Mark your calendars, because Employee Appreciation Day is right around the corner on March 4th. With the Great Resignation continuing through 2022, there’s no better time to show your employees that they are valued, appreciated and heard.
While some employers try to retain talent with raises and bonuses, research shows that employees are seeking more. Surveys from McKinsey & Company found that the top factors employees cited for resigning were that they didn’t feel valued by their organizations or managers, or because they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work. Even the employees who said they were ‘not at all likely to quit’ may soon find better opportunities with the expansion of decentralized workplaces, as 65% of this group said that the primary reason for staying in their job was because they liked where they lived. Now is the time to appreciate your team, and we have three tips to make this year’s Employee Appreciation Day one of great impact.
Make it more than one day:
Extending Employee Appreciation Day to a week or a month-long observance allows for more thoughtful celebrations and removes that check-the-box stigma. Additionally, offering more time allows all employees to participate. Larger organizations can encourage departments to celebrate in their own way by hosting outings, lunches, volunteer opportunities or virtual events that provide opportunities for real bonding amongst teams.
Emphasize mental health:
Since the start of the pandemic, employers have been paying closer attention to employees’ mental health. In fact, about 39% of employers have expanded their health plans to include access to mental health services. Additionally, millennial and Gen Z workers experience higher workplace stress than other generations and prioritize mental health benefits at work. To show employee appreciation, consider giving your team a subscription to a mental health app like Calm or a free or discounted gym membership. Also, providing workshops on incorporating healthy strategies into daily living is a great way to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. Above all, encourage work-life balance to prevent employees from feeling undervalued and burned out. Do this by rolling out flexible schedules, extra mental health days or more remote work options.
Personalize your appreciation:
Personal recognition is key. Data shows that employee recognition is one of the top drivers of employee engagement, which is a win for both the individual and the organization. Meaningful expressions of appreciation can range from handwritten notes from the CEO, gift cards or delivered packages of high-end gifts to say ‘thank you.’ You can also take your appreciation to social media by featuring personal shout-outs to team members on your organization’s social channels. This is a great way to go beyond the professional merits and highlight employee fun facts or hobbies to show you care about who they are. Personalizing your appreciation can be fun and rewarding to both employers and employees.
In a time when millions of Americans are leaving jobs to seek different or better opportunities, organizations should maximize Employee Appreciation Day efforts. Extending the celebration to a week or a month, acknowledging the importance of employee well-being and giving personalized recognition are a few ways to make 2022 Employee Appreciation Day resonate with all team members. At Work Shield, we understand the importance of ensuring that all employees’ voices are heard and appreciated, not only on March 4th, but every day of the year.