Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is a day that is celebrated on the first Friday in March and is a day for employers to thank their employees for all of their hard work throughout the year. Employees are the lifeblood of any company and without them, the company can’t continue to operate on the scale on which they currently operate.

Although this holiday isn’t an official holiday, and as such, employees don’t have the day off, it is a good time for the employers to strengthen the bond between themselves and their employees by doing something nice for them. This can be something as simple as the employer thanking their employees for their hard work, or it can be something like giving the employees gifts or a raise.

A lot of employers aren’t just giving their employees trivial gestures of appreciation, some are taking the time to ask their employees how they would like to be given thanks. Some employees might want longer lunch breaks, while other employees might want a raise in pay. Of course, not every employer asks their employees for feedback, and some employers don’t observe this holiday at all.

The History of Employee Appreciation Day

Although the origins of this holiday are a little bit fuzzy, it is believed to have originated in the mid-1990s. This is when a calendar was released that featured the holiday on it in 1995.

If this is true, then this holiday was imprinted on calendars that were published by Workman Publishing. According to several sources, the holiday was conceived by Recognition Professionals International’s founding Board member, Bob Nelson – who was a member of this publishing company.

Important Facts About Employees

Since employees are the crux of this holiday, we thought that we’d provide some information on employees that people reading about Employee Appreciation Day might appreciate. Let’s take a look at these employee factoids and find out what we can learn from them.

Most Employees Don’t Feel Engaged

According to one Gallup poll, most employees don’t feel like they’re engaged at work. That means that they don’t feel like they’re making positive contributions to their job and/or don’t feel committed to their jobs.

This is one problem that can be easily solved by the implementation of Employee Appreciation Day – a day that can be used to tell employees how they fit into the company and how important their contributions to the business truly are.

Unhappy Employees Can Poison The Workplace

Anyone who has dealt with unhappy employees knows how they can poison the workplace with their negativity. According to most polls, about 64% of employees are not engaged in their job and lack the motivation to do their job.

Although these people are disconnected from their jobs, they don’t actively spread negativity to other employees. However, 24% of people are actively disengaged – and this means that they are very unhappy and are likely to spread that unhappiness to other employees.

Employee Turnover Costs Businesses A Lot Of Money

It costs money and resources to train employees to do a particular job – money, and resources that have to be used every time an employee quits. That makes employee turnover quite an expensive prospect for most employers. It’s less expensive and time-consuming to keep employees happy than to have to train new ones on a regular basis. It’s just common sense.

The U.S Has A High Employee Turnover Rate

For anyone who hasn’t looked at the employee turnover rate in various countries, it can be quite startling to find out the U.S has a pretty high turnover rate. How high? Well, it’s hard to say objectively what a high or low employee turnover rate would even be, but we can get a baseline by comparing the employee turnover rates of the U.S with other countries in 2019. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Companies With Engaged Workforces Do Better

It needs to be mentioned here that companies that have engaged workforces do a lot better than those that don’t. That means they do better in the market, perform more efficiently, and ultimately, make more money.

Just how much more money does a company with an engaged workforce make than one with a disengaged workforce? According to various studies they do over 200% better. Just another reason why companies should work towards keeping their employees happy.

Many Companies Don’t Know How To Deal With Employee Engagement

The last thing that we’d like to say is that most companies don’t know how to engage their employees. They don’t feel confident that they have the human resources or human resource department to keep employees happy, engages, and more importantly, working for the organization.

Holidays such as Employee Appreciation Day can be a great first step to dealing with employee engagement, but it’s only the first step. Most companies will need to understand their workforce better to enact policies that keep employee engagement high and employee turnover low.

Employee Appreciation Day Customs & Celebrations

Although this holiday is observed in the U.S. and is increasingly observed in other countries around the world, it isn’t a public holiday. That means that in the U.S., post offices and businesses will remain open on this day and employees will be expected to work.

However, it is a day when many employers take the time to show their staff a little bit of appreciation. They can do this in several different ways. For instance, they could treat their employees to either breakfast or lunch. They can also host a party for their employees.

Also, the workers can be given the day off or employers can have them participate in some form of a team-building exercise.  Employers can also take pictures of the staff and post them to the company’s social media pages. People who want to spread the word about this holiday can do so by using the hashtag #EmployeeAppreciationDay on their social media accounts.

Where is it celebrated?
United States (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2023)
March 3 Friday
Next year (2024)
March 1 Friday
Last year (2022)
March 4 Friday