How Employee Appreciation Day is Like Valentine's Day

employee appreciation day

Employee Appreciation Day is a little like Valentine's Day.

It comes around once a year...

It encourages expressions of affection...

And it includes instantly identifiable square boxes bearing precious gifts (thin crust; extra cheese...)

Alas, it's also true that, much like Valentine's Day, even if you think you've won employees' hearts (or at least their loyalty and productivity), unhappiness with the relationship can end engagement and lead to a breakup the next day (not-so-fun fact: the day after Valentine's Day is one of the biggest breakup days of the year). And one day of Pizza (even from Sal's!) can't make up for the things you're not getting the other 364 days of the year.

Saying it with pizza this year? Great! Here are a few things to keep the love alive all year long.

Show them you care

If you treasure employees, tell them every day (we love the words, "thank you!")

Help around the house

Nothing shows appreciation more than someone willing to pitch in with child care.

Pledge your vows in print

No need for poetry. Just a simple declaration of Values Statements.

Say it with education benefits and career growth

It'll keep them from swiping right on a better job offer.

Ask how they're doing

It's always nice to be asked.  We recommend an employee survey.

Ask them how you're doing

You may not always like the answer. But it's always better to know before the engagement ends.

Shake up the routine

Career stagnation leads to boredom. And boredom never leads to anything good.

Woo year round

Once a year is nice. But good relationships are recognized all the time (see "thank you," above).

Surprise them once in a while

The best pizzas are sometimes for no reason at all.

Finally, with a meager 4% unemployment rate and a shortage of skills, temptation is out there. And you don't want your people breaking up with you for another company - and leaving you a day after Employee Appreciation Day with nothing but a vacant cubicle...and an empty pizza box. So forget the once-a-year declaration. The best approach may be the one our Bright Horizons engagement director embraces: "We celebrate employee appreciation day every day."

To all the people we're so lucky to call colleagues and clients - we appreciate you...

Enjoy the day!

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.