Happy March 2nd, everyone! “Why is that significant?” you ask. Well, it’s the first Friday in March, and if you ask your staff, they will remind you that it is Employee Appreciation Day! But don’t let on that you forgot. Just tell them that you were “testing them,” assure them that you have a very special surprise lined up, and then lock yourself in your office and Google “Employee Appreciation Day ideas.” You’re welcome.
Employee Appreciation Day was born in 1995 and is always the first Friday of March. According to Recognition Professionals International, one of the organization’s founding board members, in association with Workman Publishing, created the day to put the focus toward employees in all industries.
We all know that recognition is the most powerful motivator. Everyone loves cash, but it isn’t memorable as a reward and holds no trophy value – and let’s face it, it usually goes toward a bill. A kind word or unique experience creates a lasting memory and comes with a great story. “I was awarded this [insert award] from my boss for [insert good deed]” is much more interesting than “Oh yeah, I saved up and bought this [insert material possession/vacation/extravagant dinner].”
So why not recognize the hard work of your dedicated employees, without whom you may as well kiss your business goodbye. Here are some ideas we’ve already Googled for you:
· Treat your employees to a meal
· Take your team out for happy hour (it is Friday, after all)
· Send them home early with pay
· Hire a massage therapist, manicurist or yoga instructor to come into the office
· Leave flowers, candy or a personal note on your employees’ desks
· Gift cards, movie tickets and other entertainment rewards are always nice
Remember that you don’t need to wait until the first Friday in March to recognize your employees. Praise, surprises and small tokens of your appreciation can and should happen throughout the year. But since today is a nationally recognized day, it should not be overlooked.
Once you have your treat lined up, make sure you note “Employee Appreciation Day” on your calendar for next March and avoid the awkwardness for years to come!