Happy National Employee Appreciation Day

National Employee Appreciation Day was created as a way of focusing the attention of all the employers in all industries on employee recognition. Businesses and organizations plan celebrations across the country recognizing the achievements and contributions of their employees.

Your Employee Appreciation Day Celebration: 4 Tips To Make A Sincere Impact

A global study by the O.C. Tanner Institute proves that appreciation and recognition is the number one thing employees say their managers could do to inspire great work (work that exceeds expectations).

Credit: O.C. Tanner Company

Credit: O.C. Tanner Company

Those are some powerful numbers that show the impact and importance of recognition. But, we have an even more sobering statistic. If you still think recognition is a soft skill, or just a nice practice, that doesn’t impact your bottom line, consider the following finding. When employees participate in all three aspects of recognition moments—meaning they give recognition, receive recognition, and observe recognition—companies witness a 591% increase of employees who say they are engaged.

If those numbers have you thinking about how you should spend more time focusing on how to show your appreciation right now, the perfect opportunity to start happens this week as National Employee Appreciation Day is Friday March 3. This means you, as a leader, still have time to show your people how much you a value them and their work—and show how much you respect the one day each year designed to celebrate them. Here are four tips that can help you turn your employee appreciation celebration into an impactful event.

1. Communicate: We’ve heard about many companies that will do things to show appreciation for their employees like having lunch catered, but never actually address the reason for the celebration. Take the opportunity to deliver a meaningful message to your team. Talk about the great accomplishment you’ve achieved as a group. Tell them how they play a critical role.

2. Go Big: A bigger budget isn’t the only way to host a celebration that will leave an impact. Make a fuss about how important the day is to show that you don’t take it for granted. We’ve seen employers hire on-site massage therapists, car washers and even “errand-runners” for their team. Other employers provided gift certificates to dinner and child-care services so employees can have a night of celebration outside of work. The goal is to do something surprising.

3. Make It Personal: Although all employees are being celebrated, make a point throughout your day to show your appreciation to each individual on your team. Tell them the specific impact they’ve made at work. Share with them the reasons why you appreciate them and their talents.

4. Start Something New: Possibly the reason National Employee Appreciation Day gets overlooked or forgotten is because it’s just one day out of the year. Use this day as an opportunity to start fresh by making a promise to your team that you will be better every day at recognizing their efforts, rewarding their results, and celebrating their career milestones.