To mark Employee Appreciation Day today (3 March) one company has announced it is giving all its workers the day off.
Sellick Partnership, a professional services recruitment firm, has announced that all staff will have the whole day off as a way of thanking its teams.
Previously, the firm had allowed employees to finish early and have lunch on the business, but this year felt its bosses felt it should go further in acknowledging staff efforts.
Managing director Jo Sellick, said: “The secret to the success of Sellick Partnership is the people that we employ.”
Buzzwords in HR are running amok
To ensure that no one misses out, the firm has stated that anyone already off on annual leave will be able to cancel their holiday request, and part-time members of staff who use Fridays as a non-work day will be allowed to take the time back on another day in March.
The company has about 100 employees across seven offices in the UK.
Sellick added: “We want all staff to come into the office in the morning and enjoy their time at work,” adding that it was important that employees felt their effort and dedication did not go unrecognised. “This is just another way we can say we are truly thankful.”
Employee Appreciation Day was created by HR consultant and strategist Dr Bob Nelson in the US in 1995 and is always held on the first Friday of March. Nelson, a founding member of Recognition Professionals International – a professional association which represents HR workers – created the day around the same time as his book, 1,001 Ways to Reward Employees, was published.
Nelson’s doctoral dissertation was on why managers did or did not recognise their employees. He has subsequently worked with many organisations on employee retention, performance and recruitment.
Appreciation increases creativity
Clinical psychologist and executive coach Anna Eliatamby told Personnel Today that employee appreciation had the potential to improve the mental health and well-being of staff. She said it increased trust, creativity, productivity, motivation, and autonomy. All this means that staff willingly work harder to achieve the purpose of the organisation.
“Leaders also benefit in terms of their mental health and resilience to stress,” she said.
Eliatamby advised companies to provide “an arena in which staff, managers and leaders can speak about what is positive and what worries and concerns are”.
She added that appreciation did not always require finances. “Helping people, saying hello and thinking about how to focus on the strengths of each other” were highly beneficial for all. “If leaders adopt this approach, then staff are likely to follow.”
Consistent approach needed
Fans of Employee Appreciation Day also included Gaby Joyner, Europe head of employee experience at insurance and consulting giant Willis Towers Watson. She said: “Employee Appreciation Day is a great way to formally celebrate staff, but a consistent, year-round approach is really needed. Employees who feel valued are more likely to thrive in their work environment, which is achieved through a balance of having a good employee experience, the tools to succeed and the right benefits and rewards.
“It’s so important to recognise staff on more than just a financial level. It can be as simple as having a thank you from a manager, being given an incentive for taking on a new challenge or having a voucher or e-card for a birthday.
“Above all, listen to what employees want. Understanding what staff want from their rewards package and where needs aren’t met helps ensure employees feel respected and heard.”
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