9 ways to celebrate your employees year-round

9 ways to celebrate your employees year-round

February 14, 2024

The workforce is always evolving—and your recognition and retention efforts should evolve with it. In the past three years, not only did we navigate a global pandemic that made a hybrid work environment the norm, but we welcomed a younger generation of employees into the mix of Baby Boomers and Generation Xers that previously dominated the workforce.

According to the 2024 Trend Report by the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), younger workers place a high value on frequent, authentic recognition—and Incentive programs that utilize technology platforms can help amplify the speed of feedback and congratulatory messages. The IRF also suggests that incentive and recognition programs are considered a key to culture building and are instrumental in unifying a more dispersed workforce.

With Employee Appreciation Day coming up on March 1st, we prepared a list of nine easy strategies to incorporate into your employee recognition program, for year-round celebration, that speaks to a younger, more dispersed workforce.

Enable daily recognition

Create a platform for daily peer-to-peer and manager recognition.

According to a study by Harvard University in 2019—Companies with a strong recognition program have increased productivity, lower job turnover, and greater returns on investment than other companies in the same industries.

Your employee engagement program acts as a hub for everything recognition. Send eCards, gifts, and even points to your workforce easily and efficiently using loyalty program tools. Employees can also give thanks to their teammates for accomplishing a goal or for going above and beyond.

As your employee engagement partner, we work with you to determine the best program fit for your needs. Read more about our program offerings.

Support it from the top

Ensure leaders support recognition through eCards and points distribution.

Successful programs start with leadership participation. Entice managers and directors to get comfortable with the program to easily distribute points to their employees during important milestones, and celebrate team wins.

Educate and onboard your audience by providing educational materials directly on your employee appreciation program for easy access.

Reward holidays and milestones

Deliver recognition for holidays, company milestones, and work and personal anniversaries.

Employee Appreciation Day, and important company milestones, are a great starting point for your employee recognition and retention efforts. Begin an annual tradition of sending recognition on these holidays, then build your program from there.

Reward employees for their loyalty by celebrating annual milestones. Five-year increments are the standard—but rewards can be setup for completing the first 90 days, the first year, and beyond during the training period.

If you have an established program and are not currently celebrating days like Employee Appreciation Day, now is a great time to start. We can get you setup with a quick, personalized program today.

Deliver team recognition

Recognize teams for completing a project, or meeting a goal.

Managers and other leaders have the power to recognize team performance. Team recognition is just as important as individual recognition and is a great way to celebrate work ethic and dedication.

Bring teams together

Connect in a hybrid world with virtual gatherings, and Lunch on Us gift cards.

Creating moments of connection in a dispersed workforce is important. Hybrid or virtual team and company meetings can help bridge the gap and make remote employees feel included.

Enhance your team meeting by sending teammates a Lunch on Us gift card that allows them to choose from a variety of popular restaurants or meal delivery services. eGift codes can be used during the virtual event as an additional means of connection, or on their own time.

Reward on the spot

When possible, deliver rewards with a handshake and some points.

In-person rewards are a tangible, thoughtful way to let your employees know you appreciate a recent effort. Rewards on the spot are great for program users who don’t use email as their primary method of communication or may not have a company email. Provide a point deposit or link to a Rewards Catalog that users can access from any device to redeem a gift of choice.

Our Rewards Mall can be easily accessed through a personal code or QR code printed directly on a card, making it easy for recipients to claim their gift.

Deliver annual awards

Leverage team-based nominations to recognize and reward high achievers.

Celebrate the standouts with an annual, or quarterly, award celebration. While employee appreciation beyond awards is necessary to build loyalty, this provides a way to honor those that have gone above and beyond.

Awards can extend past performance—curate themes based on your company values like volunteering, green initiatives, or service to coworkers.

Promote with communications 

Promote participation in recognition programs through internal communications.

An effective communications campaign can boost your program value. Recognition messages can be paired with timely company updates, point balances, and current promotions in the Rewards Mall.

Create a campaign specific to your program, or work messages into a standing monthly employee outreach campaign. Make sure your campaign is well received by tracking analytics like deliveries, open rates, and click rates. Create copy around current promotions and modify as needed based on results.

Recognize on social channels

Celebrate teammates and accomplishments on public-facing social channels.

Internal recognition is important—but external recognition can make a huge impact. Setup a social media strategy that boasts winners of quarterly and annual awards or call out someone that has been recognized often on your recognition program.

When it comes to a younger audience and dispersed workforce—a sustained recognition and retention strategy can provide stronger engagement, and company loyalty. Next Level Performance can help create a recognition program for your employees based on your personal needs.

Contact us today to schedule a demo, and we can get your started as soon as Employee Appreciation Day.