Employee Appreciation Day is March 1 and it’s the perfect opportunity to recognize your employees and their efforts. Currently, it also couldn’t be more important as most contractors are struggling to fill positions (55% believe it will be harder to hire in 2024) and it’s been found that employee appreciation or recognition is directly tied to employee retention. A Gallup/Workhuman study shows that regular recognition has a big impact on worker happiness with 56% of respondents saying they’re less likely to look for other job opportunities and three times as likely to feel loyal to their organization. 


When it comes to recognition, it’s not difficult to figure out a strategy that best suits your employees. 

Tie Recognition to the Employee 

Recognition works best when it’s personal. Your employees are unique and respond differently to different types of recognition. Survey them and ask what type of recognition they prefer. Enlist managers to gain insight as to what motivates the employees you don’t know personally, for example, some with families may prefer PTO while others might want a free lunch. There are also several employee recognition platforms that provide multiple options for rewards from gift cards to charitable donations. Understanding what employees value makes it easier to award recognition in ways to which they are more likely to respond. 

8 Employee Appreciation Ideas 

  1. Offer PTO. A little extra time off here and there helps employees balance their work and personal lives. Give employees a half-day off to start the weekend early or schedule a late start when work is slow, or school is late or cancelled. Just remember PTO can’t be given in lieu of overtime wages. 
  2. Buy Gift Cards. Gift cards help personalize thanks by offering employees something they either normally spend money on (like gas and groceries) or something to treat themselves to (a gift card to a favorite restaurant or coffee shop). 
  3. Ask Peers to Provide Recognition. Ask employees to note whenever a co-worker has pitched in and helped them out and share that outcome with the entire staff. This can lead to employee-of-the-month awards or just regular shout outs during company meetings. 
  4. Take the Team to Lunch. Recognize your entire team’s efforts with a lunch or other type of outing. Not only do your employees receive recognition, but group events can help bond your team, allowing them to work together more productively. 
  5. Plan a Volunteering Event. More and more employees find value in volunteering and want to work for companies that have philanthropic goals. Plan an event that gives employees the opportunity to volunteer as a group or give them PTO to volunteer on their own time. 
  6. Recognize a Birthday. Not everyone loves to celebrate their birthday, but a simple happy birthday typed in chat, email or said in the hall can show your employees that you not only acknowledge them but care about them outside of work. 
  7. Plan a Company-Wide Employee Appreciation Event. No matter if it is a holiday party or a summer barbecue, just be sure to plan a company-wide employee appreciation event that recognizes everyone. Invite the entire staff from management to interns and pick a day and time convenient for most of your team. Also, consider inviting spouses, partners and families. 
  8. Say Thank You. A classic, handwritten note never goes out of style. It’s personal, it’s sincere and it’s easy to do. Saying thanks can also be done in person or via the team chat. Just by saying thanks lets an employee you know you appreciate them. It’s information that’s valued and free. 

Make recognition a part of your company culture. When employee recognition becomes a priority, employees feel like their work is important and they’re encouraged to continue making valuable contributions and may even improve their current levels of productivity.  

ExakTime’s time tracking solutions help contractors work more efficiently, so they have the time to concentrate on ensuring their employees are engaged and productive. 

Contact us to learn more. 


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