These days, there’s a holiday for everything. National Margarita Day falls on Feb. 22. National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June. There’s National Dog Day, which is observed every Aug. 26. You get the gist.
Here’s another holiday you may not have heard of: Employee Appreciation Day, which falls on the first Friday in March — which happens to be March 3 in 2017. As the name suggests, the holiday is meant to be used as a time when employers and managers celebrate the efforts of their staff — strengthening the bond between bosses and workers.
While it might seem a little bit cheesy or silly to some, companies would be wise to put together some sort of celebration for the special day. If nothing more, it’s a token gesture that proves employers value their staff’s contributions and are doing something a little extra to reinforce that point.
If your organization hasn’t celebrated Employee Appreciation Day in the past, you may want to make it a tradition starting this year. Here’s why:
It’s an Extra Employee Recognition EventEmployee recognition is strongly correlated with productivity. According to a recent study, 69% of employees say they’d work harder if they felt as though their contributions were valued. Even so, our 2017 Employee Engagement Report found that only 26% of workers feel strongly valued at their jobs. That’s a problem. Planning a special event should help your workers feel like they are appreciated at least a little more.
It Doubles as a Team-Building EventThe number one thing employees like about their jobs are their coworkers, our Engagement Report revealed. But not all of your workers know every one of their colleagues well. Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day provides your team with yet another opportunity to get to know their coworkers on an even deeper level. Ideally, new relationships will develop as employees who don’t usually talk to each other because they work in different departments are all of a sudden standing shoulder-to-shoulder. As a result, your company benefits from strengthened camaraderie.
It Improves Work-Life BalanceWhile technology has made many aspects of our jobs easier, it has also made it harder for many professionals to step away from their work. If you can check your work email at 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night from the comfort of your home, why shouldn’t you? No worker is a machine. Everyone needs a break at least every now and again. This day is a perfect time to encourage your workers to step away from their desks and relax with their peers — which, in turn, improves work-life balance a little bit.
How can you celebrate? Get a catered breakfast or lunch. Host an in-the-office happy hour with finger foods in the afternoon. Play board games and video games. Let your employees relax and talk with each other. Hire a masseuse to walk around the office for the day. The list goes on and on — here are 15 great ideas for how to make it special.
Whatever you end up doing for Employee Appreciation Day will almost certainly be well-received by your staff. As a result of showing how much you value their hard work, they’ll return the favor by becoming more engaged and working even harder.