What do the dates March 2nd, April 25th, May 4th, May 6th, September 18th, and October 1st have in common? These are special dates designated in 2018 to recognize employees. From National Employee Appreciation Day, Nurses Week and International Firefighters’ Day to Administrative Professionals Day, Customer Service Week and IT Professionals Day, these days are meant to serve as a reminder of the value employees add to their clients and employers in their chosen fields. It is no coincidence that there is a day designated to recognize employees in nearly every professional sector.
Keeping track of the various employee recognition days throughout the year – and celebrating them – may seem like a daunting task but it is great for business – YOUR business:
- A study by Bersin & Associates found that companies that provide ample employee recognition have 31% lower voluntary turnover rates than companies that don’t.
- Employees who feel appreciated are motivated to invest more effort and enthusiasm into their work.
- Employee recognition programs help build a supportive work environment.
- Motivated and engaged employees provide better customer service. Customers are 41% more likely to stay loyal to a company if they experience good service and attitude from the staff.
- Disengaged employees cost the economy an estimated $300 billion a year.
To truly get the most out of employee recognition programs, we want to challenge you to go beyond the half-hearted attempts to say, “thank you” in the form of a haphazardly arranged team lunch or the last-minute gift card. To create lasting change in your organization and to show your employees that you value them and their contributions, consider doing one, or all, of the following:
- Do not wait until a recognition day to say thank you. Incorporate recognition activities into your organization’s day-to-day practices.
- Sincerity counts. Employees will recognize if the efforts are genuine or obligatory; use the right tone and be heartfelt in how the message is delivered.
- Focus on peer to peer recognition. Colleagues are better acquainted with personal efforts of than supervisors. Help them thank and recognize team members in a tangible way.
- Think outside the box. Instead of offering lunch for a day, can your business afford to offer your employees something more – work-life balance: flexible schedules, remote work locations, etc.
- Provide opportunity. Rewarding standout employees with opportunities outside of their day to day duties motivates them and their peers to continue to strive for excellence. Cross training, leading team projects and representing the business in the community are examples of opportunities that can be offered to employees.
Most importantly, we challenge you to be strategic towards your employee recognition program. No two organizational cultures are the same. Ensure that you understand your company’s culture, so you can have a thorough understanding of what methods will fulfill the needs of your employees. Employees want recognition, verbal appreciation, and encouragement. With a strategic and targeted approach to employee appreciation, we can show our employees how much we value their efforts. They, in turn, will become passionate about our business and our customers.