You have an awesome team that works hard and exemplifies your company values day after day and year after year. But in the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind, it can be easy to forget to show your employees the appreciation they deserve.

Employee Appreciation Day, which falls on the first Friday of every March, is an opportunity for managers, employers, leadership, and human resources to remember the importance of appreciating their employees. Studies have shown that appreciation builds trust, boosts productivity, and decreases turnover—after all, who doesn’t like to feel appreciated?

Below are some great ways to engage in the appreciation of your employees, showing them how much you care.

Touch base with your employees often

Treating your employees like items to check off on a to-do list might be easier for your productivity, but it does not make them feel appreciated. Take time to talk with your employees, whether it’s something as simple as saying “Good morning” or asking “How are you?”, writing a thank you note, talking to them in a quick Zoom call, or by setting aside some one-on-one time to check in with how projects, or life, is going. Building relationships by intentionally seeking out time to connect is a great way to make employees feel seen and appreciated.

Treat your team to fun activities

If your team is still working from home, you can host a virtual picnic, happy hour, or team lunch/dinner. You can also do a little team bonding by playing virtual online games together or doing a virtual karaoke session. 

Give meaningful feedback

Have you ever been told “great job!” without any explanation as to why you did a great job? While it may feel good, it’s not all that helpful. Telling your employees “great job!” is all well and good, but make sure to give meaningful feedback they can glean concrete information from. When talking with your employees, take time to address their professional development, what they’re doing well, and where they need to improve. Engaging in a conversation about their growth shows them you want them to succeed on a personal level.

Offer extra time off

Did your employees work extra hard and go above and beyond on a project or campaign? Reward them with a few extra days off or even a whole week off! They will appreciate the spare time to rest, recharge, and spend time with their friends and loved ones.

Create and build a culture around appreciation

Appreciation is the most impactful when it is already built in your company culture and it’s an expectation, instead of an afterthought. Consider offering opportunities for growth and advancement, like regular training courses, opportunities for mentorship, and employee recognition programs that offer perks for participation. When employees are offered opportunities to learn and grow, they will give their best selves to your company. 

Be flexible

No, we’re not telling you to be able to touch your shoulder with your foot. We mean flexible in the sense of allowing your employees to have time to take breaks whenever needed, giving them a no-meetings day, letting them log off early, or letting them choose what days they want to work during the week. Employees who are empowered to manage their own time will be more engaged and productive.

Celebrate life milestones

You don’t have to make everything all about work! Celebrate whenever significant events happen—like the birth of a child or the addition of a new furry friend, like a dog or cat. You can also celebrate the little things, like holidays, birthdays, or work anniversaries. Work can be a place of community, where everyone shares in each other’s successes.

Give thanks to your employees every day of the year

While there is a day set aside to specifically celebrate employees, don’t keep silent the remaining 364 days of the year. Your team is there every day for you, working hard and supporting you and your company goals and values. Show them just how much you appreciate them, and in return, you will have a well-rounded company and a coveted culture.


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Photo by fizkes