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28 Feb 2024
by Georgia Portwain

8 top tips for marking Employee Appreciation Day

The value of employee recognition cannot be overstated. Here are some ideas for making employees feel appreciated every day

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Gartner reports that while 82% of employees say it’s important for their organisation to see them as a person, not just an employee, only 45% of them believe their organisation actually sees them this way. 

This feeling of not being valued or appreciated affects an employee’s entire experience at work – they’re more likely to feel isolated, excluded and expendable, and their risk of burnout increases. 

However, organisations that have a culture rich in recognition increase the odds of great work by 1,181% and a thriving culture by 648%, according to a report by O.C. Tanner.  

While every day should to be a recognition day, on Employee Appreciation Day (1 March 2024), the recognition needs to be ramped-up to ensure every employee feels valued. 

Top tips for Employee Recognition Day

1. Recognise every employee

This includes deskless and remote workers as they can to easily be forgotten. For remote workers, you could mail personal thank you gifts to their homes. For deskless workers, try putting named thank you gifts in breakout areas. You could also arrange virtual team celebrations to ensure no-one is left out.

2. Celebrate together

Arrange a special lunch in the office and, for deskless workers, team celebrations in breakout rooms or at convenient local venues. Regular recognition of teams improves the odds of having a strong community by 508%.

3. Use 'swag bags'

Give every employee a ‘swag bag’ that includes a range of branded gifts to help them feel a sense of belonging and community, such as clothing, a drink bottle, a keyring, and so on. You could also include a custom-made gift that symbolises your organisation’s culture and history. 

4. Make it personal

Provide heartfelt and personalised messages from leaders and managers to all employees. These could be sent via video message, e-cards and/or handwritten notes. Managers should consider writing a personal note or email to each of their team members, including details about what they admire about them, what they bring to the team, the impact that they’ve had and their individual achievements.

5. Go big

Thank you messages and heartwarming quotes should be seen everywhere on Employee Appreciation Day, from posters on office walls, to post-it notes on desks, scrolling across the intranet, on social media, in Zoom meetings, and so on. 

6.  Use your recognition software system

This could include sending team points that employees can use towards a gift they choose.

7. Encourage peer-to-peer gestures of appreciation

For instance, you could put a pile of thank you cards in the office for employees to give to colleagues. Employees can also send thanks and point to peers via the recognition platform.

8. Consider extra perks

How can you make the day truly special for employees? This might include an extended lunchbreak, personalised cupcakes and a few games. A lucky dip where employees can choose a surprise gift and/or Appreciation Day Bingo in which the bingo cards include things employees are grateful for, can help to inject fun and celebration into the day.

There are numerous ways to show that you care and value your employees on Employee Appreciation Day, many of which are free or cost-effective, so there are no excuses for not celebrating.

But showing recognition needs to become second nature, taking place regularly, not just on one day each year. In fact, Gallup recommends that employees are recognised every seven days, so be sure to have a robust employee recognition programme in place so that your people feel valued all year round.

In partnership with O. C. Tanner

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