Observed annually on the first Friday of every March, Employee Appreciation Day was initiated in 1955 by Bob Nelson of Workman Publishing. Since then, the day has been gaining momentum as a way for company leadership to remind employees that they are valued and appreciated. With the job market tightening, employee engagement and a positive company culture are becoming even more important in attracting and maintaining top talent. We celebrated Employee Appreciation Day last week...did you?
Finding and Retaining Top Talent is Tough
According to the 2018 Small to Midsize Business Insights Survey, the number one concern of business owners is “being able to find and keep good employees.” Business owners worry more about finding great people than they do about sales! Here at IQTalent Partners, we have a team of incredible people. We want our employees to care and collaborate about our business and contribute far beyond average expectations. Employee Appreciation Day is only the beginning of creating a culture of value and appreciation. Great employers find ways to keep this feeling of appreciation going 12 months a year!Did you miss #EmployeeAppreciationDay? Start showing your appreciation all year long with these tips from @IQTalent:Click to Tweet
At IQTalent Partners, our team enjoyed a catered lunch in the office on the “official” Employee Appreciation Day, March 1, but our culture of employee engagement didn’t end when lunch was over last week. Ensuring our employees know we genuinely care about them is at the top of our core set of values. We believe that when our people feel truly cared for, they will feel an emotional connection to the company, to their co-workers, and their work, resulting in increased employee loyalty and retention. Of course, there’s no guarantee your top talent will stay forever, regardless of the employee engagement measures you put in place. However, if they feel as though they belong to a “tribe,” that they are a valued part of something larger than themselves, then they’re likely to stay loyal longer!
The IQTalent Partners Way
We call our headquarters in Nashville, TN, The NERD, an acronym that stands for the Nashville Executive Research Division. Our employees refer to themselves as Nerds, fostering the team environment. Each month, we budget for an employee celebration and our in-house social committee plans it for the rest of the team. We might take in a Predators hockey game, attend a happy hour, play laser tag, visit Top Golf, or any other fun group event to foster a feeling of “we’re all in this together!”
Beyond spending quality time together, we ensure our employees stay engaged by leveraging their best skills with opportunities to grow their role in the company. We encourage employees to have a voice, to create new, more efficient company processes, and to offer feedback in just about any area. We have peer mentors and coaches within the company who are not just senior management. This opportunity for an employee to become vested in a co-worker’s success creates a greater emotional attachment to the IQTalent Partners’ overall mission, values, and goals.
Employee Appreciation Day is Every Day
If you’re thinking, “Oh no! I missed Employee Appreciation Day last week,” it’s not over! Chances are, your employees may not have known that the unofficial holiday came and went. Start your own employee appreciation day with a surprise lunch or team engagement activity this week. Create a social committee, recognize a top performer, begin a mentorship program, or just ask your employees what is meaningful to them! Often engaging and appreciating your employees is less about the tangible free lunches and prizes and more about the connection they have to their colleagues and managers.
Finding top talent is tough; keeping them for the long haul is even tougher. But, with just a little effort, employees can feel valued and engaged, becoming a true team instead of merely co-workers.