By William Craig
Do you know when National Employee Appreciation Day is? Here’s an even better question: Does it even matter?
The truth is, employee recognition knows no calendar — it’s an important part of company culture all year long and probably always will be. Here are three reasons why that’s so.
- Recognized Employees Are Happy Employees
Not everybody takes their work home with them, as the old saying goes. However, most of us do take home some of the feelings that come out in the wash while we’re in the office or meeting with clients. Let’s put it this way: Good vibes in the office translate into a happier and more peaceful home life.
When you show your employees that you see and appreciate their efforts — and take the time to demonstrate how much of a measurable impact they’re having on your business and your corner of the world — those employees feel good about what they do and they take those feelings home with them.
Oh, and another thing? Happy employees are on average 12 percent more productive than their less-happy counterparts. Sounds like a win-win.
- Appreciative Leaders Are Appreciated Leaders
One could write a hundred thinkpieces about why trust in the workplace is critical and it still wouldn’t be enough. So let’s say it again: Trusting one another is one of the most valuable commodities we possess.
You might think a proverbial leap of faith is what’s required to build trust — that pesky trust must start somewhere paradigm we’re all familiar with. Put yourself out on a limb, trust your employees and see if that trust is rewarded. Right?
Well — sort of. You don’t have to just fire and forget where trust is concerned — sometimes all you have to do is build a solid foundation for it to thrive. In our case today, that foundation is appreciation.
Yes! You’d be surprised by the degree to which simply thanking your employees fosters an atmosphere of trust. When employees know their efforts contribute to a cause and are noticed by people higher up the food chain, they feel a deeper connection to leadership.
Unsurprisingly, nearly 90 percent of employees who received recognition or thanks from their boss in the past month indicated higher levels of trust in that boss. Among employees who received no recognition, only 48 percent indicated they trusted their higher-ups.
- When Employees Feel Recognized, They Stick Around
For our third and final defense of employee recognition, let’s consider the costs of training a brand-new employee to the point where they can work as confidently and as efficiently as a company veteran.
Sounds exhausting and expensive, doesn’t it? It is. According to some estimates, welcoming a new hire into the fold could cost as much as $3,500 for recruitment and as much as $1,200 and 32 hours per year in ongoing training. All told, a new hire might cost $4,129 and as many as 42 days in lost or compromised productivity. If it sounds like that’s a complication you don’t need, you’re probably right.
When asked why they decided to switch to a different career, the vast majority of employees represented in a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics report indicated they felt either a lack of respect or a lack of autonomy. With a little bit of recognition, you can reverse these trends and keep your talent around for much longer
Commit to Recognition Year-Round
Even today, employee recognition isn’t quite as common, or as celebrated, as it should be. Plenty of managers choose not to make it a priority, either because they’re too busy themselves or because they simply don’t understand why it’s so vital to a thriving workplace.
For the record, National Employee Appreciation Day falls on March 4 each year. Now that you know how easy it can be to emphasize recognition — as well as why it’s so important — you can make every day a time for appreciation.