March 6 is Employee Appreciation Day. Like everything else, the pandemic has dramatically increased the importance of employee appreciation and recognition. It probably started out as a token gesture; but now such acknowledgements are more important than ever because the nature of employment has changed. What it means to be a reliable employee and team player is no longer just about job function. It’s now about being essential to the survival of the company.
Employee appreciation and recognition says “You matter”!
The struggle for work-life balance has always been real, but now everybody knows it—even those at the top of the food chain! And that’s because everybody has been affected by the pandemic.
Maintaining your work performance in relative isolation under tremendous pressure? Focusing on the job while keeping an eye on your child’s distance learning progress? Juggling spousal, parental, and multiple other roles? Struggling to keep at bay your anxieties about contracting the most deadly disease any of us has ever faced in our lives?
Now’s the time for your executive suite to shout from the penthouse-rooftop: “Hey team! We appreciate you! We couldn’t do this without you! Thank you!” And they should continue to shout it out in emails, newsletters, social media, and chat boards until it echoes throughout the company corridors.
Employee appreciation and recognition: personalize it!
Virtual work duty can foster feelings of isolation and relative obscurity. Fortunately, an up close and personal expression of gratitude from a superior can have inestimable value in dispelling a remotely located employee’s notion that they’ve been forgotten.
Employee appreciation and recognition often works best when it’s personalized and passion-driven. So for some members of your team, the best way to give them accolades that really matter may be to support their giving back to the community. For example, you could host a charitable team building event targeting a cause that they love!
Genuine acts of kindness have a longer shelf-life when they’re driven by genuine zeal for a noble cause. Our remote Rescue Buddies workshop is a prime example. After all, what could be more life-affirming than helping traumatized children?
Rescue Buddies rescue!
Every year approximately 40,000 children are affected by house fires. And nearly 100,000 kids are injured in car accidents. Even more heart-rending is the increase in domestic violence since the pandemic began. This spike was triggered by the economic fallout from unemployment and prospective foreclosures and evictions, along with the stress from “lockdown” confinement. Result: many abuse victims are trapped at home with their abusers!
Before COVID-19, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reported that “1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.” Incidents of abuse have skyrocketed since the pandemic and millions of children are being traumatized every day. In fact experts are calling this a “pandemic within a pandemic”.
Fire fighters, state troopers, health care providers, social service workers, and other first responders are witnessing this first hand. And hundreds of them across America are grateful to have a stash of Rescue Buddies to give out.
Employee appreciation and recognition: paying it forward!
Rescue Buddies are stuffed animals—bears, birds, and other huggable beasties—that are assembled during our workshops for the express purpose of giving them to young victims of car crashes, house fires, and domestic abuse cases.
They’re stored in the trunks of squad cars, ambulances, and other vehicles patiently waiting to be swept up into the arms of a frightened, disoriented child. The toys don’t talk, but they speak volumes: “You’re going to be okay.” “I’m here for you, just hold on tight.” “We will get through this together!”
They’re stuffed with love, comfort, and security and you and your team can make them! How’s that for employee appreciation and recognition that makes a real difference and leaves a tangible legacy of kindness?