This year, Friday, March 4, marks National Employee Appreciation Day. You could let it come and go without giving it any attention. Or you could wisely use the “holiday” to prove how much you care about your team.
And the best part? You don’t have to spend a zillion dollars to show your employees how much you value their efforts. Here are 15 inexpensive ways to recognize your staff on National Employee Appreciation Day:
1. Give away a great parking spot
Does your company have its own parking lot? If so, reward your top-performing employees with a spot closest to the door each month.
2. Let your employees make their own schedules
If your employees are knocking it out of the park, consider giving them the option to create their own schedules. As long as they are getting their work done on time and don’t miss any meetings, does it really matter if they work at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m.?
3. Write handwritten thank-you notes
They’re more thoughtful than an email. Writing thank-you notes is a great way to show employees that they’re valued — something that many of today’s workers don’t feel, according to our Employee Engagement Report.
5. Let your employees take a long lunch on their anniversary
This is a no-brainer if you really want your staff to enjoy their milestone days.
6. Feed your employees
Everyone needs to eat. A free delicious lunch can go a long way — particularly to those on a budget.
7. Play games
Why not take the afternoon off and play a series of games? Any number of icebreaker games could be fun, particularly in larger groups. Hide-and-seek works, too.
8. Bring your team to a paintbar
Art can increase productivity at the office, according to Forbes. Take a field trip to the nearest paintbar and toss back a couple of pints while everyone on your team tries to paint the same thing. Display the finished products proudly at your office.
9. Spotlight your employees on your website
Tell the world about how awesome your team is — assuming, of course, your employees are interested in such recognition.
10. Launch a companycentric newsletter
If they’re not interested in a website, start publishing a regular newsletter that highlights the accomplishments of the team. Disseminate it internally.
11. Announce a professional development initiative
According to our report, only 25% of workers feel as though their organizations are invested in their development. Reward your employees by announcing that, moving forward, you’re going to make serious investments in professional development.
12. Institute a dog-friendly policy
Reward your employees for their efforts by letting them bring their dogs to work. Employee morale will likely tick up, and there will likely be more “collisions” too as employees pet each other’s dogs.
13. Dissolve your dress code (or at least relax it)
Employees are more comfortable when they’re wearing comfortable clothes. If you still have a dress code that was written in 1952, it’s time to revisit it. At the very least, you can launch Casual Fridays.
14. Reward your employees with compressed workdays
The workday doesn’t always have to start at 9 and end at 5. Give your employees one compressed workday each month. Let them come in at 11 and leave at 3.
15. Lead by example
It doesn’t cost you a penny to put in maximum effort every day. Show your employees how much you appreciate their efforts by working hard next to them in the trenches as frequently as possible.