Employee appreciation: 10 ways to say “THANKS” this Friday and throughout the year

Published on Mon, 03/03/2014 - 15:58

Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. And making sure they’re committed to your company and its goals can pay huge dividends including greater customer satisfaction, higher company morale, lower rates of absenteeism and turnover, and higher profit margins.

So how do you get employees engaged? A good place to start is with plenty of recognition and appreciation. And there’s no better time to show them how much you value them than National Employee Appreciation Day this Friday, March 7.

Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

  1. Personal notes. Email and texting are great workhorses in fast-paced world of instant communication. But when it comes to expressing your heartfelt appreciation to employees who have dedicated themselves to making your company better, nothing beats an old-fashioned handwritten note.
  2. Lunch. Order in, have lunch catered, have a barbecue, or rent a room at a local restaurant. Any way you slice it, it’s hard to go wrong with good food.
  3. Gift cards. Many people think of gift cards as a last ditch effort or a thoughtless, impersonal gift. But the fact is, they’re still useful and appreciated, and they’re a convenient way of saying “thanks” to your hard working employees.
  4. Half day with pay. If you want to make it easy on yourself and don’t mind sacrificing a little productivity on a Friday, close the office at noon and give your employees the rest of the day off with pay. You might want to let everyone know in advance there will be a surprise so they won’t schedule meetings or important calls.
  5. Awards ceremony. National Employee Appreciation Day is the ideal time to hand out employee recognition awards. But remember, this day is for all of your employees, so don’t just focus on the highest achievers. Make sure there’s something for everyone.
  6. Company outing. Consider booking a roller rink, movie theater, or other venue for the afternoon. It’ll give everyone a chance to spend quality time together while focusing on fun instead of work.
  7. Office Olympics. Put teams together and have them compete in different events for prizes. It’s a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon at work, let off a little steam, and help your employees start off the weekend on a high note.
  8. Wash and vacuum. Set up an area in your parking lot to wash and vacuum all of your employees’ cars. If you don’t want to spend the money to have professionals do it, offer to pay some eager high school kids.
  9. Company dessert buffet. Dessert buffets have become all the rage at weddings, birthday parties, and showers, and your employees will enjoy them too.
  10. Financial perks. To show your appreciation year-round, consider establishing or enhancing your employee retirement plan. Did you know that Heffernan Financial Services was named one of the “Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers” in 2013? We have helped more than 22,000 participants save for retirement through our defined contribution plans and we’d like to help your employees too! Contact us to learn more about retirement plans. We can also help with employee stock options, employee stock purchase plans and executive bonus plans – all great rewards for a job well done.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day challenges of running your business. But don’t ever forget just how valuable your employees are. National Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity to support and reward them. And it’ll go a long way in helping them feel more engaged in your business.