-house discounts to the winners.
How about a scavenger hunt for certain content on your website?
2. Give Out Some Branded Goods
If you can get your employees as excited about the brand as you are, they are more likely to promote it. They are also more likely to stay with the company, which is an asset especially since it means you don’t have to train new staff.
Handing out branded swag doesn’t have to be overly expensive. Something as simple as a T-shirt proudly displaying the brand has potential to inspire company pride.
For myself, I love branded coffee mugs.
You can even tie the branding into usable items that fit your business. For instance, I’ve seen tech companies hand out branded USB drives, mice and mouse pads.
Everyone loves free stuff. And doing a giveaway this Employee Appreciation Day will affect how staff views the company. It makes them feel like they are getting more than just a paycheck from you.
3. Host a Potluck
One of my favorite things to do on Employee Appreciation Day is having a potluck. Invite all of your staff to bring in food for the day, including the business.
Food is always a boon to any business dynamic. Not only does it feed staff, but it also helps connect employees together. It shows a bit about each person and makes them more than just a coworker.
If you want to take this a step further, there’s nothing wrong with taking the potluck to a nearby park. This will greatly depend on the weather, but for some areas, a luncheon outdoors can give staff a much-needed break.
Not only is the fresh air good, but from a scientific standpoint, sunlight is good to reduce stress and depression. Which means a company picnic can influence the mindset of staff and make them more relaxed and satisfied.
And don’t forget, you could always offer a catered lunch instead of a potluck. The problem here, though, is that not everyone likes the same kind of food.
4. Highlight Employees on the Website
One thing you can do this Employee Appreciation Day is to highlight your staff on the website. But, go beyond just the simple bios you may already have.
Create a blog post for employees and break down what they do for the company and why they are a valuable member of the team.
Everyone loves praise in some form. And creating a post for the world to see goes beyond just telling them in person. It shows how you’re dedicated to letting everyone know just how important the individual is to you as well as the success of the business.
Then, share the link to the post through email or social media with each person highlighted. You want them to read how much they mean to you.
Not only does this engage a personal emotional response, but sometimes it’s easier to express yourself through text rather than spoken words.
Just remember to not write anything that is too personal in nature. Just a simple, “this is why you’re awesome for the company” type of post is more than enough to possibly bring a tear to an eye or two.
5. Go On a Field Trip
Remember what I said about being out in sunlight? Why not take it a step further and go on a company field trip? It gets people out of the workplace and a way to relax.
For instance, what if you have an office full of golfers? Take them to a paid 9-hole round to enjoy.
Perhaps there is a local museum you can go to that everyone could get into.
The point of this is to go beyond the workplace and get out and about. I know a lot of businesses who will take their employees to amusement parks on a regular basis.
Things like field trips not only boost morale, but they also help create positive memories. This is especially true if you can find a unique locale or experience which most employees have never done before.
6. Offer a Paid Day Off
Who doesn’t love a paid day off of work? Although this would cost the company a bit in terms of productivity, giving employees an extra day without worrying about their paycheck goes a long way to boost morale.
The great part about this kind of idea is that it takes little effort to implement. And in some cases, a paid day off may even be less expensive than all-day outings.
One way you could do this is by holding an “emergency” business meeting with everyone and then telling them to go home and enjoy the day. More often than not, staff loves beneficial surprises like this.
Depending on your business, though, it might be a better idea to make sure certain aspects are taken care of before sending everyone home. For instance, customer support may still need attention.
If you can’t afford to let everyone go at once, you can also make sure the business has a skeleton crew by giving half-days off. One-half of the employees could have a paid morning off while the other half can take off during the afternoon.
This would make sure you still had someone on hand in the event of an emergency.
7. Share on Social Media
A blog post isn’t the only way you can share your appreciation for employees. You can take to social media to create posts regarding your staff and how they affect the business.
This lets you highlight employees while sharing with thousands of fans or followers.
Sharing Employee Appreciation Day on social media works in two distinct ways: it demonstrates to employees how much they mean to the business and it humanizes the company to those who follow or read the posts.
Highlighting staff on social media is also one of the less costly and time-consuming things you can do. For one thing, social media is free to use. You only lose a bit of time by expressing your appreciation.
And if you have social feeds embedded on your website, you greatly expand who sees the posts.
8. Offer to Cover Online Course Fees
Education only makes employees more valuable, especially if they’re learning something new that can be put to use in the business. Embrace this and offer to cover course fees.
The Internet is full of online courses for nearly every subject you can think of. And many of them are not all that expensive. For instance, Udemy and Lynda both have courses employees could benefit from for under $20.
Encouraging and supporting knowledge improves the business overall. Even something as simple as a customer support class could increase the productivity of those staff members.
Remember, investing in employees equates to investing in the business. Giving someone a new skill, or fine-tuning one, helps him or her feel appreciated and a more valuable member of the team.
Take the time with your employee to see what courses are available.
9. Hand Out Gift Cards
Free swag isn’t the only thing you can hand out to employees. What if you were to tape a gift card to a company branded T-shirt? Perhaps you could leave a surprise gift card on everyone’s desk.
Gift cards to favorite locations work great to inspire staff. It’s a kind gesture that makes the individual feel like his or her work is appreciated. Plus, it lets the employee pick what he or she wants as opposed to guessing.
Even something as simple as a $5 or $10 gift card to a favorite coffee shop can impact how an employee feels about the business.
Spend the next couple of weeks getting to know what kind of things employees like without giving away you’re getting them gift cards. It’ll help you understand them better while giving something you know they’ll appreciate.
The great thing about gift cards is you can send them to remote employees through the mail or offer digital coupons depending on the venue. Many eCommerce sites will support “gift card” codes you can even send through email.
Improve Productivity Year Round
You don’t have to wait until March 1st to keep your staff happy and productive. National Employee Appreciation Day is merely a reminder of who works for you and what he or she does for the company.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping morale high year round.
For example, as many as 90% of employees are more productive when there is some kind of gamification in the workplace.
You can do things like:
- Weekly productivity competitions for a free lunch.
- Monthly informal award ceremonies to show appreciation.
- Give the team a timely goal to reach with a minor reward after success. Maybe something like a potluck lunch or an afternoon in the park.
- Have fun and decorate during national holidays.
- Sponsor a business sports team to play against other companies. This is about getting employees involved with team spirit.
The bottom line is you can do so much to boost the morale of staff beyond Employee Appreciation Day in 2019.
It could very well impact how the business performs throughout the entire year.
Give them a Reason to Love Their Jobs
Employees who enjoy working for the company are less likely to look for work elsewhere. Some will even take less pay simply because they love the business. Investing in your employees means you’re investing in the business.
Make this Employee Appreciation Day special and increase the morale of staff. It’s all about creating a cohesive unit that will outperform the competition in the long-run.