Updated: Jun 14
March 4, is Employee Appreciation Day!
While it may seem a little silly that a simple day to say thank you could help your company or organization, but, multiple new studies show that linking an employee’s efforts to the organization’s work actually increases employee retention. Employees who felt valued were much more likely to be engaged with their work, less likely to feel stressed during the workday, and less likely to plan to leave their employer. While competitive pay and benefits are important to employee retention – so is this low-cost solution, appreciation.
Employee retention is important especially now when “The Great Resignation” is causing more employers to scramble to fill positions. Teachers are especially hard hit, with one survey stating over 55% of teachers are thinking of leaving teaching earlier than expected. “This is a five-alarm crisis,” NEA president Becky Pringle said in a statement. “School staffing shortages are not new, but what we are seeing now is an unprecedented staffing crisis across every job category.”
So, how do you get started? There’s three things to consider. Appreciation news to be: Regularly Scheduled, Specific, and Connected. Regularly Scheduled
First, it needs to be integrated into the workflow. Annual recognition doesn’t work. So use Employee Appreciation Day as a jumping off platform for a weekly or at least monthly practice. Yearly appreciations are nice, but not effective in employee retention. More important according to the researchers is finding a way to weave regular feedback into an employee’s every day. End of the week emails, a monthly letter, or even sharing positive feedback from customers or outsiders with your entire team can lead to more positive feelings among employees.
According to the research, positive appreciation needs to link the employee’s work to the company. For example, “you’re doing a good job, your latest report was filled with facts and that research helped the company land a new client” will go a lot farther than “you’re doing a great job.” Similarly for teachers, “I noticed how positively your students respond to you in the hall, it’s a great mark of what a great job you’re doing.” or “I appreciate you getting me these grades on time even though you’ve got a lot on your plate at the end of the year, that really helps make my job easier!”
When employees feel like our hard work is “seen” it can also create a higher level of engagement. Think about it in your daily life, is it easier to work on something for your family if they say “thank you” and appreciate it than if they don’t?
If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that people are crying for their work to have purpose. If you want people to stay with you instead of resigning, then help them figure out their purpose in life, and remind them that their work matters. Most importantly, keep open lines of communication and handle problems with kindness. Dennis Consorte, Small Business Consultant and Expert at Digital.com, recently said, “One of the great things about appreciation is it builds relationships.”
Teachers especially are struggling as 74% of them have been filling in for sick colleagues and forcing them to feel like they can’t give enough time and attention to their students (leading to feelings of futility). Reminding them of the important work they’re doing and how valuable it is can mean the difference between them staying or going.
If you struggle with how to give out appreciation and feedback that can help motivate and retain employees, we’d love to help. McGrath Training Solutions offers training in the renowned TRUE-SPEAK system. This will give you the tools you need to not only show regular appreciation to your staff, but also help with all kinds of feedback and evaluations. Learn more and contact us today to get yourself or your management staff trained: https://www.mcgrathtraining.com/true-speak.