Hint… Don’t Forget It! (It’s This Friday)

Employee Appreciation Day is one of those relatively new holidays we aren’t quite sure how to celebrate.  But just because traditions have yet to be established for March 3rd doesn’t mean we should ignore it like Ear Muffs Day (March 13th) or Tweed Day (April 2nd).  Liken it instead to one of those random Facebook holidays that give you an excuse to drink and snack before 5 pm (looking at you, World Whisky Day — May 21st).  However, tread carefully when deciding how to show your employees you care about them.  As easy as it is to impress them and brighten their Friday, you can just as easily make everyone upset, uncomfortable, or underwhelmed.

Here’s how to avoid making an otherwise joyous day into another ho-hum, itchy Tweed Day.

Don’t Forget

Thanks to Facebook, it’s impossible to overlook any National Watermelon, Donald Duck or No Socks Day.  You best believe your employees know about any holiday that caters to them, with or without socks.

There’s no need to blow the roof off the office with a DJ and an open bar, but make sure to acknowledge the day and what your team means to you and how essential they are to the company.  Something as simple as a sincere, hand-written note can go a long way.

Don’t Try to Get Too Personal…But Be Sincere

There’s an undeniable allure to showing your people how much you know about them with personalized tokens of appreciation.  But what happens when you clearly know some better than others, or even worse, have bad information? Just imagine giving a 6-pack to your old happy hour buddy just to find out he’s now a recovering alcoholic.  Awkward.

Opt for a team lunch, relevant office supplies, or extra time off.  All of those options will be welcomed and accepted as equally beneficial to everyone.  Whatever the token or gift be sure your words and actions are sincere.  Your words are what will matter most when backed with actions to suite.  Which brings us to the next not-to-do…

Don’t Discount Every Other Day

Having a designated day to go above and beyond to recognize your employees is great, but it shouldn’t stop there.  It’s crucial to give your people regular recognition to make sure they realize their impact on the business and how much it means to you personally.  Because, let’s face it, if it weren’t for them you may not be where you are.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the top reason people leave their jobs is because they “do not feel appreciated.”  Also backing that point, 37% of polled employees in an O.C. Tanner study said the most important thing their company does to cause them to do great work is “recognize me,” compared to 7% who answered, “pay me more.”  If you forget to give sincere appreciation and recognition on every day except this Friday your team will know it’s just for show.

So with Employee Appreciation Day on the horizon, thoughtfully pause now to determine how you’ll recognize those who work hard for you every other day of the year. But don’t mess it up.

Luckily, once it’s over you can focus your attention on preparing for May 3rd — National Lumpy Rug Day – or on what to do every day that it’s not Employee Appreciation Day.


Want to really go above and beyond this Employee Appreciation Day? Create a custom leadership experience for your team!  The gift of leadership development won’t be soon forgotten.