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Employee Recognition

How Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day Benefits More Than Just Your Employees

By February 22, 2024No Comments

Employee Appreciation Day is a far bigger event than simply an annual exchange of high-fives and good vibes over some gluten-free pastries. The truth is – when done right – the Employee Appreciation Day benefits go much deeper than simply recognizing your workforce with gifts or gestures. 

According to The New York Times, The Great Resignation is officially over. While tens of millions of Americans pivoted career paths over the last 24+ months, the numbers appear to be leveling off again to the pre-pandemic stats. No more talk of “quiet quitting” or “leaving in droves.” 

In fact, many who gave their notices during the “Big Quit” are now easing back into conventional work. As these experienced folks return to the workforce – and also as you add interns, new graduates, and new positions to your roster – don’t lose sight of one of the main contributors to The Great Resignation to begin with… employees felt undervalued.

The impact that celebrating Employee Appreciation Day has on your workforce is real – boosting morale, job satisfaction, and even reducing turnover. Let’s check out how celebrating Employee Appreciation Day can make multi-dimensional upgrades to your employees’ satisfaction, your retention rates, and so much more.

1. Lifting Spirits and Job Satisfaction

As it turns out, when you appreciate your people, they actually dig their jobs more. Who knew? 

Actually… we knew. 

Realistically, we’re all human and we’re generally wired to respond favorably when someone positively acknowledges us or commends our hard work – it’s just in our nature. But it also creates a ripple effect throughout your employee base where, when people feel appreciated, they’re more likely to show appreciation to others. Can you say “company culture boost?”

Recognizing your employees in authentic ways that don’t feel like a cringy annual obligation is a huge step toward creating a healthy, happy company culture. Ensuring that each of your employees feels valued is like applying concrete between the bricks of a wall – it fills the gaps and strengthens the entire structure, one joint at a time.

*Pro-Tip: Do. Not. Do. Nothing. Want to lose the connection to your workforce in a mere 24 hours? A Reddit thread from a year-ish ago captured some super disappointing responses when it asked “What did your company do for employee appreciation day?”

2. Getting Everyone in the Game

Ever heard of employee engagement? It’s kind of a big deal and Gallup highly recommends that Employers pay a little extra attention to their engagement efforts in 2024. Engaged employees bring their A-game – they’re statistically more productive, more creative, and super committed. And here’s the juicy part – employees who feel recognized and valued are 3 times more engaged! There’s literally a direct line between the two! 

Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day (right) is like hitting the turbo button for teamwork and engagement, creating a workplace where everyone’s not just clocking in but actively contributing to the success of the whole crew. This is where team members aren’t just colleagues but become comrades with a shared mission. The appreciation vibes linger, turning the office into a hub of mutual support and goal smashing. 

When you celebrate your team, it’s not just a one-day affair – it’s a catalyst for an ongoing culture of collaboration, where each person’s unique strengths blend seamlessly to push the entire team forward. You’re creating a workplace where high-fives aren’t just a gesture, but a genuine acknowledgment of the collective effort propelling everyone toward yet another “W.”

3. Stopping the Revolving Door

Employee turnover can be a real buzzkill! Fortunately, there’s a solid link between showing appreciation and keeping your awesome team members around. And let’s not even pretend that onboarding new hires isn’t expensive and time-consuming. Your time is valuable (and “time is money” after all) so who has extra time to offboard, recruit, interview, negotiate terms, hire, and train… repeatedly? In the long run, it’s far easier (and more financially friendly) to put your efforts into keeping your prize people vs constantly trying to find them, over and over again.

Employee Appreciation Day is a perfect time to make sure your employees don’t feel unseen and undervalued again. Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day can slow down (or stop) the dreaded revolving door and avoid those deep draws of wasted time from your bottom line.

4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Teamwork is key to making things happen and it gets a serious boost when you throw in a dose of Employee Appreciation Day fun. It’s not just cake and confetti in between meetings (though that’s always a plus). It’s about creating a workplace where everyone feels seen and valued. 

When team members know their efforts are recognized and celebrated, it’s like a glue that binds them all together. You can almost smell the camaraderie in the air –  ideas flowing freely, collaborations, smooth as butter, and the workplace buzzing with a team full of empowered individuals working together. 

So, when you’re planning your next Employee Appreciation Day shindig, know that you’re not just throwing a party – you’re fostering an environment where teamwork becomes second nature and that’s a recipe for success!

5. Upgrading Your Productivity Game

Let’s talk productivity. Turns out, workplaces that are big on appreciation are also big on getting things done. Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is like giving your office a shot of productivity adrenaline. 

When employees feel recognized and valued, they’re not just punching the clock – they’re inspired to go above and beyond. It’s like unlocking a secret level where deadlines are met with mini-celebrations and projects come together like a well-choreographed dance routine. So, next time you’re thinking about the ROI of that Employee Appreciation Day celebration, remember – a happy team is a productive team, and a productive team is a force to be reckoned with!

6. Customize to Optimize

While it’s true that employee appreciation and employee recognition have distinctly different purposes, they do share one vital intersection – rewarding employees. Elevating the efficacy of your employee rewards means finding out what that actually means to your employees. 

Employee surveys are always a great way to collect feedback from the masses and making sure the responses are anonymous goes a long way in developing trust with your workforce and getting honest responses. A quick online assessment can clear up any uncertainties and shine a light on your employees’ unique recognition preferences. Identifying their RecognitionDNA helps to ensure you’re rewarding them in a way that’s meaningful vs. transactional. 

7. Plan Ahead

Unless you crave a personalized version of “The Great Resignation” – where it’s just your employees leaving in droves – the first step to an impactful Employee Appreciation Day is simply acknowledging it. But your employees obviously deserve more than the bare minimum and planning ahead ensures it doesn’t sneak up on you, leaving you scrambling to create a meaningful experience. 

And just for clarification, your Employee Appreciation Day festivities don’t have to cost a fortune! Your team members will respond to different types of recognition and rewards, which is why it’s so valuable to gather everyone’s RecognitionDNA. Some may resonate more with a one-on-one conversation to take in their appreciation audibly. Others feel most valued by tangible gifts or even an office-wide shout-out. But you can’t put a price tag on peace of mind and knowing your employees genuinely feel appreciated is something you can’t afford not to invest in.

*Pro-Tip: Spread the hustle! There are plenty of other days throughout the year that can be added to the recognition calendar, allowing you to build on your employee appreciation efforts all year long!

In case you hadn’t realized it before, we hope you now understand that Employee Appreciation Day is more than just a “Hallmark Holiday” created to boost commercial sales. It’s an investment in making your workplace awesome from the inside out. By boosting morale, engagement, and teamwork – and by putting the brakes on turnover – you’re not just observing a day on the calendar, you’re creating a workplace that rocks all year round. 

March 1st is coming up quickly! As the next Employee Appreciation Day rolls in, get ready to crank up the celebration and watch those positive changes unfold in layers.

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