Employee Appreciation Day originated more than 25 years ago. Its founder, Dr. Bob Nelson, created it to help managers acknowledge their employees and show them how valued they are at least once a year. After being celebrated for more than two decades in the workplace, the real question is, should Employee Appreciation Day be much different than any other day?
The real answer is, “No!” the first Friday in March should not differ from any other day, or any other working day, as far as feeling appreciated. However, you can make the first Friday of March a special day in the workplace (in person or remote), for example:
- Providing something fun, novel or surprising could make it a special day.
- With care, advanced planning and some creativity, organizations could deliver something to an employees’ home, especially since many of us are working remotely.
- Schedule a phone or video conference call to share sincere and specific words of appreciation that help makes the team or department hum and run so well.
What happens to us when we don’t feel appreciated?
It is amazing what consistent and authentic recognition and appreciation can do for people, especially when delivered by their immediate supervisor or manager. It is also evident what a lack of appreciation and recognition can do.
Several studies have shown that a lack of recognition has significant repercussions on mental and physical health. According to Jean-Pierre Brun, a Management professor at the Université Laval, workers who experience a lack of recognition at work are 1.4 times more likely to be absent and feel stressed and 30% more likely to develop heart disease.
Also, according to our Job Seekers Mindset Report, 18% of survey participants say that lack of recognition, appreciation and respect as a reason why they seek employment elsewhere.
Real Recognition™ is defined as any thought, word or deed towards making someone feel appreciated for whom they are and recognized for what they do. Make this practice a habit and put such behaviors into action.
Let’s make Employee Appreciation Day as marker to your commitment to making people feel appreciated and apply this as a daily practice for the rest of the year. Whenever you observe or hear about positive behaviors, witness the personal effort people put forth, or the significant contributions your employees make, stop and take the time to acknowledge them.
Check out our 2022 guide for tips on how to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day.