Employee Appreciation Day is a time for businesses and employers to recognize their hardworking staff and show appreciation for their ongoing efforts. Held on the first Friday in March, the event encourages managers of all levels to connect with their employees and reward exceptional work and dedication.
The history of Employee Appreciation Day is not very clearly defined, but it first appeared on calendars in 1995 when members of the Recognition Professionals International Board came together with Workman Publishing, to bring the observance to a national level by printing it as an annual holiday. Though this marks when the day first became nationally recognized, it has been practiced as a way of balancing out Boss’s day, as far back as 1958.
Through the years, Employee Appreciation Day has become more widely acknowledged as an annual observance with more and more employer participation, and it has helped both employees and their respective businesses. According to the Journal of Extension, employee appreciation was rated in the top three most influential reasons for employee satisfaction. An entire day designated for staff recognition and appreciation can increase general employee happiness and in turn produce an increase in company profits.
Businesses celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in a number of ways. At some companies, an annual award ceremony for quotas met or exceptional performance are held and at outside facilities, more laid back celebrations like company picnics and barbeques are planned. Other businesses provide their employees with free lunch and give out prizes and gifts, like branded company apparel, gift certificates and even cash incentives. When it comes to celebrating Employee Appreciation day, the possibilities are endless.
An excellent way for employers to honor their devoted employees is to find out how their staff would like to celebrate instead of just deciding on what management might think is fun. Employers frequently poll their staff with a few options and let them make the final decision. Having a say in the type of celebratory activity will increase anticipation and participation for the day and reinforce its purpose for rewarding hard work.
Another way to honor staff is with thoughtful custom gifts. A carefully selected gift is always welcome and employees can end the day with a thoughtful token of your appreciation that also promotes the company brand. With all the positive effects Employee Appreciation Day can have on company morale and productivity, it’s no wonder why employer participation is still growing every year.