Employee Appreciation Day: How to show your people you care

Genuine appreciation requires consistency

Employee Appreciation Day: How to show your people you care

The first Friday of March is Employee Appreciation Day. As culture experts know, showing genuine appreciation to your staff takes more than a day of recognition and rewards; it requires consistency and commitment.

And more organisations are learning this valuable lesson. In a survey by OC Tanner, 57% of employees said gestures of appreciation and recognition have become more frequent in their organisation since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Employers aren’t anymore just relying on Employee Appreciation Day to let workers know they care. Instead, they’re purposefully showing their concern through regular and meaningful interaction with staff.

Read more: Fun Friday: How to wow your team on Employee Appreciation Day

HRD has compiled three simple and cost-effective ways leaders can cultivate a culture of appreciation at work – beyond Employee Appreciation Day:

Tip #1: Give a shout out to staff on your company social media. Turn the spotlight on teams that have achieved a milestone together, or to individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty to help their colleagues or community. Be proud, share their story, and amplify your message online.

Tip #2: Hold career mentorship sessions. This isn’t your typical employee evaluation. Rather, it’s an open and honest exchange between a mentor and mentee about how to map out and support the latter’s career. You can give mentees new roles, assignments or challenges, or arrange for senior members to appoint deputies who can shadow them for a week. Not only will you develop your employees’ skills – you’ll also have the chance to show you value their contribution.

Read more: Three elements of authentic employee recognition

This practice is beneficial to historically disadvantaged groups, such as women of colour, who often have to contend with limited growth opportunities at work. “As employers continue to place much-needed emphasis on the value of an inclusive workplace, it’s critical that their female employees feel valued and see room for advancement if we are to keep them in the workforce,” said Ben Reuveni, CEO of the career development platform Gloat.

Tip #3: Give the gift of time. Don’t wait until your employees show signs of burnout before you give them a chance to unwind. “Encourage staff to take breaks during the workday in order to have a mental refresh,” said Dr. Oliver Harrison, CEO of Koa Health, a digital mental healthcare company. This simple gesture is a reminder that – no matter how busy their day becomes – their well-being comes first.

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