Did you know that National Employee Appreciation Day is March 4? Given the last couple of years we've experienced, this presents a good opportunity to check in with your employees and thank them for all that they do. It’s also the perfect chance to think outside the box for thoughtful gifts, fun activities, and meaningful experiences.
Your company’s brand can guide you in developing an effective employee appreciation strategy, which is more than just making sure the correct logo is on a coffee mug. In anything you do for your employees, the message should be consistent with your company mission, culture, and your brand’s personality. For example, if your company has a commitment to protect the environment you could offer employees an incentive to bike, carpool, or take a bus to work. That is employee appreciation done brand-right.
While pizza parties and branded merchandise are always appreciated, let's think bigger. What else can you do to thank your staff? The lists below contain thought-starters to brainstorm a meaningful and branded recognition strategy for this employee appreciation day, or any other day of the year.
Whether your staff is still working remotely or not, they will appreciate a team-building or fun group experience where they can socialize with their coworkers again. Teams calls are just not the same as a group of people doing an activity together. Again, think within the guidelines of your brand and culture. At Phase 3, we like good food and some healthy competition so we are hosting a chili cook-off in each of our offices with the overall grand prize winner to be chosen by our president, Ken Holsclaw. Here are some other ideas to get your wheels turning:
- Paint and sip party
- “Zoom” cocktail class
- Catered picnic lunch
- Trivia night at the local pub
- Surprise warm cookies and ice cream social
Sometimes a gift is more meaningful when it’s a gift of service to someone else. Helping others in need is such a morale boost and team builder. If there is a charitable organization that your company already supports, reach out to them to see if they have an employee engagement program. Another approach is to find an organization with a mission like yours. For example, a software company might choose to support a nonprofit dedicated to helping girls learn about STEM careers. If your brand embraces service to others or social responsibility, these ideas should resonate with your staff:
- Plan a quarterly volunteer day to build a playground or clean up a park.
- Hold a "match day" when the company pledges to match any donation an employee gives or collects from others.
- Host a canned food drive to feed those in need. (Phase 3 employees donated over 15,000 meals in 2021 with their donations!)
- Adopt a local elementary school where employees can volunteer to read each week.
Thoughtful Work Gifts
Employees spend one-third (or more) of their time at work and we, as employers, want to ensure that employees feel appreciated and that their role in the company is valued. Simple gestures, like the ones below, go a long way with employees and endear them to the company and your brand.
- Send a handwritten thank you note on an employee’s anniversary date, thanking them for their service.
- Create and promote a peer-to-peer recognition program.
- Gift every new employee with branded items such as t-shirts or backpacks so they can show their company pride right away.
- Showcase employee promotions on your company’s LinkedIn page or other social channels.
Whether it’s for one day or all year long, smart business owners and leaders know that encouraging employees to engage with your brand culture every day is critical to success. Employees who feel appreciated and connected to your company brand are motivated to work harder because they feel a sense of purpose and unity.
If you need to better define your brand, develop an employee engagement strategy or curate a show-stopping new hire kit, Phase 3 can help. Connect with us today.