5 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation All Year Round

employee appreciation day

The past year brought immeasurable challenges to businesses, but led to some bright spots in the workplace. I’ve seen many of our colleagues seem to start appreciating each other a lot more. We’re seeing the insides of each other’s homes, meeting loved ones and children, and for the most part, we all have a different understanding and appreciation for everyone’s unique circumstances, that we hadn’t had before. 

The first Thursday of March marks the celebration of Employee Appreciation Day, but really — this should be celebrated more than just once a year. 

Here are five useful practices you can put in place that will help show just how much you appreciate your people this Employee Appreciation Day, and beyond.

1) Say “Thank You” in Unique Ways for Your Employees

It’s surprising how overlooked just saying, “thank you,” is. A simple thank you, can go a very long way, even more so for those in tedious roles and efforts are usually missed. Thanking someone has immediate benefits, but there are ways you can take the compliment a step further. 

Achievers and the Brandon Hall Group found in their survey, that organizations with reward and recognition technology are 41% more likely to see increased employee retention.

Some unique ways to say “Thank You” that can ensure it’s genuine:

  • Share a story with them of how their work impacted you 
  • Give public praise through a tool like Lattice’s Praise feature, or via email, or Slack
  • Send a virtual gift card to Starbucks or a local coffee shop to treat them to coffee for a week

2) Implement Wellness and Meeting-Free Days Across Teams

Especially in a remote working environment, it’s important to recognize how high levels of burnout can be. Giving people the gift of time back to themselves whether it’s signing off early for Fridays or having random wellness days to encourage employees to take time to rest and rejuvenate is the ultimate way to show appreciation. One way to ensure the company can do this is mandating a few wellness days a year.

Another way to give back the gift of time are meeting-free days for all teams. Everyone has so much on their plate, that giving people back time to get everything done, versus working later hours once they’re done with meetings, supports creativity and productivity. 

3) Provide Training for Leadership on Employee Engagement Best Practices 

It’s no surprise that leaders and managers across organizations are having difficulty supporting their employees while remote. Providing training for leadership to learn how to increase engagement, how to structure remote 1-on-1s, or remote team bonding exercises show that not only do you want to support their career growth, but you also want to support them during rare circumstances.

LinkedIn Learning has lots of helpful e-learning courses and resources around employee engagement training and best practices from their yearly workplace reports. Lever also recently introduced a GROW mentorship program that’s making a big impact to keeping employees engaged.

4) Ensure Your Appreciation is Inclusive of All Teammates

Appreciation looks different for everyone, so it’s important to be inclusive in all of your interactions. Some people are comfortable with more public appreciation, while others may want it in private, and at various levels and various roles, it can be difficult to strike the right balance. Talk to the person you want to share appreciation for and ask them the way they like to be thanked for a job well done. You can also adapt different daily practices, like starting a meeting and doing a round robin asking people to describe their mood in one word, share their priority for the day, or what their presence is like heading into the meeting. 

These efforts make appreciation an easier daily practice and ensures everyone is comfortable with the way they’re being noticed. 

5) Enlist Special Guests for Shoutouts

Leveraging celebrity guests for shout-outs through apps like Cameo is one unique way to appreciate and recognize employees. With Cameo, businesses can hire public personas to record a personalized video message for employees. 

If you’re looking for ways to get started in celebrating your employees, any of these are a great first step. By helping your employees experience an environment like this year-round, you’ll reap the benefits of a more engaged, productive, and happy workforce.

Of course, appreciation, hiring, onboarding, and the like are more difficult when remote — but, we’re here to help. If you’re interested in how Lever helps engage employees in the hiring process, check out an overview of how it works.