Each first Friday in March is Employee Appreciation Day. While not all companies observe it, some reserve it as an official day on which to honor and celebrate their employees. Whether on the official day or any other, here are four reasons to show employees appreciation.
Appreciation matters as much as money to some employees. Dale Carnegie’s 2nd Human Relations principle, ‘Give honest, sincere appreciation,’ costs practically nothing yet its impact is invaluable. Many people assume that employees prefer monetary rewards and incentives, however Todd Patkin, author of Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and—Finally—Let the Sunshine In, knows otherwise. “People will never admit it, but money is not the thing they desire most from their work. Instead, showing appreciation, respect, and, yes, even love are the three most important ways to make your people feel great about their work,” implores Patkin.
- It’s impossible to motivate, inspire and engage employees without appreciation. Organizations with the most satisfied employees were featured on the 2017 Forbes’ list of America’s Best Employers 2017. The same principle, ‘Give honest, sincere appreciation,’ is a critical common thread woven into the core value of Forbes’ best employers. Leaders at these highly ranked organizations understand that employees must feel sincerely appreciated for their contributions or it will be near impossible to motivate, inspire and engage them. Bonus—employees who feel appreciated by their employer are more likely to have strong interpersonal relationships with colleagues and clients because showing appreciation fosters trust, respect and healthy relationships.
- Recognition is like rocket fuel for retention rates. Dale Carnegie said, “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.” When employees are recognized for a specific achievement or contribution, it motivates them to accomplish even more. Recognition also helps employees feel respected, valued and appreciated—and many experts argue, is the impetus to make them much less likely to leave the organization. In fact, Globoforce found that companies with strategic recognition reported a mean employee turnover rate that is 4%lower than retention at companies without any recognition program.
- There are infinite ways to show appreciation. Giving sincere thanks can be as informal as a brief email or handwritten note expressing gratitude for the specific contribution an employee made, or as formal as a celebratory event. For example, at event automation company Certain, celebratory ideas are crowd-sourced to ensure the employees have something they truly want. Senior HR Manager, Kate Kastenbaum, stated in a recent Fortune article that Employee Appreciation Day festivities will include food—since employees love free food, along with a team activity such as a game. Certain also offers a messaging platform called Kudos so employees can show appreciation and recognize stellar efforts on a daily basis.
Bottom line—showing employees appreciation any or every day of the year positively impacts an organization’s overall morale, productivity, retention rates and engagement levels.