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Why Employee Appreciation is Important

“Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” 

  • Margaret Cousins

This quote embodies the spirit of Employee Appreciation. Businesses and organisations should dedicate time to recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions of their workforce.

To celebrate this spirit of employee appreciation, we have National Employee Appreciation Day, celebrated on the first Friday of March every year. National Employee Appreciation Day traces its origins back to 1995, possibly as a response to the establishment of Boss Day in 1958. However, its purpose goes beyond simply copying the existing holiday. Employee Appreciation emphasises the crucial role employees play in their organisations. The concept emerged from the discussions led by Bob Nelson, a founding member of Recognition Professionals International. This day reminds us that employees are not just individuals fulfilling their job descriptions; they are the driving force behind an organisation’s success.

Benefits of Employee Appreciation:

Implementing a culture of appreciation goes beyond simply making employees feel good. It can yield many benefits for your organisation:

  • Increased Employee Engagement: When employees feel valued, they are more likely to be engaged in their work, take ownership of their tasks, and go the extra mile. 
  • Improved Productivity and Performance: There are ample studies that show that appreciated employees are more productive and deliver higher quality work.
  • Reduced Absenteeism: Feeling valued in the workplace leads to increased job satisfaction and a stronger sense of loyalty, resulting in lower absenteeism.
  • Enhanced Employer Branding: A positive reputation for valuing its employees can attract top talent and improve your organisation’s overall image. 
  • Stronger Customer Service: Engaged and happy employees are more likely to deliver better service to your customers, leading to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

Creative Ways to Show Appreciation:

Moving beyond the simple “thank you,” there are numerous ways to demonstrate genuine appreciation for your employees. Here are a few ideas:

  • Personalised Gestures: Handwritten notes, gift cards, or extra paid time off can make a big difference. Consider individual preferences while choosing gifts or experiences. 
  • Public Recognition: Peer-to-peer shout-outs, a “Wall of Wins” showcasing employee achievements, or recognition on social media platforms can be powerful tools. 
  • Company-wide Events: Catered lunches, outings, or team-building activities can further contribute to a positive and inclusive atmosphere. 

Fostering Year-Round Appreciation:

While National Employee Appreciation Day serves as a reminder, however it’s important to remember that employee appreciation should be a year-round effort, not confined to a single day. Here are some tips for ensuring long lasting employee appreciation: 

  • Role of Leadership: Leaders play a vital role in establishing a culture of appreciation by actively expressing gratitude and recognising contributions. 
  • Be Inclusive: Ensure that recognition efforts reach every employee, regardless of their role or rank.
  • Employee Development Program: Offer training programs, workshops, and conferences to help them learn new skills and advance their career. 
  • Psychological Safety: Encourage a work environment where employees feel comfortable taking risks, admitting mistakes,and offering creative solutions without fearing negative consequences. 
  • Open Communication: Encourage employees to voice their concerns, suggestions, and feedback without fear of judgement. 
  • Celebrate Life Events: Celebrate employee’s birthdays, anniversaries, and personal achievements and send them personalised messages or tokens of appreciation demonstrating that you care about them not just as workers, but as individuals. 
  • Create a culture of gratitude: Encourage employees to express thanks and appreciation to one another for their support and collaboration. 

By implementing these strategies and making employee appreciation a year-round commitment, you can foster a positive work environment, boost employee engagement and motivation, and ultimately create a thriving organisation built on the foundation of a valued and appreciated workforce.

Check out how we can help to foster such workforce. Our Startup Toolkit provides strategies to help implement a year-round appreciation program that keeps your team motivated, and ready to achieve amazing things. Visit StartupToolkit to know more.

Written by

Ganesh Choudhary

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