Friday, March 4, is Employee Appreciation Day 2016, a special day of employee recognition originally created in 1995 by Bob Nelson, owner of publishing company Workman Publishing, and one of the founding Board members of Recognition Professionals International. His goal in the creation of Employee Appreciation Day was for all employers from all industries to have one day in which to truly focus on employee recognition, and to have the positivity of the day serve as a catalyst for year-round employee recognition.
Because modern working life can be so stressful and hectic, it is very easy for employers, CEOs, and managers to get caught up in the everyday work schedule and forget to show employee appreciation. Unfortunately, failing to recognize the value and contribution of employees is typically to the detriment of a company, both in terms of morale as well as productivity. Showing employees how much they are appreciated is not only decent and right, but is also one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to foster loyalty and to keep employees motivated, productive, attentive, and most of all — happy. And this has never been truer than it is in today’s workplace culture, where millennials, who are most motivated by frequent, positive reinforcement, make up about 40% of the workforce.
As a company, Tata & Howard holds its staff in the highest esteem. Our incredible talent base is appreciated and it is understood that our people have been the driving force behind our record growth and continued success. Because Tata & Howard employees are so valued, the company converted to a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in October of 2014, giving all eligible employees ownership in the company. The company celebrated one year as an ESOP this past October, and employee-owners have been exceptionally supportive of the plan.
But it doesn’t stop there. Throughout the year, Tata & Howard plans fun events, outings, and activities in an effort to show employee-owners their value. In addition to the fully catered summer outing each summer at Kimball Farm in Westford, Massachusetts, we have enjoyed surprise mid-day work parties, catered luncheons, bowling and beer, and participation in fun days such as Flip Flop Day and National Cookie Day. Also, Flexible Fridays in the summer were so overwhelmingly popular that the company decided to implement the perk year-round. Employee-owners who participate in charitable activities are always supported, both by fellow staff members as well as the T&H Philanthropy Committee, and accomplishments, both professional and personal, are announced in a weekly newsletter. On a daily basis, staff enjoy gourmet coffee and espresso drinks, a positive team atmosphere that fosters creativity and innovation, a supportive and healthy work-life balance, and an open-door philosophy where respect is paramount.
So while Tata & Howard’s employee-owners are all looking forward to Employee Appreciation Day and the fun it entails, the culture at Tata & Howard fosters employee appreciation each and every day. What are some ways in which your company participates in Employee Appreciation Day? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below – and perhaps even incorporate some of the best ideas into future Employee Appreciation Days here at Tata & Howard!