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Essential Employee Appreciation in 2021

March 4, 2021

This O.C. Tanner video captures why 2021 must absolutely be the year for employee appreciation.

What does ‘appreciation’ look like in your culture?

Our geeky and creative team believes it’s important to celebrate this appreciation concept more than just one day. Regular social gatherings and saying thank you with a team lunch was a pretty regular occurrence.

You just can’t beat the combo of delicious food, good conversation, and a break to step away from the work demands to get to know the people you’re working side by side with.

Working – and celebrating – side by side looks and feels a lot different this year than ever before.

Whether you’re working from home or socially distancing in your workplace, the ways we can come together to acknowledge each others’ strengths and contributions is limited in 2021.

It’s also been one of the TOUGHEST years for many individuals as we navigated a mix of work life changes on top of a whole lot of home life changes. Job security uncertainty, technology struggles, health concerns, virtual learning for all the kids at home, loneliness, exhaustion … the list goes on. For many, the lines between home life and work life were completely demolished.

So, the big question is what can you do to show your employees how much you appreciate them for showing up and doing their best while continuing to carry all this other stress on their back?

The answer: you ask!

And, you make appreciation personal. This 4 Ways To Crush Employee Appreciation Day article by Forbes shares:

Based on the results of the 2021 Global Culture Report, a recent study of over 40,000 employees across 20 countries, 70% of employees say recognition is most meaningful to them when it is personalized. If there was ever a time for an authentic expression of personal appreciation to employees, this is it. A handwritten note recognizing an individual’s sacrifices, contributions and successes during 2020 is something that will be kept and remembered for years.

To support your appreciation efforts, here’s a mix of other great ideas for employee appreciation regardless of the time of year. These ideas don’t have to take a ton of time or dollars. But, it does require intention and action!

  1. A personalized handwritten thank you
  2. Give them some time (a wellness day or shorter work day)
  3. Start a recognition program (homegrown or check out the mix of tools/services out there: O.C. Tanner, Blueboard)
  4. Reward them with a gift card delivery or doorstep drop of something you know they’ll enjoy
  5. Provide additional professional development for learning and growth
  6. Offer a challenge or give them the choice of a special/personal project to move the company forward
  7. Consider other ways to promote a healthy culture (Skies the limit here: add/expand mental health support programming, improve communication processes or enhance team check-ins, or start planning your Markey digital signage culture newsfeed!)