Inspiration for Appreciation: 6 Tips for Showing Employee Appreciation

In the midst of unprecedented challenges, business owners and employees have worked together to overcome obstacles and adapt their companies to our new way of life. Employees face extreme changes at work and at home. Many juggle distance learning, remote work, impending shutdowns and concerns about COVID-19. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to prioritize your employees and show them they are valued. Employee appreciation day is March 5th, the perfect opportunity to express your gratitude for all that they do.

Understand The Challenges Employees Face

Take the personal impact of the pandemic into consideration when you correspond with your employees and offer solutions for those whose circumstances are changing rapidly. After all, employee loyalty is the direct result of good leadership. 78% of employees state they would work longer hours for an empathic employer. Empathize with your employees and empower them to adjust their workflow when needed. 

Your employees are navigating more responsibilities and changes than ever. According to a recent survey, 69% of US employees are facing burnout symptoms as a result of the pandemic, which is a 20% increase from last May. It’s no wonder employees are feeling the strain since many are working remotely with children learning at home, high-risk elderly parents to care for and concerns about their financial future. 

Many have the fears of financial challenges weighing heavily on their minds. Data shows an astounding 86% fear they could lose their paycheck or face salary cuts and 59% of workers chose to forgo vacation days in 2020. While you can not erase the entire burden the pandemic puts on your employees’ shoulders, you can show them how much you appreciate their diligent efforts. 

Put Flexibility First

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, both parents are part of the workforce in 60% of american homes. One way employers can show appreciation is through having empathy for their employees and offering flexibility. 84% of working parents indicated that workplace flexibility was the most crucial factor in their job search and over 83% of employers say they will continue the trend of workplace flexibility at a greater scale even after a “return-to-normal”.

Time blocking tasks and deliverables is a great way to develop a flexible work flow. Project management software like Asana and virtual conferencing tools like Zoom help companies run smoothly while working remotely. They allow teams to function well while maintaining flexible schedules. It is important to remember that you and your employees are a team and teams work best when they work together

Celebrate Employee Triumphs

It’s more important than ever to celebrate your team’s victories. Show your appreciation for your employees by praising them for a job well done. Appreciation through affirmation is pertinent for employee satisfaction in the workplace. 79% of employees will quit their jobs due to lack of appreciation from leaders. 

Send greeting cards congratulating employees for their great work or celebrate their personal triumphs by sending them congratulatory cards for work anniversaries, weddings, having a baby or buying a new home. They are a cost effective way to show you care about your employees in a meaningful way.

Communicate With Care

Communication is key for the success of any business. This is particularly true with the past year having created so much confusion in everyone’s daily life. Changing hours of operations, school and business closures, new safety guidelines and evolving workflows can be a headache for everyone on your team. It’s not surprising that 74% of employees feel they miss out on important updates. Finding a communication strategy is critically important this year as organizations with well informed employees show a 20-25% increase in productivity!

Set your team up for success by finding new ways to keep everyone in the loop. As of 2020, over 750,000 organizations implemented Slack channels into their work correspondence to increase efficiency. Slack, Trello, and Microsoft Office 365 all offer great options for streamlining information to ensure your employees stay updated when it matters most. 

Employee Appreciation Gifts Are Great

Gifts are a fantastic go-to for showing appreciation. In fact, a behavioral psychology study found that gifts and words of affirmation are the modern employee’s favorite ways to be recognized by business leadership. Despite these findings, 65% of employees have not received any form of recognition for their hard work in the last year. It’s easy to get side tracked by every hurdle your company is facing at this time, but you absolutely must find ways to express your appreciation for the team. 

Send employees gift cards to their favorite stores with personalized greeting cards when they close deals or get promoted. Order customized coffee mugs with words of encouragement for your team. This is a budget-friendly example of team building. Give your remote employees journals with their initials on them which they can use in their home office. 

Leadership Lunches

Great leadership plays a vital role in employee satisfaction and productivity. Invest time and attention into those who invest their time and talents into your business. Cater lunch and invite industry speakers to host Q&A’s with your team. This option works well for virtual and in-person employees. Safeguard your break room with sneeze guards and social distancing decals to keep employees safe while they lunch and learn. 

On Employee Appreciation Day and beyond it is important to support your team and express your gratitude for all that they do. Offer one-on-one check-ins with employees and have a virtual open door policy for them to express ideas and concerns as well as opportunities for their personal growth and development. Create a culture of honesty and transparency and you will see an increase in employee satisfaction. Implement these six tips into your leadership and team building strategy to show your employees just how much you appreciate them. 


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