Essential Employee Appreciation: Are You Making the Grade?

by | Feb 27, 2024

Thank You

Employee Appreciation Day is March 1st. To what extent do your employees feel appreciated? What steps are you taking to celebrate their efforts? This is a good time to reflect on your practices and be reminded of the importance of creating an appreciative environment. Showing appreciation to staff is not like giving everyone a participation trophy. It is appropriately recognizing good work in an authentic way. Those are intrinsic trophies. The essence of intrinsic trophies lies in fostering a culture where employees feel valued, connected, and seen.

What are methods to acknowledge and uplift our team? And why should you make the effort?

Cultivating a Culture of Appreciation: In the hustle and bustle of daily operations, it’s easy to overlook small acts of appreciation. A gift card, thank you note, coffee/lunch, or public acknowledgement, can have a huge impact on morale, motivation, and overall workplace satisfaction. All these benefits for little or no cost or time.

Flexible Work Arrangements: We’ve all learned to embrace flexible work arrangements. And, honestly, flexible work has pluses and minuses. That said, your staff have diverse needs and responsibilities in and out of the office. Offering flexible work arrangements such as telecommuting, flexible hours, or compressed workweeks can provide much-needed flexibility to juggle competing demands. Trusting individuals to manage work-life balance leads to increased job satisfaction and productivity. (Note that flexibility comes with responsibility and accountability.)

Professional Development: One of the number one reasons staff leave a job is due to lack of career growth. Invest in the development of your team members by providing access to training programs, workshops, or certifications. This doesn’t necessarily mean paying for training. By providing an encouraging and supportive environment and, perhaps, time off or flexible work hours, you demonstrate a belief in the employee and their future potential. Your support enhances skills and capabilities but also fosters loyalty and engagement. When you think about professional development, think about Blue Fjord Leaders!

Wellness Initiatives: Prioritize employee well-being by encouraging initiatives such as mindfulness sessions, yoga classes, or fitness challenges. This doesn’t necessarily mean in-house wellness programs. Gym memberships, office teams, or sport outings can be a valued offering. Supporting physical and mental health not only improves employee morale and engagement but also reduces absenteeism, burnout, and turnover rates.

Personalized Rewards and Benefits: Tailor rewards and benefits to suit the individual preferences and interests of your employees. Having a variety of recognition options acknowledges that your employees are not one-size-fits-all. Whether it’s offering additional vacation days, tickets to events, or personalized gifts, recognizing their unique contributions fosters a sense of belonging and appreciation.

Beyond the warm fuzzies and feel-good moments, employee appreciation has tangible benefits for organizational performance and employee retention. There’s a strong ROI in terms of:

  • Increased Productivity: Recognizing employee’s efforts reinforces positive behaviors, boosts morale, and cultivates a sense of ownership and accountability. As a result, productivity levels soar, driving overall organizational success
  • Enhanced Employee Engagement: Appreciation fosters a sense of connection and belonging within the workplace, leading to higher levels of employee engagement
  • Improved Retention Rates: When employees feel recognized and valued, they are more likely to remain with the organization for the long term, which contributes to a stable and cohesive workforce

While Employee Appreciation Day is a day, true appreciation lasts all year. Take a moment and recommit to fostering a culture of appreciation where employees thrive and flourish.


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Author Byline: Founder and CEO of Blue Fjord Leaders, Shelley Row P.E. CSP, was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 100 leadership speakers. Professional engineer and former senior executive, she was recognized as one of the best minds in advanced traffic management systems.

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