This article was produced in partnership with Starbucks.
As you note 2023’s important dates in your calendar, you’ll want to circle Friday, March 3: Employee Appreciation Day. Particularly if you’re a manager, it’s worthy of some preparation. Studies show that regular recognition and appreciation go a long way in keeping workers happy and fulfilled in their jobs. Even simple, caring gestures like gifting everyone on the team Starbucks Cards, for instance, can be meaningful, letting employees know how much they matter.
Along with supporting their work efforts, today’s employees want to work at a company that supports their total well-being. Increasingly, companies are responding to that need by promoting their workplace wellness initiatives. It’s estimated 44 percent of employers have added wellness programs, physical activity programs, or fitness challenges to their benefits offerings in recent years, according to one study. Employee Appreciation Day is an opportunity to let your team know their well-being, both physical and mental, is valued.
While wellness is traditionally defined as a state of being in good health, each member of your team likely has different needs when it comes to feeling their best in a holistic sense. Jollene Norton, human resources lead at Backbone Media and rygr, defines wellness as “nurturing mental, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual elements that contribute to a person feeling whole, healthy, and happy.” Be assured, there are plenty of ways to shore up the wellness of your team on Employee Appreciation Day. Try a few of these smart ideas.
Treat Your Team to a Coffee Break
Gratitude and recognition go far in supporting your team’s mental and emotional wellness, helping everyone feel connected, engaged, and valued, according to a recent survey. Gifts are proven to be an effective way to show thanks and appreciation, and a great option for this Employee Appreciation Day is to load up Starbucks Cards for every member of your team. Multiply the effect by pairing each card with some sincere and authentic praise. You can order physical or digital gift cards from Starbucks in bulk, and in celebration of Employee Appreciation Day, Starbucks is offering 5% off total bulk card values of $1,000+ from 2/20-3/5 when you use the code EADFIVE. Code is valid for one time use on starbuckscardb2b.com and cannot be combined with other offers.
Host a Team Offsite
Novelty has been shown to elevate a person’s mood and outlook, while lowering stress and anxiety. Why not use Employee Appreciation Day to introduce a new experience, by way of an offsite? Whether the destination is connected to the geographic areas you do business or not, a change of scenery and pace is one way to interrupt the humdrum of the typical routine, sparking inspiration. As one wellness-oriented perk, Jill Higgins, human resources director at One Tree Planted, explains that her company offers employees the opportunity to visit sites around the globe to see the impact of their work up close. Meanwhile, the Backbone and rygr teams conduct bi-annual offsites that include ski days, hiking, rafting, spelunking, and more.
Offer a Winter Friday
Summer Fridays are common practice in many companies, including One Tree Planted and Huckberry, where Rachel Skulina, head of people and flourishing, says employees use the extra time off to make the most of the warm weather months and get outside. Well, who says people don’t like to get out in the wintertime, too? Employee Appreciation Day is March 3, which happens to be a Friday. And that coincidence is a perfect example of what the business world likes to call synergy.
Organize a Group Fitness, Yoga, or Meditation Class
Many companies, including Backbone and One Tree Planted, include wellness stipends in their benefits packages for staffers to use on gym memberships, yoga classes, ski passes—and for one Backbone employee, a burro pack race. While benefits are a good place to promote employee wellness, Employee Appreciation Day is an excellent time to offer a little something extra in a group setting. Schedule a group fitness class that’s appropriate for everyone on the team (you could even incorporate a Zoom option for WFH folks). Whether it’s a pickleball lesson or HIIT dance workout, you might just launch a new habit.
Announce a Big New Wellness Perk
To really pull out the stops, use Employee Appreciation Day as timing for the reveal of an exciting new perk. Need inspiration? Skulina says at Huckberry employees with four years of tenure earn a month-long paid sabbatical to use on a bucket list adventure of their choosing. Other firms take a localized approach, drawing inspiration from where they’re based. For instance, Backbone and rygr have a “Grand Canyon Clause” built into their employment contract that lets employees take time off to run that section of the Colorado River, should they win the lottery for a permit, Norton explains. As your team members stride toward their goal or enjoy a life-enhancing experience, they’ll remember your part in making it possible.
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