Employee Appreciation Day – What Are You Supposed To Do? | Incentive & Motivation

Employee Appreciation Day – What Are You Supposed To Do? | Incentive & Motivation

Employee Appreciation Day (3rd March, 2017) is one of those 'holidays' that seem to have popped up. Just like the 'talk like a pirate day' or the many

Employee Appreciation Day (3rd March, 2017) is one of those ‘holidays’ that seem to have popped up. Just like the ‘talk like a pirate day’ or the many days you’ll see if you use Twitter – (national penguin day, pen pal day, say something nice day – and so on) it seems there is a trend to celebrate nearly everything. It’s no bad thing, but for anyone who’s ever been single on Valentine’s Day or missed an important anniversary – you might be cursing the day’s existence entirely – especially if it means you have to buy a gift.

According to the www.nationaldaycalendar.com National Employee Appreciation Day is “observed annually on the first Friday in March. This day was created as a way of focusing the attention of all the employers in all industries on employee recognition.”

Love it or loathe it, in our culture if you can send a card for it – the day will remain on the calendar and you have two options, to opt in or to opt out.

Feigning ignorance or opting out entirely may become more and more difficult, and do brace yourself for the LinkedIn updates on March 3rd, as companies scramble to be seen as the most kindhearted, most innovative, most grateful and most thankful.  Whatever your thoughts on this (read ‘Using LinkedIn To Show You’re A Great Place To Work here), employees are watching and will no doubt be experiencing some pangs of jealousy from the cool agencies who let people zip off the indoor slide, out of the ball pit and home at 2pm with a free beer and a high five.

It’s natural to want recognition and some treats. So where do you begin if this is all new? Taking part might feel a bit plastic and manufactured, especially for year one.

Whilst our confident cousins across the pond might be happy to really show people how they care -perhaps in your business you do genuinely feel that you appreciate regularly,  whether in a meeting, an email to the company, or another creative way.

So – with less than a week to go, here are some ideas for making Employee Appreciation Day feel right for your company. 

  1. Their choice-  Choice is king – so gather or email everyone and let them know they can select what they want. It could be an experience, a meal out, a more elaborate Christmas party, changes to the office –  you can cap the spend, give a choice of 5 items or let them go wild.  Announce it through email, or give everyone 1 day to galvanise and choose a reward between them – resulting in team work and a frenzied campaign. If you can, take all the ideas suggested and offer them up as incentives further down the line – a great way to ensure everyone is satisfied whatever the outcome.
  2. Personalised Thanks In Public- Why not gather the troops and explain that it’s employee appreciation day. You can then say something once about every employee, or hand out a note to every person to read at leisure.  Use your managers and team leaders to gather up to date information. The notes can be done on Word or handwritten on the cheapest paper – but it’s the thought that counts.
  3. Gift cards – Gift cards are quick and easy to by, come in many denominations and are personal to your team. Pick some up in bulk and leave them on desks, hand them out on the day, or make a quick ceremony.
  4. Baked goods – Who wouldn’t love a warm croissant on their desk?
  5. Grab A Buffet – As above – everyone loves a good buffet!
  6. A Plan To Let Them Chip Off Early – Even 15 – 20 minutes can bring back the ‘schools out for Summer’ feelings
  7. Branded Mugs – if you move quickly you can get a branded mug in your brand or the employee name – or even with something about them – eg ‘The Best Project Manager’
  8. Small Gifts – You can pick up employee gifts for about £3 each – why not take a look? We recommend GiftedToYou.co.uk

What ideas have you used? Leave the details in the comments below….