What does your organization do to show that it appreciates its people? If you’re struggling to find an answer, Employee Appreciation Day is a good place to start. Celebrated every year on the first Friday of March (March 1 this year), this is a good opportunity to recognize your employees’ efforts and create a culture of appreciation at your organization.

Here are some ways to get started:

1) Reward a job well done

Highlight an employee’s recent achievements — don’t keep it quiet.

Give them a reward they’ll remember – a personalized memento, a gift card to their favourite retailer, or some well-deserved time off. Call it the “Extra Mile” award for an employee who exceeds expectations or the “Creative Genius” award for coming up with the best creative solutions for any challenge.  Make sure to acknowledge and talk about it out loud. Put up a post about how their work has impacted your project on internal forums or social media so they feel part of something bigger and part of a team that truly appreciates their efforts.

2) Encourage mutual appreciation among peers

Hearing from admired and respected peers is especially valuable for employees, and helps build a collaborative team culture and better workplace relationships. While managers are expected to give feedback, peers don’t have to, so when it happens, people get a sense that it’s genuine. Make it easy by setting up a physical or virtual platform where employees can appreciate their peers or hand out personalized awards in front of everyone. This can be an appreciation wall in your office where employees can leave notes of gratitude, confidence, or praise for their peers. Here’s how we did it at Zoho last year

3) Recognize team wins

Has one of your teams recently closed a big deal or reached 70 percent year-on-year growth? Recognizing team wins can be a powerful catalyst for team spirit and healthy competition.

Be sure to tell your story out loud so teams can reminisce on their work, and remember how they initiated a project, what the goals and challenges were, and how individuals stepped up to solve those challenges. Additionally, team trips or dinners are small but significant ways to make memories with each other and strengthen workplace relationships. At Zoho, we set up a photobooth so employees could spend time happily snapping pictures with teammates and friends.

4)On-the-spot recognition

Have gift cards, stationery or other company-printed goodies on-hand to give out as tokens of your appreciation and gratitude. This shows your people that you’re seeing and noticing the work they put in.

5) Go beyond the day

Even with all of these ideas, employee appreciation isn’t just about a single day or single moment to recognize employees. Continuous feedback and positive communication helps employees thrive and makes sure they’re on the right path. For example, an employee of the month award can be an ongoing practice, motivating your employees to reach that level of achievement month after month. Only when done consistently can you achieve the desired results and ensure your plan is working so appreciate your employees everyday!

 

At Zoho People, we believe that an organization that recognizes the strength of its people is one that will itself grow stronger. As you prepare for this Employee Appreciation Day, we’ll be bringing you an exciting way to appreciate your people and fellow employees so be sure to watch this space on March 1st!

UPDATE: Our page in celebration of Employee Appreciation Day is now live! Check it out and share the joy with your colleagues.

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