Unprecedented (buzz word) times call for more nuanced acts of appreciation given that the majority of us haven’t seen another co-worker face to face in about a year. WILD!

Below are some simple ideas to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day virtually on March 5, 2021. The hope is that you take not only one, but also a few & sprinkle them around. 

  1. Write a Thank You note – Not sure about you, but when we receive handwritten mail in our actual mailbox, it feels like a special day. Take some time away from your computer & put pen to paper about why you appreciate your employee. It goes a long way. 
  2. Implement Summer Fridays – This suggestion shakes the room sometimes, but if you run the numbers, giving employees the ability to proverbially “leave the office” a few hours early on Friday during the summer months makes a great difference in morale & it shows up in their work. (Ryan – here is an article that we can link as a source:) 
  3. Sweet Treat Delivery – Find a local company that delivers something sweet & can handle that for you…maybe ice cream? Maybe donuts? In Atlanta, we have a local spot called LotaFrutta that makes fruit packs with coconut milk whipped cream that feels just different enough to be exciting. Imagine your employee’s surprise and joy when the doorbell rings and they realized what they just received.
  4. Encourage Time Off – Studies show that folks are feeling guilty for being offline now that they work from home mostly. Hence, less employees are actually taking their time off & using it to recharge off-the-grid. Even when we do return to the office, don’t allow this guilt to take hold of your culture. Encourage your team to put time off on their calendars, & follow up with them if you feel some reluctance. 
  5. Home Equipment – Check in with your team about their at-home work equipment. Reality is that there are some low-cost items that could make their life so much easier. Do they have everything they need? Need a Ring Light? Wrist support? Or a seat cushion? 
  6. Hype Up Successes – Use this week’s group call to call out each team member’s win. This means taking some time before the call to recall their recent work & the impact they made. Doing so in a personal way helps employees feel valued & gives them a sense of place in the organization. We all feel a boost when we know the positive impact of our actions. 
  7. LinkedIn Recommendations – Don’t wait to write one of these until it’s too late. Writing recommendations for your employees is a two-way gift.  
  8. Gift Cards – Let’s face it…with the majority of the workforce being millennials, this continues to be their #1 gift preference of choice. 

I left off things like “virtual happy hour” & such because these should already be part of your organization’s culture-tending. And, Employee Appreciation Day shouldn’t be about spending more time on-screen, but more so about giving people the applause or space they deserve after work well done. 

Sheyda Mehrara

Author Sheyda Mehrara

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