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PROSERVICE BLOG

Six Creative Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

by Michelle Steitz | February 28, 2019

Do you have a “Best Boss Ever” mug on your desk? Or did your staff bring in treats to thank you for your leadership last October? National Boss Day is commonly celebrated across offices, but what about honoring your employees for their hard work?


With National Employee Appreciation Day right around the corner, March is the perfect time to recognize your employees for a job well done. Companies across the country will be recognizing the achievements and contributions of their employees on March 1, 2019.


While celebrating your employees sounds like a fun idea, there are also many benefits to recognizing them. By showing employees appreciation on a regular basis, companies can retain more talent and foster an environment of excellence. It’s no surprise that people tend to do their best work when they’re happy and in good spirits.


And in Hawaii, retaining talent is a concern for all types of business owners. We already have a limited labor pool to start with thanks to low unemployment and a high cost of living, which make keeping your best employees a real challenge. In addition, the cost of replacing and training a new employee is much too high to ignore.


All that to say, showing your employees that you appreciate their hard work and dedication goes a long way in retaining talent.


“Workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.” - Gallup


If you’re looking for ideas on how to celebrate your workforce this Friday - or appreciate them throughout the year - check out these six creative ideas:


1. Breakfast on the Boss

Free coffee, bagels, and malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery can set the tone for a special day. If you work in an environment with shift hours or employees who don’t necessarily start in the morning, bring in something special, like cupcakes. Treat your employees to show your appreciation and kick off a day of honoring their hard work.


2. Volunteer Together

Company culture thrives when leadership understands employees lives extend beyond the walls of the workplace. As a business owner, take time out of the schedule to get involved in charities that are close to the hearts of your team. Consider spending a half day volunteering together or even passing around a sign-up sheet for a weekend event. By showing employee appreciation and giving back to the community, your business can actually attract and engage employees through corporate social responsibility. In fact, 74% of employees say their job is more fulfilling when they are provided opportunities to make a positive impact at work.


3. Celebrate Off-Site

Whether you throw a special pau hana with cocktails and pupus or take your team to Breakout Waikiki for a team building event, getting out of the office is a great way to thank your employees. More so, stepping into a different environment with your team can improve communication, renew perspective, and build stronger employee relationships between team members.


4. Send a Simple Thank You Card

Sometimes simple is best. One of the best employee recognition ideas for small business owners is a thank you card. But rather than sending your thanks via email, show your gratitude with a hand-written note for employees who have been going the extra mile. If it’s appropriate, send a note to their home address - it’s an unexpected surprise that is sure to make employees feel appreciated.


5. Give a Token of Appreciation

While the mention of gifts may send red flags to your Finance department, you don’t necessarily need a huge budget for employee appreciation. From a desk plant to a coffee mug to movie tickets, there are plenty of great gifts that won’t break the bank. And if you have allocated spend for employee appreciation gifts, give your employees try to customize rewards so each of your valued workers feel appreciated. For example, if you know an employee has a long commute, gift a gas card or Uber/Lyft credits.


6. Invest in Your Employees

Employees tend to stay with companies that are invested in their ongoing progression and growth. Whether you gift each employee an inspirational book or offer a credit to attend an industry conference or seminar or bring in a development coach for the day, investing in your employees creates an engaged company culture. For more creative ways to invest in your employees, check out this blog post.


Employee appreciation goes beyond a national holiday. When executed properly, it creates a culture based on employee recognition. While appreciation comes in many forms, you shouldn’t expect perks or bonuses alone to convey the meaning of a genuine thank you. When it comes to appreciation, the best bosses say it - and show it - on a regular basis.

Michelle Steitz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle Steitz serves as ProService's Service Team Executive, where she works collaboratively to develop, lead and execute the vision and strategies of ProService. Her talent for hiring, training, and developing customer service talent allows ProService to deliver the absolute best, most consistent, accurate, responsive and caring service experience to Hawaii's employers. Prior to joining ProService, Michelle worked as a Merchandise Manager at Walmart, and before that quickly made her way through the ranks of JCPenny, starting off as a Commission Sales Associate and graduating to VP, Corporate Talent Acquisition. Michelle is a graduate of the University of Arizona.

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