In the US, they have National Employee Appreciation Day; it falls on the first Friday in March and has been doing so since 1995. During the approaching weeks, business owners and managers all over America are stricken with panic as they have forgotten to make arrangements. Simultaneously, the internet churns out streams of advice on how to show employees that they are appreciated, suggestions include:
Here at P2M HQ, we were asked a couple of times about our plans and how we intended to celebrate the day, but we hadn’t made any. Why?
Because we don’t believe in Employee Appreciation Day. We believe that employee appreciation should be something that is shown every day.
Clearly, recognition is extremely important to us, but we genuinely believe that there is a much better way. Only dedicating one day a year to recognition means loading all the positive feedback, praise and celebrations onto on day. What about the rest of the year? Just like old-fashioned yearly performance reviews, these out-dated practises actually inhibit desired behaviours, as they only bring them up annually. To really reinforce values and behaviour, people need daily reminders.
There are already many bad practices in place in today’s organisations that also have this effect, but recognising every day can help to eliminate them one by one.
Most importantly, Employee Appreciation Day stifles employee’s ability to change, 364 days of resistance is always going to win over one day of free-flow.
Recognition should not be static; it should be fluid, frequent and reinforce your company goals.
Mark is the General Manager of Power2Motivate APAC, delivering world class employee recognition and B2B loyalty programs to a wide range of clients.
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