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Monday, September 5, 2022

5 Ways to Show Worker Appreciation on Labor Day and Beyond

Happy Labor Day to all my American readers! The purpose of the holiday is to celebrate the social and economic achievements of America’s workers. Labor Day celebrates us all — our achievements and contributions to the strength, prosperity, and safety of our nation.

Labor Day usually means a day off to relax, have a barbecue, or go to a parade. But it’s also fitting to celebrate in the office. Labor Day is an opportunity for reflection on the workplace and the company’s culture. It’s also a great time to recognize your employees for their dedication.

According to a survey by BambooHR, 94 percent of satisfied employees share one thing: They're recognized at work. Organizations that make an effort to support their people and boost morale see results, as happy employees are better problem-solvers and are 12 percent more productive overall.

Here are five ways to show your appreciation this Labor Day and throughout the year.

Host Employee Appreciation Lunches

Everyone loves a free lunch, especially when it's in their honor. Organize a casual meal catered by a popular local restaurant to show employees that management acknowledges their work and contributions to the company.

Coming together in a relaxed setting gives management the chance to chat with employees one on one and get to know them better. Consider inviting a key member of the community who benefits from their work, perhaps a local politician or business owner. Receiving an in-person thank you from a key stakeholder shows employees just how much the work they do matters.

Offer Professional Development

Another way to show employees they're appreciated is to invest in their careers. Plan a training session for employees where they can learn a new skill or refine one they already have. Additionally, think about sponsoring them in a continuing education class or send them to a local conference.

Highlight Employee Achievements

Try recognizing individuals for specific accomplishments rather than congratulating a group of workers altogether. Bringing separate attention to a standout member has been shown to improve performance — for them, the workers around them and the team as a whole.

Consider regularly naming a few employees who have done an exceptional job. Call out employees in an email or newsletter, on the company's website or during an in-person meeting. You could also take time during your employee appreciation lunch to recognize individual contributions.

Lend an Ear

There is always room for improvement in every workplace. Taking the time to listen to your employees' needs is a great place to start. You can either host an open forum to solicit feedback or allow your employees to submit anonymous comments.

Soliciting feedback on your company's culture can help foster a more open environment where communication flows freely. When the needs of your employees are heard and efforts to address them are made, everyone benefits from a more positive and productive workplace.

Be Flexible

You can acknowledge employees’ busy lives and support their work-life balance by being flexible with their hours over the Labor Day weekend. Employees will appreciate the gesture and come back ready to work after the holiday.

As millions of Americans are quitting their jobs and rethinking what they want when it comes to work and work-life balance. Companies are responding, meeting their employees’ needs in areas like remote work, flexible hours, four-day workweeks, compensation and more.

To keep your employees truly happy and engaged, though, recognition can't come just once a year. So consider using this Labor Day as an opportunity to plan and schedule ways to shine the spotlight on your employees on a regular basis. Doing so will go a long way toward building trust and respect with your employees, increasing the satisfaction and sense of empowerment they get from their membership.

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