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Recognizing the skills and talents of your employees should be an ongoing activity, not just reserved for one day out of the year. However, much like Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity to do something special for the person you love, National Employee Appreciation Day is an excellent occasion to show your employees that you value the work that they do.

National Employee Appreciation Day is the first Friday of March every year; even if you don’t have a large budget to throw a lavish party or buy expensive gifts, you can still celebrate in small, thoughtful ways.

1. Write thank-you notes.

Sometimes a simple “thank you” is worth more than any gift you can buy. Write each of your employees a sincere note expressing your gratitude for their hard work. Tell them specifically what they bring to the team and thank them for their contributions.

2. Give a little indulgence.

Along with your thank-you note, include a small gift card for a treat each employee would enjoy. For example, buy a gift certificate for the local coffee shop for the caffeine addict, one for the video rental store for the movie buff, one for the bookstore for the avid reader. These are small tokens, but they show that you know your employees well and care enough to make a little extra effort.

3. Buy lunch.

Pick up the tab for a staff lunch out, or order in some delicious take-out and have a leisurely lunch in the employee lounge. Take the opportunity to relax and spend time with your employees outside of your normal work environment.

4. Give the gift of time.  

In honor of National Employee Appreciation Day, give your staff the afternoon off or offer time off in the future. Present employees with a gift certificate good for a day of working from home, an extra day of vacation or an extended lunch break.

How do you show appreciation for your employees? Share your ideas in the comments.  Are your employee development plans designed with the employee uppermost?

Learn more about EDSI’s Leading With Credibility course.

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