Employee Appreciation Day is Every Day

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By Erin Miller, People Coach at The Motley Fool

Did you know that yesterday, March 4th, was Employee Appreciation Day? That’s one ENTIRE day out of three hundred and sixty-five where bosses say, “Hey, I appreciate you!” Forbes describes this as “the workplace equivalent of Valentine’s Day,” but I’d probably be more inspired if Employee Appreciation Day didn’t remind me of performance reviews. I frequently learn of companies taking advantage of these employee-centered days to express feedback instead of sincere appreciation. I recently heard a Google executive comment, “What if FitBit sent you an email at the end of the year with your step count…would that really change your behavior?”

What if Employee Appreciation Day was celebrated every day – and not just on one Friday in March? Many companies are already doing this, including mine – The Motley Fool! A few years back, feedback circulated that Fools (yep, that’s what we call our employees!) were not feeling recognized or rewarded for hard work. We already had special honors in place like Founders’ Awards, but those weren’t enough. For Fools to truly feel appreciated and inspired, we realized that rewards needs to be timely and specific.

That’s when we brought in a third party platform called YouEarnedIt to help Fools spread company-wide recognition. It’s important that bosses recognize employees, but peer recognition matters, too. At any given moment, you can go to the homepage and see all the “GOLD” Fools are gifting. A few messages on our YouEarnedIt feed include:

* “Thank you for being an excellent partner on this side of desk project. We make a good team.”

* “Thanks for stepping in to get the XYZ stuff up and running yesterday—I was swamped!”

* “Thank you for being chill and giving me the answer I needed in my moment of ultimate frustration.”

* “Fools, I love it when someone decides to praise another Fool’s work in a meeting. And I love it when that Fool deserves the praise. Fool A, thanks for the former. Fool B, thanks for your work onboarding new members.”

Whew – does that make you feel good or what?! Now, imagine seeing these messages a few times a week or, better yet, being able to send them WHENEVER YOU WANT! As quoted in Globoforce’s blog, “the most important job element for all people is appreciation for their work!”

So let today kick off employee appreciation for every day of the year – not just March 4th! There are many platforms out there – YouEarnedIt, Globoforce, Bonus.ly, etc., – the list goes on! Consider researching one for your organization – we at The Fool can attest to the difference that public reward and recognition can make for employee happiness!

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