By Jason Richmond, CEO & Chief Culture Officer at Ideal Outcomes, Inc.
But why limit appreciation to one day only? Companies that show appreciation to their employees all year round reap the rewards of higher engagement and increases in the behaviors they want to see, especially those related to your company values. They also reap the benefits of better talent acquisition and retention.
As I write in my book Culture Spark: 5 Steps to Ignite and Sustain Organizational Growth, recognizing employees for living your values is necessary to reinforce them and inspire people to take them to heart. Recognition is an opportunity to reinforce the desired culture of the organization.
Unfortunately, according to Gallup, only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agree that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days and employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.
Employee Appreciation Day has received some traction, but it is clear a once a year event is not what employees crave. Top companies with thriving cultures realize this and develop strategies to recognize and appreciate the work their teams do, with a dual focus on relevant rewards and fun.
Here are three areas where you can show how much you value your employees:
1. Training and Development:
2. Formal Recognition Programs:
3. Informal and Fun
Think about ways to create spontaneous joy. Office-wide games such as scavenger hunts or trivia quizzes create excitement. Food is always well-received. Spa days, where you bring in professionals to offer manicures or massages are an option. Or what about a mobile car wash service? The key is to find out from your employees what they would enjoy and value. Vary it to keep that spontaneity and freshness. Give managers small budgets to do similar activities within their departments while also offering office or company-wide programs.
A final note: Above all else, I encourage you to be sure to give accolades, rewards, recognition to your teams throughout the entire year. Research shows that 84 percent of workers say praise should be given on a continual, year-round basis.