The glaring truth behind appreciation in the office

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Employee Appreciation Day is on March 6, which means it’s time for employers to start thinking of ways to show their employees that their work is appreciated.

Whether it’s surprising workers with an unexpected day off or giving them a small gift, employers should pay attention to their workers, especially since more than half of workers don’t feel they receive the same appreciation as clients get, according to a new study.

Snappy, a corporate gift company used by numerous large companies, released a new study revealing that 65% of employees feel their company puts more resources toward engaging clients than its own team members. The survey, which compiled data from more than 1,000 men and women in the US workforce, found that 8 out of 10 employees said receiving a gift or a simple thank you note from their employer would make them want to do a better job at work.

Recognition is key in the workplace. Every employee wants to hear their employer tell them they did a good job, some more than others. For more than a quarter of respondents, the last time they heard recognition in the office was within the past two weeks, according to the survey. Twenty-two percent of respondents said they heard good things from their boss with the past month.

But not everyone is so lucky to hear pleasantries from their employers. Eleven percent of respondents said they received recognition with the past year, while 14% of respondents admitted they haven’t heard anything in over a year.

What does your company recognize you for?

Happy Birthday? Happy Holidays? How about a pat on the back?

More than half of respondents said their company most often compliments them for one-offs — or a job well done. Birthdays were the second most popular response (47%) followed by anniversary milestones (37%), holidays (30%), and peer-to-peer (29%).

Life events, such as getting married or having a baby, were the last reason why a company recognizes an employee.

Lack of appreciation was also one of the main reasons why workers quit their jobs. Thiry-six percent of respondents said not receiving appreciation was why they left their job. Lack of opportunity for growth and development was the most popular response (45%), while toxic company culture, bad manager, compensation rounded out the top five.

And of course, giving your workers a gift is a good way to show appreciation, as well.

“One of the most effective ways to show appreciation among employees is to recognize their hard work and dedication with a thoughtful gift and nice note,” said Hani Goldstein, Snappy Gifts CEO. “Although many companies perceive recognition as a costly nice-to-have, it’s an absolutely necessary investment to attract and retain the finest talent.”

Ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Bonusly laid out a few ideas for companies to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. In a blog post, the platform listed ways to make your employees feel appreciated on March 5. Here’s what they had to suggest:

Volunteer: Volunteering can help boost employee morale while also encouraging employees to work together. Look toward a homeless shelter or a senior living community. It also helps introduce new members to the team.

Play games and socialize: Another ice breaker-type experiment that can encourage team bonding, whether through a scavenger hunt to team-based office Olympics. It can even bring out sides of employees that were unknown before due to the competition.

Swag bags: Give them swag they actually want. Gift cards to restaurants or coffee shops are a good start. Maybe even a new water bottle with your company’s logo, too.

Great creative: How about a paint-and-sip night? Workshops like cooking or other hobbies can let employees focus on something different while having something to show for it.

Lunch: A catered lunch with activities afterward.

Happy hour: Socializing and seeing employees out of the office can help breakdown some office barriers.

Field trip: Museums, parks, brewery, etc… Anything is better than sitting in the office.