Here at Terryberry, one of our favorite holidays is just around the corner. Every year, the first Friday in March is designated as Employee Appreciation Day. This day was created with the intention of rewarding employees in a meaningful way. In 1995, Dr. Bob Nelson from Recognition Professionals International publicized the idea of a day that reminds organizations to thank their employees for their hard work and great achievements. So, if there was ever a time to show your employees how much you appreciate them, it’s now.
Although many of us feel like we are on the up-swing from Covid-19, our “norm” is still recovering. After a couple of challenging years, some organizations are still unable to participate in many of the traditional celebrations of appreciation (attributed to work-from-home protocols). Considering unusual times, Terryberry would like to provide ideas that still manage to give a big thank- you.
Here's what you can do (virtually or not) to show your employees just how much you care:
Employee Appreciation Gifts
Let’s make a deal? In 2022, we’ll be better gift-givers. Email can get a bad rap in corporate environments, but it’s a great way to quickly disseminate information to team members. And the Employee Appreciation Day email is one they’ll want to open. You can include a link within the email that will take your employees to a redemption site, where they’ll have the option to choose from several gifts. Then the gift is shipped directly to their home.
It won’t be a one-size-fits-all gift giveaway that many employees dread, and they’ll look forward to opening the gift once it arrives. This is something we’re doing for customers, and they love it!
When your company has a points program, you can make it easier for employees to reach their next redemption goal. One way to do this is to gift them a certain number of award points to show their appreciation. This option not only is nice for the holiday itself but helps the team build momentum and see the benefits of the overall program.
"Zoom" into Happy Hour
One of the things employees miss the most about being away from the office is the camaraderie with co-workers. With a virtual happy hour, you can give them a little taste of what they’ve been missing.
Here’s the thing – this is not as simple as having everyone sign into a shared Zoom call. That can get a little awkward. You need a moderator or facilitator to keep things moving and bring engagement. Usually, a shared activity like making your own cocktail or designing your own charcuterie board works well. Plus, people can share pictures of their creations on social media.
With employees working from home, families have had to make a lot of sacrifices (sharing living spaces, “quiet hours” during meetings, etc.). Now your family can join in on the work fun. A portion of Employee Appreciation Day can be reserved for kids to hop on and do an activity. This could be a coloring book, game, or craft. And it’s a great way to introduce your kids to your co-workers and vice-versa.
Also, it doesn’t just have to be about kids. You can let significant others join in the fun and do an adult craft or piece of art. From adult coloring books to a drawing or painting challenge, it’s a good way for employees to show off their creative (and competitive) side.
Who doesn’t love getting recognized in front of their peers? You can create an email blast where management selects members of their team for special recognition. So, if someone was an MVP of a recent project or helped hit an important deadline, they can get singled out for their great work.
Time to Get Creative
It’s not always easy to show employees your appreciation from afar, but with these ideas as a starting point, you can let them know how valuable they are to your team.
We suggest scheduling a brainstorming session with your most creative people to figure out something awesome for your team. They will know first-hand what will excite your people best. You can go big, go a little small, or right in-between. Whatever you choose to do for them, celebrate employee appreciation day in a way that suits your company's culture.