Today is Employee Appreciation Day – an unofficial annual observance celebrated every year since 1995. If I thought for a second our team would wear these t-shirts, I’d order them lightening fast on Amazon Prime. I won’t torture them in that way, but I do think they are a big deal. I couldn’t imagine operating without their expertise, creativity and steadfast dedication to getting s#*% done (which just happens to be one of HighGround’s everyday values.)
According to research, simply telling employees you appreciate them is important. In 1946 the Labor Relations Institute of New York conducted the first survey of what employees want from the workplace. The study has been repeated the last 70 years and the results remain the same. Employees want “Full appreciation for work done” more than anything else. They want to feel they’re appreciated, which means managers need to step up to the task.
In his book, “Drive”, Daniel Pink said, “External rewards extinguish intrinsic motivation, diminish performance, crush creativity, crowd out good behavior, encourage cheating, become addictive and foster short-term thinking.” It might sound extreme, but if you speak from the heart and let the employee know they matter to you it is WAY more meaningful than a gift card or ugly t-shirt.
While this unofficial holiday is my opportunity to share some thoughts about the importance expressing gratitude toward employees, it shouldn’t be limited to a once-a- year event.
The pizza party during lunch was nice, but it is much nicer to see my colleagues recognizing one another for good work every day. I learn about innovative and exceptional work happening in other departments that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. It’s also extra special when I see HighGround customers call attention to our employees for their helpfulness and going the extra mile.
As my colleague Kelly Kitchen reminded me today, Vince Lombardi once said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” To my marketing team and the greater HighGround crew – Thank you, today and everyday!