The employee experience is becoming increasingly important and more complex as organizations evolve. But what remains consistent is the critical role that gratitude and appreciation play in maintaining the health of an organization.
This Friday, March 3 is Employee Appreciation Day – the perfect time to create a unique and memorable experience for your team. However, Monday is coming, and it’s more important to create an ongoing culture of appreciation that permeates through your day-to-day activities, not just on this annual holiday. Here are a few tips:
Don’t exclude peer-to-peer and upward recognition. We tend to think of recognition in the workplace as top down, originating from managers/executives directed to their employees. That’s good. But the real value comes when the whole engine is running. Where peers are enabled and encouraged to recognize each other, saying “thank you” to your manager isn’t interpreted as “kissing up”, but rather a simple sign of appreciation.
Ask for help. What does this have to do with appreciation? Well, think back to the last time someone asked you to help them solve an issue they were struggling with. I bet that you were honored to be invited to the party and that your opinion was valued, or further, appreciated.
Encourage open dialogue. Many times employees shy away from having open conversations about workplace issues or things they feel require special attention or change. Managers and executives should recognize the importance of encouraging open dialogue with employees, regardless of whether or not the issue is actionable at the time or not. There are usually small things that can be done now to address these concerns. However, being transparent about what can and cannot be done is constructive for all parties.
Ditch the meeting room. We spend the majority of our workdays in the office, likely at our desk or in conference rooms for meetings. Why not switch things up and give yourself a new perspective by doing a walk-and-talk or going out for coffee chats with co-workers? Not only has research found that walking increases creative thinking, but inviting your colleagues to get out of the office as a “get to know you” exercise also has the ability to build closer bonds between employees. Encourage employees to meet with peers they don’t have the opportunity to regularly interact with and have an interest in getting to know better.
While Employee Appreciation Day is a great time to start thinking about building that larger, ongoing employee engagement program, it’s important to remember not to hold appreciation to a single day. By infusing employee appreciation into everyday work – even in the simplest of ways – you’re working toward building an authentic culture of recognition and employee happiness over time. And that’s where it counts.
About the Author
Kendal Willis is the Director of Employee Engagement at Fond.