In case you missed it (ICYMI), today is employee appreciation day! If you’re like me, you’re probably thinking: “Wow, there’s a holiday for everything nowadays!” and “Shouldn’t every day be employee appreciation day?”
Celebrating Employee Appreciation is very important – not just for employees but also for leaders to realize that their employees are a company’s greatest assets. It is a day we should express gratitude for each other and appreciate each other’s unique perspectives and abilities.
Expressing thankfulness and gratitude for employees’ hard work is not a new or novel idea. Neither is offering support, trust and respect when times get tough at work. However, as employee engagement rates plummet and workplace stress soars, business and HR leaders are desperately searching for ways to reignite passion and drive within their workforces.
If I were to guess, this might be one of the reasons we’ve seen such a big emphasis put on Employee Appreciation Day over the past few years.
A recent article published by Harvard Business Review sheds light on the cold-hard-facts about workplace stress and low engagement rates:
- 550 million workdays are lost each year due to workplace stress
- Workplace stress leads to an increase in almost 40% voluntary turnover
- Disengaged workers have 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents and 60% more errors or defects
- Low engagement rates in organizations results in 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth and 65% lower share price over time
With stats like that, it’s hard to know where to start. The article suggests, “Wellbeing comes from one place, and one place only – a positive culture.” When one of your client needs to speak with you, you would stop what you are doing and listen right? Why wouldn’t you do that for one of your employees? Seems straight forward enough – treat your employees well and they’ll pay it forward.
Treating your employees as well as you do your clients is just one simple way to show appreciation. Even if your employees are working from home, you can always connect with them over a video conferencing app and ask about their well-being. Similarly, when onboarding new employees, you can host ice-breaking sessions (look for virtual icebreaker ideas, if interested). By taking such initiatives, you can increase the morale of the employees as well as the new joiners and improve staff retention. HBR research suggests a few proven ways to establish a happier, more positive company culture. Stop playing the blame game, inspire others instead of tearing them down, consistently emphasize the meaningfulness of the work, and always offer up support, respect and kindness.
Hopefully you work at a company where appreciating a job well done is part of the corporate culture, and you are valued year round. Here are a few of my favorite ways to show respect and goodwill to make your employees feel appreciated and more valued not just today but every day:
- Be attentive and accessible
- Celebrate the “wins” and acknowledge your staff’s importance
- Promote professional development
- Create a culture of cncouragement
- Be flexible
For more tips, check out Laurie Ruettiman’s blog for some quick last minute tips for Employee Appreciation Day. If you want to go the extra mile, share what you’re doing for Employee Appreciation Day using the hashtag #EmployeeAppreciationDay.
And, to the Meridian team: You’re all fabulous and I’m so proud to work alongside such a great team every day.