Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

Why every day should be National Employee Appreciation Day at your office

Thank youBy Lisa Sterling, Chief People Officer, Ceridian

If you want your business to reach its full potential in terms of human capital, nurturing talent is obviously your #1 priority. It’s not just about recruiting the best possible people (though that certainly helps!) – it’s also about teaching, developing, and giving them opportunities and an environment to be engaged. By doing these things you can have a profound impact on your people.

One of the ways to drive better engagement of your employees is to simply show your appreciation for the work they do. If your employees feel like you care about them, are invested in their well-being and recognize their efforts, you will have a great affect on their happiness at work – and thus create a more engaged and more motivated workforce.

This week is the perfect time for you to stop and look at what you and others do to show appreciation to your people. After all, Employee Appreciation Day nationwide is this Friday. At Ceridian, we’re celebrating this event throughout all of our offices all week long.

This week is full of extras. An “extra” day of the year and an extra special day to recognize your employees. But as we plan our events a bigger question comes into play here –how can we make appreciating our people something that just happens naturally and continuously? Now I am not suggesting a formal HR program dictated to all leaders but a natural, genuine sharing of appreciation when a job is well done.

Recognition is the missing link
If you’re looking for a way to jump-start employee engagement at your organization, showing more appreciation just might be the ticket,, according to All Business. Maria Elena Duron, a marketing coach at Know, Like and Ignite, told the news source that it’s often the missing link between talent and real business success.

“More often than not, the missing piece of a successful recognition equation is appreciation – the subjective aspect of recognition,” Duron noted. “It’s about enjoying the good qualities of employees and the work they do. Without it, objective recognition can seem hollow and merely another job on the to-do list.”

Giving small awards or perks, or simply saying “thank you!” to an employee, can have a bigger effect than you think.

Everyone needs different strokes
It’s important to note, however, that not every employee likes being appreciated in the same ways. It’s important to understand what is important to them and then personalize your approach. For instance, some people might love receiving a $25 gift card as a token of gratitude from their manager, while others might want an extra day off. As Duron sees it, the key is to find which different strokes work for which folks.

The easiest way to determine how your people like to be appreciated is to simply ask. While you may not always be able to cater to their specific request, you at least know what gets them excited. But don’t delay sending that thank you note or recognizing them at the next team meeting. Showing appreciation is never a bad idea even if you don’t know exactly what the person wants. Show appreciation every day!

With Employee Appreciation Day coming up this Friday, there’s no better time to show your employees you care than right now. Provide them some cookies, send them a note or have a little breakfast to say thank you. But remember, just because the day is over doesn’t mean showing your appreciation is over. This should become a natural part of your role as a leader, colleague and friend every day. The best companies are great because they know this and practice it every day of the year. Not just once a year.

Are you on your way to being a great organization or already there? Is this how you lead appreciation? If not, how can you do better in the coming year?

Lisa SterlingAs EVP and Chief People Officer for Ceridian, Lisa has a dual responsibility for Ceridian’s overall global people and HR strategies as well as overseeing the product vision and strategy for Dayforce Talent Management.

 Prior to joining Ceridian, Lisa served as a Partner and Technology Solutions Leader for Mercer’s Talent Solutions business.  Lisa also served in both a product and people strategist role at Ultimate Software as Head of People Engagement.  As a Partner at Kenexa – an IBM company – she led the design and deployment efforts of the organization’s performance, succession and career development solution.  She’s currently a Human Capital Executive Research Board Member and sought after speaker on various talent management topics.

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