Everyone enjoys complements. During an employee appreciation week, supervisors and management level employees recognize their staff for their diligent work, progress and dedication to meeting company goals. Recognizing achievements and hard work increases morale and confidence at the workplace. This in turn encourages continued levels of quality work, making an employee appreciation week a win-win situation for both the employees and employer. (See Reference 2)
Words of Thanks
At the kickoff of an employee recognition week, the head of the organization should address the staff. For large companies, a video presentation through the company intranet is acceptable. For small businesses, a meeting in a company boardroom is perfect. The reason for the week should be explained, along with a list of activities the employee can expect, so they can prepare. Finish the presentation with a slideshow of photos showing the employees at work in the office, out in the community working on projects and photos from past company social events such as holiday parties or conventions. Consider decorating the work environment with balloons and party decorations to let customers know the staff is being celebrated.
Supervisors should individually thank each employee. A simple, handwritten "Thank You" card lets the employee know the supervisor is sincere. Each note should be short, and highlight at least one quality or achievement that makes the supervisor glad the employee is part of the team. For a personal touch, the notes of gratitude should be placed at each employee's workstation, not attached to a payroll check or everyday company memo system, according to the University of Michigan's Staff Recognition Program.
Team Building Activities
Have the entire office get involved in the community for a day of work away from the office. By working together on a common effort everyone will learn more about each other. Contact a local animal shelter and offer to come as group to help walk dogs, groom the cats or feed the shelter animals.
Contact a local youth organization, and offer small groups of the employees to mentor the children for an afternoon. Reading to children in small groups or helping children assemble a craft project is rewarding for the children, the employees and a social way to interact with co-workers away from the office.
Appreciation Meals and Gifts
Food brings groups together. During an employee appreciation week, consider having lunch catered each day for the staff. If there are budget constraints, make the final day of the week a potluck day. Ask each employee to bring food to share. Make the final day a casual work day, allowing the staff to hover around the food in the break room throughout the day, follow a casual dress code or work a half-day.
A subscription to a trade magazine related to the company industry makes a great appreciation gift. Give the employees a list of eight or nine magazines to choose from, in case they are already subscribers to some titles. Include at least two social magazines on the list for those who are avid readers, and already subscribe to all possible industry related literature. Personalized coffee mugs, mouse pads or high quality ink pens many also be used as small gifts during an employee appreciation week.
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