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7 Affordable Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Get ready, HR professionals, because Employee Appreciation Day is March 5! While you should be recognizing and appreciating your employees throughout the entire year, this day is the perfect time to go the extra mile and show your employees that you care. Check out some of our favorite ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with options that won’t break your recognition budget.

employee appreciation day

1. Volunteer Day

Surveys show that a workplace that encourages and even organizes ways for employees to volunteer can help improve employee morale and the overall workplace atmosphere. Yet, many employees find it’s difficult to volunteer simply because they can’t find the time. This Employee Appreciation Day, organize a day dedicated to volunteering. You can find hundreds of volunteer opportunities, both remote and safely in person, via Volunteer Match. From there, choose to volunteer as one organization or give employees the day to volunteer in their own individual ways.

2. Remote Game Day

Inject some fun into your Employee Appreciation Day celebrations! Organize a remote game day that allows employees to stay safe, yet still socialize and compete against their coworkers. Trivia, bingo, or online games like JackBox are all great ways to kick off a virtual game day with employees. Don’t forget some fun prizes too!

3. Personalized Gift Bags

Show your appreciation with a fun and personalized gift bag that shows your employees you care. If your budget allows it, you can outsource this option, but filling and delivering gift bags yourself is also a fun option that allows you to interact with your employees and say hi in person. At PerkSpot, we went for this option ourselves! Gift bags filled with toys for children or pets, plus branded items and tasty snacks were delivered safely by hand to PerkSpotters and proved to be quite the hit!

4. An Appreciation Video

At the core of it, Employee Appreciation Day is about saying thank you. Do so with a fun video compiled of your leadership team delivering some personalized thank yous to their team members and other employees. Us PerkSpotters tried this idea out to great success! We gathered via Zoom to watch the video together and employees chatted about the various fun, appreciative, and kind words for days to come.

5. Floating Day Off

Every employee appreciates a day to themselves. This year, surprise employees with the opportunity to take a day off at a time that works for them. This is both a way to show appreciation for employees. Plus, it gives helpful encouragement to practice self-care for employees struggling with their work/life balance.

6. Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Employee appreciation shouldn’t just come from leadership! Encourage employees of every level to provide recognition and appreciation for their fellow coworkers, managers, and team members. This kind of recognition is incredibly effective as well. Reports show peer-to-peer recognition is 36% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than recognition that only comes from the top. Plus, studies show 44% of employees will offer peer recognition with an easy tool that allows them to do so. Psst—PerkSpot’s Reward & Recognition platform easily allows for peer recognition!

7. Personalized Recognition

Simply providing recognition via gift cards is a popular choice for employers who want to tie a monetary reward to their recognition. However, why not go the extra step to personalize your recognition? Make it feel customized for each employee by offering them monetary recognition that can be redeemed on a gift card of their choice! With PerkSpot’s Reward & Recognition program, employers can send a value of their choice that employees can redeem on more than 200 different gift cards, from travel to experiences and local favorites to nationwide brands. Plus, PerkSpot’s R&R Program includes options like sending non-monetary recognition and adding a personalized note to the employee’s reward, where the sender can explain what specific actions an employee is being rewarded for.

Employee Appreciation Day is a wonderful day to remind your employees that you recognize and value their hard work. This year, try one of these great and affordable options that will show your appreciation. Plus, if you’re interested in offering your employees even more this Employee Appreciation Day, fill out a form and learn how you can partner with PerkSpot to give your recognition efforts a boost!

Recognizing Employees During COVID-19

Even in the best of times, HR directors understand the importance of employee recognition in the workplace. It can improve motivation and productivity. Plus, studies report that a lack of acknowledgment for employees’ hard work can make them twice as likely to leave their jobs as their more often-recognized counterparts. But now, more than ever, recognition is a necessity in the workplace, not only to improve output and reduce turnover, but more importantly, to reinforce to your employees that you are supporting them in these trying times.

recognition

So, what are the best ways to recognize your employees right now? Keep reading to check out some of our favorite recognition methods!

1. Public Recognition

During non-pandemic times, your company probably announced recognition to teams, departments, or company-wide, depending on your company’s structure. But now, that kind of announcement may be much more difficult to achieve. If you’re impressed by an employee’s work and you want to acknowledge it, look to other channels your company uses. For example, a short message explaining the situation and how your employee rose to the challenge can be sent via an email, Slack, or ping. Not right for your company? Try posting it to a special section of your company’s intranet or to a common employee area like the break room! As more posts of recognition build up, you’ll notice a similar increase in employee motivation and appreciation.

2. Treat Them

At PerkSpot, team lunches and outings are a common occurrence and were regularly scheduled to celebrate a job well done on a tough project or a successful quarter. While we can’t get together in person to share our successes these days, it’s still possible to virtually come together and acknowledge each employees’ contributions! Try treating a team, or dedicated group of employees, to a lunch they can have delivered to their own homes. Then, encourage them to hop on a Zoom call to eat and celebrate together! For those of you who are still seeing their employees in person, an action like putting out treats in the break room or other communal areas is a great way to show recognition! Small treats like individually wrapped candy, which are sanitizable, are a great way to accomplish this while still staying safe and healthy.

3. Offer Future PTO

Hard work from our employees has never been appreciated more than these days, especially from the essential workers who are helping keep many important businesses open and running when we need them most. To show recognition for the renewed commitment employees are showing to your company, offer them opportunities to take PTO in the future! While they may not have an opportunity to take a day off right now, they’ll definitely enjoy some rest and relaxation after things have calmed down more.

4. Send Thank You Notes

There is something about a thank you note that feels more genuine than many other types of recognition we receive. Are you still regularly seeing employees in person and want to send them a special thanks for their hard work? A short note of appreciation can go a long way! If both you and your employees are working remotely, a physical thank you note can be more difficult to achieve. Opt for an e-card instead, so you can still include a personalized note while upholding social distancing limitations.

5. Encourage Peer-To-Peer Recognition

Did you know 86 percent of employees feel more connected to their colleagues when they give recognition? At a time when employees are not seeing each other face-to-face as often, peer-to-peer recognition can fill the gap and help create a sense of connectedness among your workforce. Encourage employees to recognize their coworkers when they lend a helping hand or notice them going above and beyond with a quick email or note! Though the action seems small, any employee will appreciate the effort.

6. Offer Rewards Through a Recognition Program

At PerkSpot, we believe so strongly in employee recognition that we developed a program so any company can do it! With PerkSpot’s Rewards & Recognition program, managers can recognize employees by sending them a personalized note of thanks, plus rewards credits, which they can then redeem in our Gift Card Store, which houses more than 150 gift cards from top brands! We know the positive impact a monetary reward can have on employees, especially when it comes in the form of a gift card. In addition, this allows employees to save money on essential items at a time when they need it most. Plus, until June 30, PerkSpot is waiving all fees associated with our Rewards & Recognition program! If you’re interested, click here to request a demo and learn more about how you can recognize employees today!

Recognition is important for employees all year round, but there is no better time to be pursuing a recognition method for your employees than right now. Let them know you’re thinking of them in these hard times and sending your appreciation for their hard work and commitment when they need it most. Get started with one of these great suggestions!

Tips for Employee Recognition

As we explore what it means to build a better workplace, we can’t help but dedicate some time to employee recognition. Recognizing employees should be an integral part of any workplace, so here are some tips for employee recognition that are quick and easy to implement.
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Get Social

One of the easiest ways to recognize employees is by utilizing your social media channels. There are 2.62 billion people in the world who use social media. Chances are, the majority of your employees are included in this number. What better way to show your appreciation than by posting it publicly in the channels that they already visit throughout the week? Celebrate your employees on your social channels – it’s free and easy.

Stretch Their Paycheck

At PerkSpot, we love being in the business of stretching paychecks. Of course, you might be thinking we do this in the form of exclusive discounts, but we’ve also launched a recognition program that makes recognition practical and meaningful. Managers or peers can send an email recognizing an employee for a job well done along with credits to spend at our Gift Card store. It doesn’t have to be a million dollars to be meaningful. Even $5 can make someone smile and enjoy their favorite cup of coffee in the morning.

Recognize Their Strengths

As we state in our Ultimate Guide to Build a Better Workplace, 60% of employees believe that working for a place that enables them to use their strengths is very important to them. At PerkSpot, we understand the value that comes with recognizing an employees’ strengths. That’s why one of our milestone recognition programs comes in the form of sabbaticals. After an employee reaches a three-year tenure at PerkSpot, they get two weeks off and a small stipend to grow professionally and advance their skills. This may not be the most obvious form of recognition, but it’s definitely impactful.

Embrace Your Culture

Each Friday at PerkSpot we celebrate the week with beers and cheers. It fits our culture and reminds us all that one of our core values is to “Have Fun”. As a bonus, we also choose one PerkSpotter as a “PerkSpot Super Star” where they are recognized for their achievements that week and given a gigantic blue trophy along with some extra cash to spend in our R&R platform. This casual atmosphere works really well for our culture and makes recognition easy to remember. Find what works for your company and make sure your recognition aligns with your values and your culture.

What are some ways you’ve implemented recognition at your company? We’d love to hear your tips for employee recognition.

the ultimate guide to a better workplace

The One Thing HR Leaders Do Every Day

You might be in the middle of Open Enrollment Season. You could also be working on some new initiatives for 2019. Maybe you’re ramping up for annual performance reviews. We get it. As HR professionals, you are busy.

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In the midst of the chaos and day-to-day tasks that inevitably take over, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s truly important. That’s why we’re taking a time-out to discuss the one thing great HR leaders do every day, no matter what might come their way.

The one thing great HR leaders do every day is build relationships.

You’re in the business of humans, which means building deep, authentic relationships should be at the very core of what you do. According to Jim Mitchell, an executive coach, “Most leaders have been so busy building empires, they forgot to build relationships. Most think their job is to fix everything that is presented to them as a conundrum. But that’s not the job.” Beyond hiring and developing talent, improving retention, and creating strategies for engagement, there exists a very real need for true connections in the workplace.

Here are a few ways we can foster these relationships in practical ways:

Go beyond the surface.

Think about your relationships at work for a minute. Do they look and feel similar to your interactions at the grocery store or the gym? What do you know about your colleagues beyond what their calendar says? It’s easy to think that, as HR representatives, we should keep a safe distance from our colleagues. However, there is a healthy way to engage and interact with the people around us to improve employee engagement. In fact, in SHRM’s 2016 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report 77% of engaged employees said their relationships with coworkers was a top priority for them. Don’t be afraid to participate in non-work chatter and learn a little about the people around you. It can mean more than you know.

Listen.

How often do you utter the phrase “how are you?” without actually listening to the answer? Better yet, what about the non-verbal cues your colleague expresses? Do they actually seem “fine”, or is there looming anxiety beneath the surface? One of the best ways to engage in authentic relationships at work is to listen well. Listen to understand. Listen with purpose and intention. Listen with compassion and curiosity. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve missed in the past.

Be vulnerable.

While much of fostering great relationships involves paying attention to the other person, it is also important that we live by example. Practice vulnerability by being open with those around you. When someone asks how your day is going, don’t be afraid to tell them the truth. Obviously, as leaders, we have the responsibility to maintain positivity so we aren’t giving you permission to unload all your complaints. However, there is a way to be vulnerable, honest, and transparent that creates a safe space for your employees to share. Tell them how your project is going and what challenges you’re facing. You may appreciate the sounding board and they’ll start to view you as a little more human.

Recognize their achievements.

If you think about your relationships outside of the workplace, we know the value of saying “thank you” when your friends bring over a gift or when your spouse makes dinner. So why is it that inside the workplace, we view recognition as an after-thought? As you seek to foster meaningful relationships, we cannot leave out this key component for great relationships. While it all starts by listening and paying attention to your employees and colleagues, you should also remember to recognize their efforts. Just because they’re taking home a paycheck doesn’t mean they don’t need to hear a thank you every once in a while.

As you’re making your to-do list or wrapping up a project, remember that being an HR professional is not possible without also being human. Engage with the people around you and work to build better relationships this week.

Implementing a Culture of Recognition

Everyone needs recognition. From a young age, we crave the attention and respect of those around us, especially those we hold in high regard. Of course, this force of nature translates to our workplaces as we seek recognition and value from our careers.

A common misconception is that all employees want is more money. But while 89% of bosses believe employees quit for more money, the truth is that only 12% of employees actually leave for more money. What employees really want? You guessed it – Recognition.

implementing-a-culture-of-recognition

Although it may seem fundamental, many companies are already facing challenges when it comes to recognition. There is no one-size fits all approach, but there are many tips that may help when it comes to implementing a culture of recognition in your office.

Make Recognition Part of the Big Picture

An easy way to make sure your recognition program is effective is to align the program with your core values. In fact, an SHRM report found that recognition programs aligned with these values reported a 70% ROI. By aligning recognition with core values, you’ll help employees see how their work contributes to the big picture. They’ll be more motivated to work hard when they understand how their contributions impact the organization. Especially for organizations that are undergoing large changes or growth, this type of recognition becomes even more crucial as employees long for security and clarity on how their work is valued.

Make Recognition Timely

Have you ever received a thank you note a year after a wedding or significant event? Chances are it didn’t mean much to you and may have even irritated you because of its tardiness. By the same token, recognition should be timely. 47% of employees said they’d like to receive rewards spontaneously. We aren’t saying to throw out your birthday celebrations or annual awards, but consider other ways to recognize and reward employees on-the-spot.

(Oh hey, did we mention PerkSpot does this?)

Make Recognition Appropriate

A handwritten note, a quick email or a literal pat on the back can go a long way. But, they don’t always work in every situation. Someone who has just completed a lengthy project probably deserves more recognition than an employee who helped out on a quick assignment. Make sure your channels and rewards for recognition are aligned with the achievements themselves so that employees continue to feel valued and appreciated.

Make Recognition Easy

No manager wants to jump through hoops to recognize their employees. Better yet, what about peer-to-peer recognition? Formalizing a recognition program is a great way to implement a culture of recognition, but it should be painless. Make it simple for managers or employees to recognize and reward each other. Using PerkSpot’s recognition program, we make it simple for recognizers to send rewards in just 2 minutes.

As you move towards implementing a culture of recognition in your workplace, use these tips to ensure your program is a success. Make sure your program is easy to use and tied to your core values, make your rewards appropriate, and make your recognition timely.

Want to get started? We’ll help formulate a program that’s right for you! Click here to learn more.

What’s Your Employee Appreciation Language?

A popular book has circulated about relationships entitled “The Five Love Languages”. In his book, the author, Gary Chapman, discusses the different ways we give and receive love. He calls these various styles “Love Languages” as they provide insight into how we should communicate with our partner.

Every person is unique and has their own style (or language). As strange as it sounds, it got us thinking. Do we have workplace “love languages”? Does each individual have a preference for how they give and receive appreciation?

employee appreciation languages

We’ll break down Chapman’s these love languages and how they impact the workplace.

Words of Affirmation

Do you like when people write you a kind note or recognize you in a public forum? This love language goes way beyond romantic relationships. Kind words are incredibly impactful for employees who crave words of affirmation. A quick message on Slack, a short sentence in your weekly stand-up, or a handwritten note gives these employees the fuel they need to stay motivated throughout the week, or even, month.

Acts of Service

On the flip side, for others, actions speak louder than words. Do you feel most appreciated when someone offers to help with an assignment or better yet, finishes a project because they know you don’t have the time or energy to complete it? Acts of service can be big or small, but for many employees, this is the best way to show you appreciate all that they’re doing. Especially during busy season, managers who pitch in make all the difference when it comes to retaining their talent.

Receiving Gifts

This language can get a little tricky in the workplace, depending on your policies around gift giving and receiving. But, we’re not talking about diamond necklaces or new cars. Gifts can be as small as a cup of coffee when your employee comes in early or a non-tangible, like an early release when they’ve been pulling extra hours. Make sure you gauge which employees actually appreciate and desire these types of gestures. The last thing you want is to make them uncomfortable with your good intentions.

Quality Time

This is quite possibly the hardest language to weave into your work culture. That being said, for many employees, it’s also the most meaningful. Spending quality time getting to know your employees can not only show that you care about them, it can also provide powerful insights into their needs. Maybe it’s a quick walk around the block every month just to check-in. Or, you could schedule in time to really dive deep into what’s going on. No matter what your schedule allows, taking time out of your day to spend with them can make the difference between an engaged or a disgruntled employee.

Do you know how your employees prefer to be appreciated? Or better yet, how do you most often communicate your appreciation? Make sure you’re choosing the appropriate channel based on the employee to make the most of your recognition.

Employee Appreciation Day!

Today is Employee Appreciation Day!

To commemorate this special day, we’re giving you a few ideas on how to appreciate your employees and introducing you to a few of the PerkSpotters who make the office a better place to work.

Celebrate Birthdays

celebrate birthday employee appreciation day

Not only is today employee appreciation day, but it’s also this guy’s birthday! Dan currently holds the record for most years at PerkSpot (and most push-ups). He is the ultimate idea man, always cooking up a new way to make us better and keep the office exciting. So today, with breakfast sandwiches and candles, we’ll celebrate Dan and let him know that we’re glad he was born 21 years ago (don’t worry, DB, the real number is our little secret). If you’re thinking about celebrating birthdays at work, we say GO FOR IT! Here are a few things from our friends at SHRM that you’ll need to know before you roll out a birthday program.

Share Their Story

share stories employee appreciation day

Hands-down one of the hardest working PerkSpotters is our Client Service Lead, Karla. From bestowing exotic treats on us to filling the office with her laughs to completing more customer service calls than we thought humanly possible… Karla is basically superwoman. Actually, she’s so awesome, we thought everyone should know. So when the Chicago Tribune approached us to highlight an employee, we immediately thought of her. Being able to celebrate her life in a major outlet was such a thrill for us and a great way for Karla to see how much we value her contribution to our team. She’s kind of a big deal, and we thought the world should know.

Embrace Life Changes

embrace life changes employee appreciation day

So much is changing around the PerkSpot office, including introducing our first PS baby into the world. We were so excited to congratulate Anthony on the birth of his daughter. He recently rejoined our team after three weeks of paternity leave and we were anxious to hear how he filled his time with his family. Anthony is a major force behind the PerkSpot wheel, bringing in new and exciting clients, so it was an easy choice to give him the well-deserved break from office life to embrace this new change. Plus, Fast Company studied California organizations implementing paternity leave and saw that 89% reported increased productivity and employee morale and a decrease in turnover. So while being out the office was not only great for Anthony’s well-being, we’re also excited to see what he brings to the table with his refreshed energy. Welcome Back, Anthony!

 Allow for Flex Schedules

work from home policies employee appreciation dayOne of the biggest perks at PerkSpot is the ability to flex our schedules and work from home. Our masterful designer, Evan, graciously takes on so many projects for us and we all know Wednesdays are Evan’s day to work from home. We are so appreciative of the attention to detail and creativity that goes into each of his designs. Thursday he comes back with incredible work to show for his time spent away from the office distractions. In fact, we think he might have magic pajamas. Magic pajamas or not, a Stanford University study reported a 13 percent performance increase in workers who had the ability to work from home one day a week versus not at all. This could be the easiest employee appreciation tactic for your company to boost morale and get ahead.

Treat Them to a Night Out

work perks employee appreciation day

Our master appreciator, Leia, is constantly spending her efforts at PerkSpot recognizing others. After planning our anniversary party last fall, Leia definitely deserved some R&R. Boss’s orders were to take a week off and enjoy a nice dinner on the company. Just a small way of saying we see all the many, many things she does to make our office a better place to work. Whether it’s a gift card to their favorite restaurant,or just a day of rest, small tokens of appreciation mean more than you might think.

What makes your employees worth celebrating? Consider ways to recognize them today!

Recruiting Star Candidates Without a Star Salary

We all want the best for our businesses, which includes the best employees. But what happens when you just can’t afford to pay big bucks for the best candidates? How can you recruit without the enticement of a fancy corner office or large salary?

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Here are three things to consider:

Celebrate Your Culture

It should come as no surprise that employee engagement really pays off (literally). In fact, a Gallup survey reported that 54% of workers who are disengaged would leave their company for a 20% raise or less, while only 37% of engaged employees would make that same decision. Your company may not have a multitude of resources, but there’s one currency that’s undeniably valuable – your people. When interviewing for a new position, don’t forget to highlight your culture. There are many ways to educate interviewees about your culture, but it all starts with asking the right questions and highlighting what makes you unique. You’ll end up finding someone who not only is excited about the role, but is a fabulous culture fit to boot.

Promote Your Perks

Salary is only one piece of the puzzle. Does your company offer an above average vacation plan? What about work from home policies? No business is created equal so be sure and highlight the added perks that a new hire would receive. Maybe you’re even saving them money with exclusive discounts. Whatever the case may be, studies show that happy employees are better employees. Win-win.

Invite Their Input

In a recent survey, 80% of millennials said they want regular feedback from their managers, and 75% yearn for mentors. Highlight this in your interviews and you’re guaranteed to stand out among the crowd. 85% of everything we’ve learned comes from listening. Which means, if we want to know how to effectively lead employees well, we need to provide a platform for them to speak. Do you offer performance reviews every quarter? What about a weekly touch base? However you provide opportunities to listen and learn, showcase this in your recruitment efforts.

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Are Perks and Benefits the Same Thing?

perks and benefits perkspot culture

We love perks so much we named our company after them.

But what are perks and how are they different than benefits when it comes to the workplace?

Benefits

Benefits are supplemental to salary and cover basic needs like health insurance, 401K plans, etc. While benefits are absolutely essential for companies, they also come at a price. Most benefits offered to employees cost the company something, unlike our favorite counterpart, the perk, which costs little to nothing for employers to implement.

Perks

Perks encompass everything from bike racks and lounge areas in the office to catered lunches and oh yeah, exclusive discounts on your favorite brands. While benefits are often costly, perks can be offered at a relatively low cost to employers but offer extreme value to employees. Offering perks alongside necessary benefits and compensation packages creates a powerful force when it comes to ensuring employees stay engaged and motivated in their offices. However, like all things, just making these perks available in and of itself is not enough to sustain and retain employees. As more and more businesses begin offering these incentive programs, competition increases when it comes to recruitment and retention. While nearly unheard of 20 years ago, workplace perks are more and more becoming the norm. Companies like Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, and other PerkSpot clients realize this, and that’s why offering perks are non-negotiable.

All Perks are Not Created Equal

So now the question is no longer, will we offer a perks program, but which program will we choose? Overwhelmingly, employees today request perks that improve their everyday lives, such as free gym memberships or discounts on everyday expenses such as groceries and cell phone plans. These programs are more likely to resonate with employees because they show that the employer is listening. It reaches the heart of what all employees truly desire: to be heard and understood. PerkSpot’s mission is to make that a little easier for employers. We negotiate the discounts so you don’t have to. We provide the tools to communicate with employees on how to use the platform, where to find the discounts, and even deliver the latest and greatest perks right to their inbox.

Want to learn more? Reach out to us at sales@perkspot.com

Don’t just offer perks. Offer the right ones.

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Technology and the Office: Not Just for Silicon Valley

technology office work perks perkspot culture

When we think of company culture, words like “employee engagement”, “recognition” and “opportunity for growth” come to mind. But where does Technology rank when it comes to our values as an organization or company, and how is this affecting our employees?

As the CHRO of cloud-based finance and HR software Workday, Ashley Goldsmith, eloquently states, “We’ve found that you can’t create a culture just through values, new processes, or an organizational restructure. Those things are necessary, but we like to think of values as the beating heart of culture, processes and organizational structure as the brain, and technology as the nervous system that makes sure heart and head are working together to move us forward.”

Technology improves communication flow.

Cloud-based systems, video-conferencing software, and the like are paving the way for smoother communication in the workplace. The bonus is that many of these applications have free versions available. These tools enable employees to work smarter, not harder.

Technology fosters feedback.

Similar to improving communication, we use technology at PerkSpot to develop more ways to generate feedback, both internally and externally. We use platforms that allow our employees to respond to customer service issues quickly and efficiently. Meanwhile, internally, we use a system to monitor everything from typos on our site to larger kinks that need attention. In this way, we spend less time dealing with issues and more time finding solutions.

Technology encourages collaboration.

Messaging applications are great for encouraging collaboration amongst employees. While many feel that this constant communication decreases productivity, studies show that even when coworkers drift away from the task at hand, laughter shared helps promote creativity and innovation.

In the same way that the body cannot function properly without the nervous system, our offices cannot survive without technology.

What are some ways you use technology in your workplace? Leave us a note in the comments!