Employee Appreciation Day is this week and it couldn’t come a better time. With the post-holiday freshness having officially worn off and the weight of setting new goals amidst a crisis landing on the shoulders of every employee,
As 2021 hits full stride as we approach Q2, employees are playing a vital role in the evolution of the workplace, our business models and the ability of organizations to survive this crisis. And they’re doing it remotely, while balancing new demands around their home lives and work routines amidst a public health crisis.
Research from AI driven talent marketplace Gloat has revealed that 34% of American workers feel undervalued at their current jobs. The situation became more pronounced when analyzed by demographic. In a survey of more than 1,000 full-time employees, nearly half (46%) of Black employees felt underutilized at work while 38% of Latinx employees felt the same.
There were also differences by gender, with 43% of women feeling underutilized compared to 24% of men.
The data reveals 64% of employees plan to leave their jobs. So as the first Friday in March approaches, there are some ways to remind employees what they mean to the business and that there efforts are appreciated, regardless of where they’re working from or how much their working hours have changed during the crisis.
Lighten the Load
One of the things that keeps employees from feeling recognized and valued is being overworked or feeling too busy. Take this opportunity to help them analyze a process that could be simpler, groom their backlog of things to do or take an inane task off their plate. Talk to them about tools that could help them and what they feel could be better about their day-to-day experience, proposing solutions so they sense that the organization cares and wants to improve their situation rather than simply providing them with an outlet to complain.
A Time for Awards and Rewards
Employee recognition doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. It could be lighthearted, recognizing the unique personality traits employees bring to the table, or it could be a more serious calling out with genuine appreciation for something a person has done to make the organization a success. Either away, employees appreciate the feeling of being seen and having their unique value highlighted.
Rewards are always welcome too. It doesn’t have to be big, comprised of little more than a $20 voucher to a retailer of their choice or even a small gift basket. Whatever you choose, consider how the rewards landscape is changing and how you can best tailor it to suit the individual employee.
While meeting up at local restaurants for lunch on the company is not advisable, there is no reason companies can’t use the booming collaboration economy to bring people together. Uber Eats, Door Dash and a variety of other services can get food to your people, all you have to do is bring them together over Teams, Zoom or any of the other conferencing apps that companies are using now.
Mix in a game or an opportunity to provide feedback on how the organization is doing during the COVID era and what employees would need to feel better supported and appreciated.
Provide a Wellness Day
Many companies have increased the amount of time off available to employees and for this specific day, some have provided half days or other opportunities for employees to disengage from the daily grind. However, a wellness day doesn’t necessarily mean a day off to everyone. Some people would just as soon receive tips from a health and wellness coach or attend a mindfulness and meditation class virtually. Develop a range of options for your people and use that to offer something that will increase their sense of wellness.
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