Learning & Development

Employee Appreciation Day 2023

Hopefully, employers, HR pros, and managers are aware that March 3, 2023 (and the first Friday in March each year), is Employee Appreciation Day. In a labor market where employee demand is outstripping supply in many sectors, it’s particularly important to keep staff engaged and retained.

Showing some appreciation is a simple and effective way to do just that. While that shouldn’t happen only once a year, this annual event is an important reminder of the power of recognition!

History of Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day was created in part as a marketing gimmick by Dr. Bob Nelson in 1995. Nelson was one of the founding members of Recognition Professionals International, and the day was originally created to mark the publication of Nelson’s book 1001 Ways to Reward Employees. He worked with his publishing company, Workman Publishing, to launch the day of recognition and get Employee Appreciation Day on office calendars, helping spread awareness and acceptance of the observance.

Goal of Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day aims to demonstrate appreciation for the support and hard work of employees across all industries and organizations. Businesses depend on their workers, and those workers value and appreciate being recognized for their contributions. What’s more, workers who feel appreciated tend to be more engaged and productive than those who don’t.

Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

There are many ways to recognize employees on Employee Appreciation Day, such as bringing in food and snacks or taking the team to lunch or happy hour. Some employers distribute gift cards as prizes or bonuses, while others organize games or other fun activities to promote teambuilding and a sense of belonging. Still others simply give staff the day off!

Whatever organizations do to celebrate, the most important thing is to keep the meaning of the day in mind and express gratitude for everything employees do.

Employee Appreciation Day may come just once per year, but employee appreciation itself should be year-round!

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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