For more than two decades, companies have embraced the unofficial holiday of "Employee Appreciation Day", paying tribute to their employees on the first Friday of March. Companies around the world are showing up today with donuts, balloons, and pizza with the goal of showing appreciation for their employees. Here at CallRevu, we believe that people are any company's best asset and greatest differentiator. We are incredibly grateful for our team and take pride in how they serve our clients and one another. That's why our goal is to celebrate them throughout the year. This doesn't mean throwing a party each day, but instead building a culture of appreciation and investment across the entire organization.
There have been countless studies about employee engagement and how engaged employees tend to be happier, more productive and deliver a better customer experience. According to a recent Gallup poll, “67 percent of workers aren’t engaged" and that's a number that has had little movement for the past 16 years. Companies will certainly throw employee appreciation day celebrations without fail year over year—one manager told us “just put on a funny gorilla suit and run around and make people laugh. That will make the staff happy!" Sounds entertaining, but we would argue that if there isn't a strong culture that invests and engages in its employee to go along with it, gorilla suits, pizza and donuts aren't going to produce meaningful results.
So if you’re looking for lasting outcomes, start with these 5 focus areas:
- Trust and empower your team
- Ask for their input when making important decisions
- Provide autonomy to do the job without having to check with management for every move
- Present them with new challenges and opportunities
- Have real conversations and make connections with your employees
- Do you know what your employees are passionate about?
- Do you know what is happening in their worlds?
- Be open with communication about what is happening with your organization.
- Conduct actual performance evaluations and goal setting sessions, taking the time to actually reflect on the performance and give meaningful feedback rather than checking a few boxes, so that you're in compliance with HR.
- Performance evaluations should never be a once-a-year thing. Give regular descriptive feedback that enables employees to act.
- Model goal setting by letting your team know what you are focusing on with respect to improvement.
- Create a culture of continuous improvement where everyone is driven to focus on getting better.
- Focus on their strengths AND recognize what they do well
- By recognizing what employees are doing well you not only reinforce positive behaviors, you improve morale. Everyone wants to hear what they’re doing well!
- Pointing out positive performance reinforces the behaviors we want to see repeated.
- Reinforcing good outcomes energizes employees, thereby creating a more positive work environment
- Develop them!
- Employee development creates a culture of ongoing learning and continuous improvement. What organization can’t use more of that?
- Focusing on helping employees grow shows them your long-term commitment to them and your desire to see them excel.
- When you invest in your employees, they are more engaged and invested in you (see above!)
Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day—donuts and pizza are delicious—just don’t let the acknowledgment end there. By committing to your employees throughout the year, you will build a stronger, more engaged workforce—and a better company in the process.