We the Partnership

How to make Employee Appreciation Day last all year

By Martha Reilly | March 1, 2019

Writing thank you notes, passing out treats and making a speech are all wonderful ways to help employees feel valued on Employee Appreciation Day. But when March 1 ends, expressions of appreciation and recognition should not.

Here are tips to make your workers feel appreciated all year long:

1. Show you care about their professional development.

Supervisors should feel invested in their employees’ improvement. Suggest a panel discussion they might find interesting, send them a link to a webinar that could improve their skills or encourage them to attend a conference. Alert your employees to growth opportunities, such as the Partnership’s leadership programs. When your employees improve, your organization improves, too.

2. Create opportunities for employees to offer feedback—and adjust the workplace accordingly.

Don’t administer a survey just to fulfill a requirement or to appear interested in employees’ opinions. Explain why you’re gathering feedback and why you value their insights about particular topics. When people know that honest responses can influence the organization, they will feel more compelled to respond openly to questions about what you’re doing well and how you can enhance their experiences.

3. Promote comprehensive wellness.

Demanding the best from your employees is a natural part of being a manager. But so is making sure they’re not overworked. Are certain employees repeatedly leaving the office when it’s dark outside and coming in the next morning before the sun rises? Don’t just recognize them for their commitment—make sure they’re okay. If they seem stressed, advocate for their needs and relieve them of some responsibilities if possible. Offer employees access to healthy snacks or even a spot where they can step away from their computers to sit quietly and reflect. Checking in on others’ wellness may not be listed explicitly in your job description, but it’s the right thing to do.

You may say thank you this Employee Appreciation Day, but make sure your year-round actions back up those words. Remember that recognizing your employees does not have to break the bank. You have many ways to show employees you value them, and your attentiveness to their challenges and concerns is a major one.

Continue following the Partnership’s blog to see how we recognize federal employees and check in on our social media to see how we observe Public Service Recognition Week this May 5-11.

Martha Reilly is a former intern on the Partnership’s Communications team.