Creating a Culture of Recognition

Your employees are the best. They are. You know it and Dr. Bob knows it. That’s THE Dr. Bob Nelson, who, in 1995, created National Employee Appreciation Day. How did employees get recognized before 1995? No one knows. They worked hard, went home, cloned a sheep and watched an episode of Friends, no branded water bottles or free lunches in sight.

Dr. Bob created National Employee Appreciation Day to celebrate the publication of his book, 1,001 Ways to Reward Employees. It also served as a reminder to employers to recognize their team when they do good work. Seems obvious, right? Evidently, Dr. Bob did his dissertation on why managers do or do not recognize their employees. The result of all this dissertating was his book and Employee Appreciation Day. And with the help of Dr. Bob, thousands of companies started creating a culture of recognition.

Recognizing your employees is a good idea for so many reasons. In the vein of stating things that seem obvious, here’s a few: Appreciated employees are happy employees, which translates to increased productivity and improved performance. In addition, valued employees are loyal employees. They stick around. And they likely tell their friends, which improves the reputation of the company as having a good culture and increases the company’s ability to attract talent. Boom.

So, what can you do to show employees appreciation? From parties to paid bonuses, you have a lot of options. If you’re not sure the best way to show appreciation, ask the employees themselves. In fact, getting to know your team is a great way to ensure you reward them in a way that is meaningful to them. Sure, they may ask for a rooftop bar or a puppy nap room, but it could be they just want a few hours off to spend with their families. So, go ahead and ask. And if all they can come up with is cat and pajama day (or worse yet Cat Pajama day), here are a few options: throw a party, order food, throw a party WITH food, provide extra time off, or offer merch, gift cards or cash. The opportunities to say THANK YOU are endless.

In summary, show your employees some love. It’s good for them, it’s good for you, it’s good for the company. Get them a kitten, or maybe a branded insulated mug. Just find a way to show your appreciation. We have a lot of unappreciated time to make up for.