Why You Should Still Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Yep. It’s a week away.

We deem the first Friday in the magnificent month of March each year as Employee Appreciation Day.

Those with a cynical point of view believe organizational leaders only do something “cool” for employees on this day to serve their own needs.

That’s why people have asked whether organizations should still celebrate Employee Appreciation Day? 

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What Do Your People Believe About Employee Recognition?

One problematic area to deal with in organizations is the beliefs people hold about employee recognition.

I have long held a three-block process model in my mind. It starts with a block on the left labeled Beliefs. A labeled a middle block called Behaviors. And a last block on the right labeled Results.

It impressed me that to get the results we desire, such as meaningful and effective recognition of employees happening, it all starts with having the right beliefs in the place first.

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Here’s How To Put Your Recognition Plan Into Action

Following the completion of a recognition strategy and planning session, you will have a written recognition action plan to execute.

This is both exciting and daunting as you take on responsibility for implementing your plan.

I will share with you some practical insights that I have seen for putting your recognition plan into action.

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Okay. What Do You Think Is Wrong with Employee Engagement?

When I first met my wife, Irene, it was love at first sight.

Shortly thereafter, I proposed to her in a written letter and we were soon engaged with a ring to be married. This was my pledge to marry her and by her saying “yes” back to me, her agreement to go along with this.

I am pleased to say we have been “happily” married for over 42 years. You see happily placed in quotation marks simply because marriage is hard work. As a typical male, I know I have not always been the easiest person to live with. Both of us have learned to give and take in all aspects of our lives. I also think that in growing in love together, we have each discovered more about ourselves along the way.

With getting married, the term engagement is mostly a short-lived timeframe and is really just a pre-cursor to marriage itself, which is hoped to be a forever experience. 

But maybe as we look at employee engagement, we should take a second look at how well we are engaging people.

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What’s Your Overall Recognition Goal For The Year?

I have always appreciated Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results and the impact it has had on my business and personal life.

This is the principle I will draw upon for guiding you in determining your overall goal for employee recognition in the coming year.

In the very beginning of this book is a lovely quote by American humorist and writer, Josh Billings, which says, “Be like a postage stamp—stick to one thing until you get there.”

And that’s my wish for you, to create an overriding one-year goal that acts as a purpose statement to help reach every subgoal and objective that you have.

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A New Year Is Just Around The Recognition Corner

Here’s a scary reality from the latest trends in Human Resources. First off is that 53 percent of HR professionals have seen an increase in turnover in the past year. That sounds like it might be a lot of people!

Already in America the number of monthly resignations is near all-time highs.

Other research suggests 40 percent of workers are planning to leave their jobs in the next year. The media is calling it the Great Resignation.

Which means those of us in the recognition profession need to support leaders in retaining and motivating our fellow workers. Here are some ways to get in gear for recognition in 2022.

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Where Should I Focus My Time On Improving Recognition At Work

You know your organization has an employee recognition problem.

The last employee engagement survey showed an average of 64 percent for all the recognition statements on the survey. Participation levels with the usage of your online recognition programs are inconsistent with leaders and employees across the organization. 

Open-ended feedback from employees tells you that many employees just don’t feel valued and appreciated. 

Something has to change. Where do you begin? 

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Does Having a Written Recognition Strategy Really Make Any Difference?

Apparently, some people question the need for a written recognition strategy. These are some things individuals responsible for recognition ask.

  • What benefit does an organization have with a recognition strategy over other organizations that don’t have one?
  • How does a recognition strategy really help me?
  • Does having a recognition strategy make any difference? 

Sure, you can live without having a recognition strategy. But I will always strongly endorse the need for having one. Following are my reasons why.

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Your One-Year Goal Will Guide Everything You Do With Recognition

There are various stages you pass through when using our recognition strategy approach. First, is crafting of a fitting recognition purpose and philosophy statement that is just right for your organization. 

Then comes the identifying of the areas you have to focus on following a recognition assessment. All organizations have strengths and weaknesses. Know where to need to focus your energies to improve recognition practices and programs really helps. 

But before you identify those focus points, there is one important thing you have to do. You need to declare what your overall guiding objective is to improve the quality of recognition for the year ahead. 

Having articulated what this goal is will help your organizational leaders know what you should all be shooting for. And it helps you personally with an additional criterion point to use in making decisions. 

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Recognition Does Not Really Improve Employee Engagement…So There!

I know.

How dare I pronounce such heretic claims!

Many in the recognition industry parlay about what people “said,” or what others have “seen,” on one survey or another, suggesting to the world that recognition improves employee engagement.

Some consultancy firms indicate where recognition “occurs,” whatever that means, that organizations have better employee engagement as well as improved key performance metrics. Recognition industry vendors indicate how many managers or employees “say” recognition made so many things totally awesome, such as employee engagement.

But what “people say” on a survey is not exactly sufficient proof.

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