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3 Employee Appreciation Ideas For All Year Long

National Employee Appreciation Day is coming up. Learn ways to express your gratitude here.

(source)

By Jordyn Coleman

National Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday in March. But we think every day should be National Employee Appreciation Day! 🥳

Rewarding your employees for their hard work is a surefire way to maintain retention, improve productivity, and guarantee the health and well-being of your team. Read on for meaningful ways to celebrate the team all year long:

1. Publicly Recognize Great Work 

Your employees put a whole lot of effort into their work. One of the best (and easiest) things you can do is publicly acknowledge your gratitude. At the same time, you need to ensure your appreciation is genuine and personal. 

Even the best team leaders can fall into the habit of only pointing out groups accomplishments and not applauding individual efforts. People want to feel special, and they deserve credit for their achievements. 🥰 Always being lumped together can be pretty demoralizing. 😅

As an effective leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure each team member knows you see their contributions and strengths. So don’t hold back! 👏

Tell people when they’ve done great work and the ways their efforts helped the company. 📣 But most importantly, share it publicly among their colleagues, giving everyone a chance to congratulate a person’s hard work. This can be shout-outs in team meetings, during company announcements, or even in email blasts. 

As an entirely remote company, we found a designated Slack channel was the best way to express gratitude. It’s casual, easily accessible, and you can ping people. Everyone (from our CEO to our newest hires) uses it, whether to express thanks for a smooth onboarding process or celebrate someone’s work anniversary. 

2. Build On Your Company Culture 

Of course, appreciating your employees isn’t just about giving them a thumbs up. You also have to show appreciation in ways that improves the employee experience.

So much of employee appreciation boils down to your company culture. And according to Forbes, your company culture directly impacts productivity on top of employee well-being. Two birds, one stone. 

Here are a few tips on exactly how you can improve company culture: 

✍️ Double-Sided Performance Reviews

Ensure performance reviews go both ways. While it’s essential team members receive performance evaluations, effective leadership means opening yourself up to feedback as well. 

When everyone, including managers, understands their weaker areas, it allows a collaborative approach for utilizing individual strengths better and creating more efficient workflows. 

🧐 Revisit Company Values

Create company values and don’t be afraid to change them as your company grows and changes. Invite your employees’ opinions on your company values. If they feel something doesn’t align or different values resonate, take the time to discuss the why and what. 

If there’s a mutual understanding among the majority, then collaborate with HR on adjusting values accordingly. 

👯 Examine Your Diversity & Inclusion Efforts

Building out company culture, employee appreciation, and making serious strides in your diversity and inclusion efforts go hand-in-hand. How? Because having a team filled with people from different cultures, backgrounds, and nationalities invites new ideas and perspectives you wouldn’t have otherwise. 

Check out his article from Harvard Business Review for ideas on how to successfully accomplish diversity and inclusion efforts. 

💪 Challenges, Not Problems

Encourage team members to treat problems as challenges to overcome. We dwell on and stress about problems, even if we have an idea or solution. We internalize problems with workflow because we see it as a personal weakness and don’t want to hold back the team. But at the end of the day, no one wants anyone struggling. 

Emphasizing a challenge mindset encourages team members to communicate and tackle issues together. Chances are, someone’s challenge has a solution that’ll benefit the company as a whole.

🗣 A Culture of Communication

Make sure you and your team are talking things through. You most likely spend more hours in a day with your coworkers than with friends or possibly even family. You have to put serious effort into communication to ensure your employees feel happy and heard. 

Have Fun!

You know what they say: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Break up the day-to-day and foster connections between team members with fun, engaging events. There’s plenty to choose from, like a unique team-building game, a cooking class, or even a virtual cocktail hour

Holding regular events helps you get to know your colleagues as people, not just as employees. Having that connection makes your employees feel seen, one of the most critical aspects of employee appreciation. 

3. Give A Literal Gift

Yes, that’s right, an actual gift. 🎁 The more personalized to your employee, the better. 

At Confetti, we make sure those big thank you gifts are given on days specifically associated with the individual. Our main giving days are work anniversaries and birthdays. 

As we mentioned, people want to feel special. Setting aside a moment to give a personalized gift ensures that the person knows we’re rewarding them and their accomplishments. Check out our guide to corporate gift giving for more insight into the policies we’ve found to work. 

Of course, big team-wide gifts are always welcome. If you want to give everyone something for the upcoming National Employee Appreciation day, consider treating the crew to lunch. If you’re remote, give your employees a virtual lunch party

Or, the best gift of all, simply ask how they’d like to celebrate the day. It’s about the employees, after all. 

Celebrate Your Employees - Today & Everyday! 

Show your team how much you value them, on National Employee Appreciation Day and beyond. Use this article as a guide going forward and refer back to it as you revitalize internal gratitude efforts. 

For now, consider starting with a group-wide appreciation event. Reach out to plan@withconfetti.com and we’ll happily organize the whole thing on your behalf.

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