Appreciating Employees Year-Round

The arrival of Employee Appreciation Day on March 4 serves as a good reminder for internal communications professionals and supervisors to recognize and reward their employees.

Recognizing employees across internal and external platforms can help companies enhance their reputations and recruit and maintain top talent. Here are some ways to ensure employee recognition is a year-round effort:

Be strategic

As with any communications plan, measurable goals and targeted strategies should drive your tactics. Before you begin an employee appreciation initiative or launch a new program, decide what you want your efforts to achieve. Retaining a set percentage of employees, for example, could be your main goal.

Create recognition programs

There is no single approach to employee recognition programs. Think beyond Employee of the Month, and consider programs that resonate with your culture. Programs can range from spot bonuses to platforms that allow employees to nominate each other for annual or quarterly awards.

Don’t forget about the employees who don’t win awards or prizes through your programs. Employee Appreciation Day provides the perfect opportunity to recognize each employee individually. In addition, work with company leaders to set the tone for regularly thanking people for the work they do in emails, meetings and other communications.

Pleasantly surprise employees

Desk drops during prominent holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Employee Appreciation Day – or at random “just because” moments – provide pleasantly unexpected boosts for employees. Desk drops could include gift cards, flowers, handwritten notes from supervisors and more.

To further your message, if you surprise an employee in a heartwarming way, share it externally. A local radio station, for example, provided free tires from Michelin OnSite* to an employee to help him drive home for the holidays and posted about it on Facebook.

Celebrate company milestones

Social events bring people together in a low-stress environment. Whether you broke a record or had a strong financial quarter, celebrate your company’s achievement with a free breakfast or after-work activity that brings employees together to celebrate.

Recognize employees on social media

You can also take your employee recognition external. Show the public how much you love your employees by frequently giving employees shoutouts on social media. You can even target sponsored posts at potential job seekers or leaders with an interest in your company to help boost your reputation with external audiences.

If you have a blog or newsletter, incorporate employee features into your content calendars. Stories do not have to relate to work. Highlighting employees’ volunteer initiatives or lifetime achievements can be just as inspiring as highlighting their achievements in the workplace.

While Employee Appreciation Day happens only once a year, employee appreciation can – and should – be a year-round effort.

*Disclaimer: Michelin OnSite is a Capstrat client.