Why Employees Need Extra Appreciation This Year

by Susan Henson
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March 5 is Employee Appreciation Day, a day intended to focus the attention of employers on employee recognition. 

The day serves as an opportunity and a reminder for employers to acknowledge the hard work and contributions of their team members. Showing your appreciation and letting your employees know how much their hard work has meant builds loyalty, boosts morale, and even helps performance. But this year, gratitude means even more. 

This Time, Last Year

Harkin back to this week last year. March of 2020 is when the novel coronavirus named COVID-19 took hold of the world. Most of us alive today have not experienced a pandemic or any other event natural or man-made that has gripped our daily life for such a long time.

All your employees have likely been enduring hardships and some, unthinkable loss. It’s also likely most of your employees have done some heroic things this year, such as learning how to juggle work, homeschooling, and for some, caring for a sick loved one. Thank you goes a long way now more than ever.

How Can Employers Show Appreciation Remotely? 

For many companies, up until a year ago, employee recognition and appreciation happened in the office. For example, a company-sponsored lunch with colleagues at the end of a successful project, a High Five note posted on the kitchen bulletin board, or on-stage recognition at a company event. 

Now that most work is virtual, is employee appreciation and recognition relevant and still needed?? The short answer is yes. In fact, experts say it’s even more important now, both for employees and employers.

Does Employee Appreciation Make a Difference?

In addition to making team members feel good about themselves and their employer, there are tangible benefits. In other words, employee recognition does not only benefit the employee receiving the recognition.

A Forbes article recently highlighted the tangible results of appreciated employees. “The correlation between employee experience and business results is unmistakable by our data—to put it simply, happier humans lead to less turnover and higher quality of work,” says Yuri Brown-Cruzat, Vice President, Workplace Rights at Workhuman.

Recognition: It’s All Good

The benefits of happy employees are well documented. 

  • A recent survey by WorkHuman asked employees to share their feelings about recognition at work and the impact of receiving—or not receiving—work recognition on their performance. The survey also asked if their feelings had been influenced by the pandemic.
  • The survey results found that recognition positively impacted performance, led to increased productivity, and even improved the bottom line for some companies in 2020, even as employees experienced more work and family pressure. 
  • More than 53% of survey respondents said they would like to see employers offer more recognition for their hard work as a way to incorporate “human moments” to facilitate team camaraderie and connection, according to a WorkHuman survey.
  • Recognition can also help retention. Research has shown that 79% of people who quit their jobs cite “lack of appreciation” as their reason for leaving. 
  • Another 31% of employees say recognition directly impacts their motivation to achieve goals and succeed. Nearly 25% said it increased their productivity levels.

Employers: Employee Appreciation Day is Every Day

Employee Appreciation Day is the first Friday in March every year. Put it on your calendars to recognize your employees’ achievements and contributions. Better yet, make employee appreciation a year-long practice.

Want to learn more about rewards and recognition programs? Read more here.

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