On Friday the 4th of March it is employee appreciation day. A day to give thanks to all the wonderful people who make businesses successful, from the bottom to the top. It is a great time to let your employees know how much they influence the business whether you show it through organising a game of football, giving people time to work on personal projects or bringing in treats. Whilst appreciating employees should certainly not be a one day thing, it can allow you to tackle it in a creative way.

There have been numerous studies done into the effect of employee happiness on productivity and the results are very clear. Happier employees are more productive employees. About 12% more productive to be exact (source University of Warwick).

In numbers terms this equates to a lot of lost money if you aren’t doing all you can to make sure employees are engaged but according to a worldwide poll by Gallup only 13% of people are! Crazy right?

To those looking to increase engagement or let employees feel appreciated, it is not as easy as raising wages or throwing money around and hoping to see change. We have come up with 5 things to consider when tackling employee engagements and how to make this employee appreciation day, a day of growth and happiness.

 

1. Don’t make it generic

As tempting as it may be to roll out a company wide incentives or praise, this isn’t always the most effective way of motivating employees, especially in larger companies. Taking the time to personally thank employees or rewarding them specifically, can make a massive impact on happiness. Consider getting a ball pit?

 

2. Think creatively

Not everyone gets motivated by the same things and so rather than try a one size fits all approach, try mixing up engagement activities and rewards. There are plenty of famous and succesful appreciation systems out there. Giving employees time to work on personal projects (like Google’s famous 20% time initiative), supplying complimentary healthy food options, or organising team activity days are all examples, but it is important to find a method that suits you and your business.

 

3. Praise should be from all levels

Despite it being ‘employee’ appreciation day, some of the best and most personal feedback can come from the people we work alongside. Try setting in place a system of peer to peer praising and letting employees find interesting ways of rewarding and praising good jobs when they see it.

 

4. Have fun with it

Sure employee engagement can be good for business, but when showing gratitude to employees, whether it is this March 4th or in general, try a human touch. The methods used to praise employees should be both, sincere and scalable. Sometime an email is enough, other times going the extra mile can make a huge impact. Don’t regiment it and have fun with how you praise employees.

 

5. Don’t just do it for one day

People will be able to tell if praise is ingenuine so in order to have a real impact on customer satisfaction make sure that it is not just a one off. Creating a culture of positive engagement is something that needs time and effort to develop but can pay back in spades. Engaged employees in general are not only more productive, but also more work better with others, take less sick days, make less mistakes and are generally more optimistic, creative and energetic.

 

This employee appreciation day, why not take your employees out for a meal, or a game of football or let them work on a personal project. You never know how much change you can inspire in your business until you try it.