Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday in March and is a day for employers to thank their employees for their hard work throughout the year. Employees are the lifeblood of any company, and without them, the company cannot continue to operate at the scale it currently does.

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

Many employers are not just offering trivial gestures of appreciation; some take the time to ask their employees how they would like to be thanked. Some employees might want longer lunch breaks, while others might want a raise in pay. Of course, not every employer asks their employees for feedback, and some employers do not observe this holiday at all.

The History of Employee Appreciation Day

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

If this is true, then this holiday was imprinted on calendars 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 focus of this holiday, we thought we’d provide some information on employees that people reading about Employee Appreciation Day might find interesting. Let’s take a look at these employee factoids and see what we can learn from them.

Most Employees Don’t Feel Engaged

According to one Gallup poll, most employees do not feel engaged at work. That means they do not feel they are making positive contributions to their job and/or do not feel committed to their jobs.

This problem can be easily addressed 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 perform their duties.

Although these individuals are disconnected from their jobs, they do not 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 for a particular job—money and resources that must be used every time an employee quits. That makes employee turnover quite an expensive prospect for most employers. It is less expensive and time-consuming to keep employees happy than to have to train new ones regularly. It’s just common sense.

The U.S Has A High Employee Turnover Rate

For those who haven’t looked at the employee turnover rate in various countries, it can be quite startling to find out the U.S has a relatively high turnover rate. How high? Well, it’s difficult to say objectively what constitutes a high or low employee turnover rate, 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 should be mentioned here that companies with engaged workforces perform better than those that do not. That means they do better in the market, operate 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 perform 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 point we’d like to make is that most companies do not know how to engage their employees. They do not feel confident that they have the human resources or human resource department to keep employees happy, engaged, and more importantly, working for the organization.

Holidays such as Employee Appreciation Day can be a great first step in 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 is not 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 breakfast or lunch. They can also host a party for their employees.

Additionally, workers can be given the day off, or employers can have them participate in some form of 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 (2024)
March 1 Friday
Next year (2025)
March 7 Friday
Last year (2023)
March 3 Friday