For more than 20 years now, there has been a designated day for making sure workers feel valued. Employee Appreciation Day began in 1995, and generally is celebrated on the first Friday of March. It’s a designated time to say thank you and offer a reward to valued employees.
It’s a relatively young holiday, and as such there are no real rules or accepted traditions for how to celebrate employee recognition. You don’t need to cook a turkey like on Thanksgiving. You don’t need to light off fireworks like Independence Day. You don’t need to wear green like St. Patrick’s Day.
This is designed as an open-ended opportunity for companies and organizations to recognize the people that make them great, and to get creative in doing so. One of the great things about Employee Appreciation Day is hearing the stories of inventive and fun things done in the name of employee recognition.
The ideas run the gamut from simple efforts like cookies, root beer floats or on-site massages, to more elaborate events like travel, time off and even an awards ceremony.
The overall idea, in times like these when unemployment is low and good workers are harder than ever to find, is to make sure your people know they’re valued. Studies show that a lack of feeling appreciated is the number one reason people seek a new employer. New people take time and money to train. Keeping the good people you have via employee recognition efforts is a much wiser use of your time and resources.
The secondary idea behind designating one day per year to recognize employees is to make it a much more than once-a-year event. Just as your relationship with your significant other may get rocky if Valentine’s Day is the only time of year you express your affection, your employee relationship is sure to suffer if recognition happens on just one out of 365 days. Creating a year-round culture of appreciation and recognition pays huge dividends in terms of retention and overall satisfaction.
So celebrate on Friday, be creative, and tell us your stories of the unique and special ways in which you recognized your employees on this day and how to make them feel appreciated every day. Email us
with your best ideas and we will feature some of them in future editions of the RPI Blog.
Happy Employee Appreciation Day, on this day and on every day.