Employee Appreciation Day Should be Every Day (but it's March 5 if you're wondering)
Really? One day a year designated for employee appreciation? Pathetic. Waiting for the first Friday in March each year to let your employees know they matter will make you one of THOSE bosses; the kind with high turn-over and little respect.
Why show appreciation?
The empirical evidence keeps on growing. Research from The Gallup Organization, TINYpulse, Dale Carnegie, Bersin By Deloitte and others yields the following key insights regarding what employees want at work:
People want to feel that they, as individuals, matter
They want to be part of something bigger than themselves
They want a sense of purpose
They want to make a contribution
They want to be appreciated for their contributions
According to research conducted by The Gallup Organization, companies with the highest levels of employee engagement rely on recognition “as a powerful incentive currency”. Strong leaders regularly let their employees know that what they do matters, is appreciated and makes a difference at work.
How to show appreciation:
Be specific: A simple thank you is nice, but specificity about what your employees do will ensure more of the behavior you want.
Identify impact: Let people know the impact of their behaviors. How did their actions affect others?
Share results: What was the net effect of the specific behavior?
Express your appreciation: Thanks. I appreciate your efforts. I’m grateful to you.
When to show appreciation
When you see it, say it. As Ken Blanchard points out, get in the habit of catching your employees doing things right. Be on the look-out every day for what people are doing that makes a difference in your organization. Then let them know specifically what they’ve done and why it matters. Don’t wait. Your candid, genuine expression of gratitude in the moment is far more valuable now than waiting until a later time.
Friday morning check in
As you prepare for work each Friday, do a mental check of how you’ve demonstrated your appreciation for each employee during the week. Have you specifically let each employee know at least one thing that you appreciate about what they’ve done this week?
Be intentional about showing your appreciation. Specificity matters. Don’t wait until the first Friday of March to appreciate your employees. Make every day employee appreciation day to be the boss that people want to work with.