GUEST BLOG: Employee Appreciation Day: Appreciate employees all year round with reward and recognition
4 March is Employee Appreciation Day – a great opportunity to say an extra “thank you” and make your staff feel valued.
It’s also a chance for HR professionals to think about how to build a stronger culture through the power of appreciation. Especially in today's hybrid working landscape, it's crucial that employees feel that their hard work doesn't go unnoticed.
Hybrid working – a double-edged sword?
Many organisations will continue to offer a mixture of home and office work in the post-COVID-19 world, responding to demands from employees for ways to help them balance their work and personal lives.
But the downside of remote working is loneliness and a lack of connection to colleagues and the wider business. Even in roles where employees have continued to attend their workplace, PPE and social distancing mean that it’s harder to build personal connections than before.
In the current environment employers need to work harder to foster a sense of belonging. You need to show your people that you care, by creating a culture that celebrates success.
Reward and recognition
Employee reward and recognition is a good place to start - we all like the warm glow of being thanked for a job well done. Peer-to-peer recognition has been shown to be especially effective in boosting engagement. When employees recognise each other’s efforts and receive recognition themselves, their sense of purpose and commitment to work improves.
A culture of recognition helps employees to form strong social connections at work; making them happier and healthier, which has a positive impact on their experience at work. As workforces are increasingly remote, it has never been more important to make employees feel like they belong, and are recognised by (and thus and more connected to) their colleagues and the wider business.
These can be everything from cash prizes to a virtual pat on the back. Simple yet effective, awards recognise achievements like exemplifying company values or delivering exceptional customer service. By singling an employee out for praise, they feel like their efforts are appreciated and are likely to keep up the good work.
Likewise, long service awards offer employees the chance to be rewarded for their loyalty to your organisation, increasing retention and employee advocacy.
Using tech to drive effective recognition programmes
An effective recognition programme needs to reflect your current working practices.
Millions of UK workers don’t drive a desk – bus drivers, carers, and factory workers just to name a few. There’s also the growing population of contingency workers and the wider gig economy. So to stay connected to their workforce, employers are turning to tech-driven solutions.
Being enabled for mobile is a key part of this, since people in the UK now check their smartphones, on average, every 12 minutes of the waking day (Source: Ofcom). It’s important to recognise that the way we access information is changing and relying on desktop intranet won’t cut it anymore. For instance, having access to a mobile-enabled recognition platform makes it simple and convenient for employees to recognise a colleague for their hard work, even if both are working remotely and/or on the go.
About Andrew Walker
Andrew has spent the bulk of his career in professional consulting businesses across Reward, HR, Employment Law and H&S where he has specialised in creating executable strategies to deliver revenue growth and drive retention. Now, in his role as Business Development Director at Personal Group, Andrew works with clients to enhance their overall reward and recognition offer, and improve the mental, physical, social and financial wellbeing of their employees.
Find him on LinkedIn here.