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What employees want the most on Employee Appreciation Day 2024

What employees want the most on Employee Appreciation Day 2024


A small treat or a ‘thank you’ would definitely put a smile on your employees’ faces, while a creative gift or even an extra day off would be the cherry on the cake.

Managers, what do you have in store for the upcoming Employee Appreciation Day (EAD) this Friday (1 March 2024)?

A small treat or a ‘thank you’ would definitely put a smile on your employees’ faces, while a creative gift or even an extra day off would be the cherry on the cake.

After all, this is a day to remind us to recognise the hard work and contributions of our colleagues, and this, however, should not be the only day we express our gratitude to them.

Genuine recognition requires consistency. Employees can truly feel whether you really care or just pay lip service.

This year, the HRO team has taken a look from the employees’ lens, by drawing insights from people we have come across, as well as from our own selves, to understand what employees want from their leaders and colleagues to make them feel valued and cared for.

Feature by Tracy Chan, with inputs from Aditi Sharma Kalra, Priya Sunil, Arina Sofiah, and Sarah Gideon.

Good food, good mood

Treating the team to lunch is a simple yet sweet gesture.

Nothing brings people together better than good food; and with how fast the days pass, it's sometimes so hard to get a good lunch hour in and spend time together as a team. So this EAD, why not set the rush aside and gather your team out for a nice lunch, and show them your appreciation for all their great work?

If you are not into lunch treats, that's ok – even a box of sweet treats would be a wonderful gesture. And if your team is spread out remotely, consider sending them some e-vouchers to utilise.

A small gesture can make a big difference

Small notes of affirmation, handwritten letters, a handmade crotchet flower or an origami penguin – these small but heartwarming gifts from managers and colleagues will go a long way in boosting employees' morale and creating a happy workplace. 

A real-life testimonial from the HRO office: "These little gestures really give me that sense of belonging and inclusivity in the office, and that I am able to bond with colleagues that are outside of my department. This makes me very grateful for the relationship I have with my team."

Also, personalised care packages curated for each employee prove that you really care and pay attention to their tiny needs.

Let's celebrate

Hosting a fun yet intimate company awards ceremony to recall the journey with your employees and celebrate their achievements, let's fill the office with joyful laughs and touching tears!

If this is too 'humanised', how about celebrating the day with the furry friends of your employees? Bring the pets into the office or have a virtual pet show, and help the humans make some new (four-legged) friends on this special day.

Shall we talk

Rather than having a serious talk like an appraisal or a performance review, let's finish work early, spend some time sitting down together with your colleagues, and have a relaxing conversation over snacks and drinks about what you appreciate them at work and reaffirm their importance of being a team member.

It is also great for employees to have the transparency of telling managers of their own situation. It's been heartwarming and will make employees grateful when you are always ensuring that they are doing okay.

Make life easier with more flexi

Supporting employees in balancing their work and personal life with more work flexibility will empower them to better fulfil their commitment to their job, as well as their responsibilities as a family member with an easing mind.

When you put trust and confidence in your employees that they can work well on their own rhythm, you will reap more as people are being their best.

Say thank you & praise them – from the heart

Arguably, actions speak louder than words; but when said with sincerity, a thank-you and a words of recognition for all that your employees have done for the team and organisation can mean more to them than you'd think. And this act is often acknowledged, yet equally forgotten.

I've got your back

Nothing beats the feeling of being supported and backed by your teammates, leaders, and stakeholders, especially when you are in a high-impact, high-pressure role working towards business targets.

Having a team that opens up to you on the challenges they face, the pressures they are dealing with – at home and at work, how they are solving problems, and they share their daily milestones and achievements with you makes one feel truly cherished and trusted. It is always a great reminder of why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Having a leadership ecosystem that demonstrates they have got your back, support you, your vision, and your speed bumps, truly helps create a safe environment where one feels recognised and appreciated. Open conversations, regular check-ins, course correction, and lots of TLC (tender loving care) generate psychological fulfilment and happiness!

Have some great ideas to share on recognising employees? Write to us at editorial@humanresourcesonline.net and we'd be happy to take a look!

Lead image / 123RF

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