March 1, 2017
During their careers, most employees will spend more time at work than they will in any other activity, except sleeping. This Friday, March 3rd is Employee Appreciation Day – a great time to show how much you appreciate all the hard work and loyalty of your team.
Wondering what you can do for your staff to thank them for all their efforts? Here are five ideas:
Celebrate with food. Take your team to lunch or have lunch brought in. If lunch is a typical way of celebrating in your office, you could mix it up by holding a breakfast celebration instead. Or, come up with a creative afternoon snack activity, such as a build-it-yourself sundae bar with live music or other fun activities.
Give a gift. There are so many ideas and not enough space to list them all. You could hand out a Nordstrom or Starbucks gift card to each employee and share something you appreciate about each person when you present the gift to them. Does your team like to stay active? How about fitness trackers? You could even hire an exercise coach to teach everyone how to use them and then provide a fun office fitness activity to kick off the use of their trackers. Techies? Give each person the latest Microsoft ergonomic mouse or a Microsoft gift card.
Take them somewhere fun. The key is to let the team choose where they’d like to go and what they’d like to do. It also helps build excitement by having the group brainstorm ideas. Then have them anonymously rate the ideas, tally up the score and announce the results.
Go on a team building outing. Create a list of interesting, unique and fun team building events (within your budget) and then let your team decide which activity they’d prefer. One group I know chose a cooking team building event at a restaurant. Another group rented an ice skating rink for the afternoon with catered food and drinks, a DJ spinning music and ice skating lessons from professional skaters. There were fun (and funny!) challenges for individuals, pairs and teams. Years later, employees were still talking about how much they had enjoyed that afternoon.
Give them time off. Why not show your appreciation by giving your employees some paid time off this Friday? Or if you want to get creative, create a coupon that lets employees choose whatever day they’d like to leave early. That way each person can use it whenever it’s important to them, such as to attend a child’s school event.
After you’ve shown your appreciation and support to employees this Friday, don’t forget to continue your efforts throughout the rest of 2017. When an employee goes above and beyond on a project, tell him or her how much you appreciate their efforts. When the team achieves a difficult objective or metric, celebrate the accomplishment. Give spot awards for outstanding work.
Richard Branson once said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” Make employee recognition and appreciation an on-going part of your leadership style.