Every February 14, romantics across the country take some time out of their days to show their significant others how much they mean to them. Maybe they surprise them with a trip they’ve planned to an exotic location. Maybe they buy them some nice chocolates or a dozen roses.
Just because you probably shouldn’t take your top-performing employee out to a candlelit dinner doesn’t mean you can’t do anything for your employees on Valentine’s Day. After all, they’re incredibly valuable to you too — just in tremendously different ways than your significant other is.
Not sure how you can show employee recognition on Valentine’s Day without creeping everyone out or violating HR rules? Here are some ideas:
01. Have a happy hour
Special holidays call for special beverages. Your employees certainly won’t mind if you decide to spring on a couple bottles of bubbly for a late afternoon happy hour. For maximum effectiveness, consider keeping the happy hour a secret until you pop the first cork. It’s hard to imagine a workplace anywhere that wouldn’t go bonkers over an unannounced happy hour. Raise your glass and give a short speech that speaks to how much you appreciate your team’s hard work.
02. Bring in some tasty treats
Your employees might not return to peak productivity following an in-the-office happy hour. So if it’s a particularly busy time of the year, you can always opt to celebrate your team by indulging them with a number of delicious desserts and other sweets. Nobody gets upset over unexpected cake or ice cream, either.
03. Make Valentine’s Day cards
You can also channel your inner elementary school self and spend some time making personalized Valentine’s Day cards. If you choose this route, try to be as specific as you can when you jot your non-creepy notes down in each card. It can be a surprisingly effective medium to show how thankful you are for your team’s hard work.
04. Give out small gifts
Maybe you don’t have the time to put together a slew of Valentine’s Day cards. That’s totally understandable. You can always choose to give your employees small gifts. Examples include coffee mugs filled with chocolate candy, Amazon gift cards, and small figurines they can use to decorate their work spaces.
05. Host a meal with employees’ significant others
If you’re feeling adventurous and have the budget for it, see whether your staff would be interested in inviting their significant others for a meal. If you think your team would love this idea, perhaps it could be a potluck. Otherwise, call a caterer. In addition to getting to spend a little more time with their loved ones, this kind of event provides a great team-building opportunity.
You may not be deeply in love with your employees (and that’s a good thing!). Still, you probably love them at least on a professional level.
Valentine’s Day serves as the perfect holiday to let your staff know that you appreciate their hard work. And it can also double as a great team-building opportunity. So on February 14, let your employees know that you care. It may mean more than you can imagine.