National employee appreciation day, celebrated on the first Friday of March every year, is just around the corner. This made me reflect on some statistics I came across recently and, in fact, made me feel quite disappointed. The study, conducted by The O. C. Tanner Institute, highlighted that 66% of UK workers don’t feel appreciated at work and 57% feel as though their organisation takes them for granted. These are fairly high figures!
I am sure you will agree that employee appreciation should be shown on a daily basis, by simply praising, saying thank you and recognising their efforts, right? However, employees are just not feeling it, as the same study revealed that 35% of workers feel they don’t receive enough acknowledgment and, when they do receive recognition, 41% don’t think it’s genuine.
When employees feel appreciated, their engagement levels rise and, consequently, their productivity. With this in mind, why not make National Appreciation day an opportunity for you to remind your people of how much you value them and their contribution?
We have put together some ideas that you might find useful:
• Treats go a long way: Bring in sweet and savoury treats to celebrate the occasion and let employees know that this is just a small gesture to thank them for their hard work. After all, who doesn’t appreciate food?
• Happy hour: Invite employees to go to a pub/bar after work and offer to pay for the first few rounds, so you all can have a few drinks to celebrate your employees’ efforts.
• Organise team outings: Team building activities are a great way to bond with your employees, so why not gather some ideas and ask employees to vote on the ones they like the most, so you could plan fun activities throughout the year? And they don’t have to be expensive.
• Introduce a new benefit: Would you let your employees work from home now and again? Or perhaps give them time off on their birthdays? Or even give them an extra day of holiday for each year in the company to reward their loyalty? Think about something they would really appreciate, introduce it as a benefit and announce it on national employee appreciation day.
• Remind them of the benefits you offer: Often employees forget about all of the benefits you offer them. A reminder of the benefits is a massive demonstration of how much you appreciate and care about them. Ensure that you communicate the benefits well and often, using a multi-channel approach, so they know what is available to them.
You could provide the most valuable benefits package to your employees, but if they don’t know about it, or simply don’t understand it, you won’t see a return on your investment. Our latest research suggests that 9 in 10 HR professionals face challenges when communicating their benefits. Read the full report, “The workplace communication challenge”, and find out how you could engage your employees with their benefits through effective communication.