Employee Appreciation Day: Why Not Celebrate All Year?
Sponsored by Workhuman
How often does your organization acknowledge team members who deserve recognition? Certainly, Employee Appreciation Day is an ideal opportunity to thank everyone. But an annual pat on the back isn’t nearly enough to move the meter on employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention.
So, what does effective recognition actually look like, and how can Employee Appreciation Day help? According to today’s #WorkTrends podcast guest, companies that get recognition right treat it as an ongoing conversation where everyone is invited to participate.
Makes sense. But what kind of impact can employers expect? The numbers are impressive. For example, research shows that when we regularly acknowledge employees, they’re 90% more likely to be happier at work. They’re also 70% less likely to burn out. And they’re 60% more likely to stay onboard. To find out more about what’s driving these outcomes, tune in now…
Meet Our Guest: Derek Irvine
Had a blast discussing this topic with Derek Irvine, SVP of Strategy and Consulting Services at Workhuman! Derek is a foremost expert on recognition and the human side of business. I can’t think of anyone who’s better qualified to help us understand how to make each day feel like Employee Appreciation Day. So please join us as we dig deeper:
Why Appreciation Matters
Welcome, Derek! You’ve studied employee appreciation for years. What does science tell us about its value?
Actually, appreciation is like a natural medicine. When someone sincerely thanks us at work, it releases happy hormones. It boosts our health and wellbeing. So in a way, Employee Appreciation Day is like a wellness day.
Unfortunately, however, research says 80% of people aren’t appreciated enough. This means they’re more likely to become disengaged or quit. So this is important. But it’s something we can fix.
Factors That Support Appreciation
How does Workhuman honor Employee Appreciation Day?
Of course, we acknowledge all of our employees and celebrate as a team. But for us, every day is Employee Appreciation Day. So we’re committed to a continuous dialogue. And our reward strategy is built on three foundational blocks:
- Fair Pay: People need to feel appropriately compensated for their contribution.
- Ownership: We aren’t a public company, but everyone has a real stake in the company’s success.
- Recognition: These are the spontaneous moments when we acknowledge people for reaching a milestone or supporting our values.
Appreciation as a Cultural Priority
Spontaneous. I love that word. What other steps can companies take to build a culture of recognition?
In addition to being spontaneous, it’s also important to be intentional. Because most people I talk to agree that they should show more appreciation. And then, other priorities take over, so taking the time to say “thank you” constantly falls from the top of their to-do list.
You’ll want to put a drumbeat in place to be sure this intention won’t slip off of your agenda.
What would you say organizations should do to make Employee Appreciation Day more meaningful for everyone?
Well, it could be a great day to launch your all-year initiatives. So maybe you could recognize people at a special gathering. But then also announce your commitment to change your organization’s habits and explain how you intend to create a culture based on ongoing recognition.
That’s my top recommendation because it will help your organization pivot in a more positive trajectory, and it will have a lasting impact.
Tools That Enhance Appreciation
How can technology help employers make recognition work better?
Using technology to thank people may seem odd. But it can help in several ways.
It can provide a nudge that reminds managers to reach out to people at specific times. But beyond that, with a platform like ours, you’ll create a fantastic repository of all the human connection stories that are happening in your organization.
You also have a huge data pool you can use to understand your culture better. For example, you can ask: What words are people using? What skills are being celebrated? Are particular leaders being recognized for skills we hadn’t seen? Are there dark spots in the organization where people aren’t being thanked at all?
Insights like these can be a powerful way to enhance your work culture with more intention…
For more insights from Derek about why and how to make every day feel like Employee Appreciation Day, listen to this full podcast episode. And be sure to subscribe to the #WorkTrends Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.
Also, to continue this conversation on social media anytime, follow our #WorkTrends hashtag on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.