Employee Appreciation Day: The Importance of Recognition


The importance of feeling appreciated

The impact of appreciation

Appreciation & employee recognition

Everyday appreciation: end-to-end wellbeing

Driving businesses through appreciation


Friday 3rd of March is Employee Appreciation Day. Created in 1995 by Dr Bob Nelson to celebrate the launch of his book 1,001 Ways to Reward Employees – talk about great promo – it’s now celebrated annually.

The employee appreciation landscape has changed a lot in almost 20 years. The message has been received, and appreciation, more commonly known as reward and recognition, is part of every HR professional’s vocabulary. It’s also something employees have, quite rightly, come to expect.


The Importance of Feeling Appreciated

According to research by Glassdoor, 53% of employees say they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their employer.

Appreciation doesn’t have to be a massive gesture. However, it is something we need to keep in mind. When we’re stressed or focused on meeting a deadline, we can sometimes forget to show kindness.

It’s easily done, and every manager is guilty of occasionally not giving an employee enough attention. This is understandable and even forgivable as long as it’s acknowledged.

Say, for example, an employee completes a project and comes to their manager’s desk to give an update, and in the moment, they're only given a slight acknowledgement because of the pressures their manager is facing.

No judgement – it happens to everyone. 

The problem, however, is that the lack of acknowledgement could deflate the employee. This can be fixed! Follow up with the employee once you’ve taken the time to review the work and thank them accordingly for their efforts and explain the circumstances behind your initial reaction.

Whether you’re an employee, manager, or employer, you’re human, and it’s acceptable to be human with your workforce. In fact, they’ll appreciate it.

Enhance Your Sustainable Wellbeing Strategy


The Impact of Appreciation

We’ve mentioned the impact of good communication and the importance of being human, but today, employees need more than words. Your reward and recognition strategy can boost your employees’ ability to perform, so long as it’s fit for purpose.


Are you interested in learning about the theories on the power of employee appreciation and recognition? Click here to read up on the psychology behind it. 


83% of employees say they work harder when they’re shown appreciation


Additionally, 55% of employees agree they’re more engaged with their role and the organisation if their work is recognised.

It’s a job seekers market, and potential employees will scrutinise your Employee Value Proposition when considering whether to accept a role. To be in with a chance of attracting the best talent, you need to offer more than just a competitive salary. 

 Click here to download your free employee rewards cheat sheet

What Makes Someone an Ally?

Appreciation & Employee Recognition

It’s clear that appreciation and recognition are fundamental to attracting, retaining, and engaging employees, and here are some ways you can show gratitude.


Surprise & Delight

Whilst a reward and recognition strategy is essential, managers should also feel empowered to step outside the brief and personalise the experience for their teams. Bring pastries or coffee to a morning briefing. Or, if you have meetings close to lunchtime, take your team to the local eatery afterwards.

Little gestures of appreciation like this don’t cost much but serve to boost employee morale. You can even do it when teams work remotely. Simply issue your people with an eVoucherand they can get that coffee or treat at a convenient time.  


Take Advantage of National Days

The 13th to 19th of February was Random Acts of Kindness Week – the perfect opportunity to put a personal and unexpected spin on employee appreciation.

Here at Sodexo Engage, we used this week to show our appreciation for colleagues and customers, running six competitions across various internal and external platforms. By the time the week was over, we’d given away £4,000 worth of prizes and gifts to 88 lucky recipients!


The giving didn’t end there, as we also donated a portion of every transaction that went through our employee discounts platform to Stop Hunger Foundation, raising £4,004.50 for our global charity.


Everyday Appreciation: End-to-End Wellbeing

Employee appreciation isn’t just about recognition.

Your people are experiencing a time of crisis, with the rising cost of living impacting mental, physical, and financial health. Employers need to do more than they ever did to protect the wellbeing of their people.

What better way to show your employees that you appreciate them than by providing essential support for their entire household?


Physical Wellbeing

42% of Britons have cancelled their gym membership due to rising household bills. By embedding a Corporate Gym Membership into your employee benefits offering, you can help make a trip to the gym, sauna or pool affordable again.

You can also extend your physical wellbeing offering by providing access to an Online GP service, speeding up the process when they need to seek medical support.


Mental Wellbeing

The mental health of your people ought to be a top business priority, and taking care of it does so much more than show your appreciation.

An Employee Assistance Programme is a lifeline for employees suffering with their mental health, allowing them to speak with BACP-accredited counsellors face-to-face, by e-mail, and by phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With access to the My Possible Self app included, your employees will have the support they need at the tip of their fingers whenever they need it.


Financial Wellbeing

With 7.8 million Brits struggling to keep up with the cost of their rising bills, employers are stepping up to help stretch salaries further.

There are many ways to provide employees with financial wellbeing benefits, including our Employee Discounts Platform and Household Support Card

These products provide savings and earn your employees cashback on everyday essentials - every day.


Driving Businesses Through Appreciation 

Employee appreciation must be practised daily, with managers and business leaders embedding it within their culture and values.

However, when you need to say more than thank you and support your employees in a meaningful way, Sodexo Engage is here to help. Contact our employee and consumer engagement experts today to find out more.





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