Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday of March. It was originally created to strengthen the bond between employer and employee. It pretty much does what it says on the tin! It’s a day for companies to thank their staff for all their hard work and effort during the year.
Whilst it’s important to recognise Employee Appreciation Day, it’s also essential to show gratitude throughout the rest of the year. Afterall, if you only thank your employees once a year, are they truly going to feel valued? Plus, if you’re looking to build a culture of recognition, there needs to be a mutual sharing of appreciation up and down the organisation on a regular basis. It’s also important to not only show appreciation for the work employees do, but for who they are as people and the different qualities they bring to your team.
We have numerous different ways to show our appreciation for one another at the nest. From James, our Managing Director, thanking us at the end of the day for all our hard work or celebrating our birthdays together with some tasty treats – we understand a little goes a long way!
Thanking someone for their hard work may sound strange or insignificant to some, but to James it’s a meaningful part of the day. When I asked him why it was important to him, he said: “Firstly I am extremely grateful for all the effort, commitment and work that each of the Swans put in every day. They are all awesome and all extremely special in their own individual way. From gathering data, to working queries and signing contracts, they all play an important part at Indigo Swan and they are all responsible for the success we have had over the last 10 years. They are my extended family. I love coming to work every day and when I thank them, it is for the work they do, but it is also for what they bring to the culture and to me and my life personally.”
“A culture and a world class Employee Engagement is started with a vision and core values but is developed and lived every day by each member of your team. For me the Swans work hard as they are proud to say they are a Swan and proud of what the company is achieving. If I can make them aware of my gratitude each day with two simple words, then I want to do that, every day without fail. The 4 most important words I say each day are Good Morning and Thank You and most importantly I mean it. How many MDs can say that?” he continued. Personally, I think knowing you are doing a great job is one thing, but to hear others say it out loud adds a different meaning.
Once a quarter we have what we like to call ‘Swan Socials’. It’s is a time for the whole team to come together and take part in an activity. Employees nominate themselves to organise an event for the whole company, and so far, we have been cocktail making, held sports days, organised picnics, days out by the river… even laser tag! It’s an opportunity for all the Swans to spend some time together outside of the nest and have a bit of fun. It’s another of the ways we like to show our appreciation for all the hard work the Swans do! It also helps colleague relationships into friendships.
We also like to praise each other for the things we do outside of the nest. Lots of the Swans take part in running competitions and there’s always a flock of Swans waiting at the finish line to cheer each other on. There’s nothing more motivating then seeing some friendly faces after pushing yourself to run a race! Plus, the beers in the pub afterwards to celebrate make it even more worthwhile.
Birthdays in at the nest are always celebrated. We all donate some money and the lucky team member whose birthday it is gets to choose the present they’d like for their big day and some tasty treats for us all to share. We also celebrate ‘Swanniversaries’. Whether you’ve been at the nest for a 1 year, 3 or 10 – each milestone is recognised and cherished. Continuing that theme, we celebrate our best months by sharing lunch together – we all love going to a local restaurant for celebratory pizza to congratulate one another for another month well done.
Recently we’ve introduced ‘Swan of the Month’. James, Aimee and Tom each nominate a Swan they feel deserves special recognition. It could be that they have gone above and beyond, exceeded their targets or gone out of their way to do something for a customer. The rest of the Swans vote for who they think should be crowned the champ and we celebrate their success together.
These are just a few of the ways we like to show our appreciation. Rewarding employees doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. It could be a thank you card on someone’s desk or simply closing slightly early on a Friday if you’ve had a good month. There are so many ways to show appreciation. The list is endless but it’s all about finding what works for you, your business but most importantly employees.
Head of Marketing