It’s Your Nothing Special Week: Rethinking Employee Appreciation

Employee Appreciation, someday HR will get it right.

Truth be typed, it’s unfair to blame Human Resources as it’s a matter of culture. Whether it’s Teachers, Administrative Assistants or so many other under appreciated professions with an honorary month or week or whole 24 hours, Leadership shares the blame.

Office Space meme. Perfect.
Employee Appreciation, Empty Gestures
  • Organization leaders say they know how hard everyone works and doth protest they are really trying to improve work conditions. At the same time HR is slow to hire, train; doesn’t aggressively try to recruit top, experienced talent, or to retain and promote current employees (hint: cough* pay competitive wages *cough).
  • TPTB proclaim it “employee” week. There are banners and signs, with bullets, buzzwords and acronyms! There’s food and events, scheduled at times and locations that favor only a handful of employees. But balloons = pretty.
  • A suit decides employees need work-life balance, designates some relaxation perks during said special week. Understaffed, overworked employees can’t really partake of their perks. (The rest of the year, employee stress can suck it.)
Employees appreciate that there’s a business to run.
Perks are great, but they don’t make car payments.

Every employee is different and most would rather their recognition be too. If it’s paint by numbers, they know it’s fake – and it doesn’t work.

Realistically a company can’t pay everyone $70K a year. (Except when it can.) More achievable employee appreciation ideas: advancement opportunities; better benefits; flexible, not 9-to-5 schedules; and ‘unlimited-ish’ time off so employees don’t have to choose between getting sick or taking a vacation.

Most employees want to be paid what they’re worth, a salary that reflects the two and three different jobs the company is asking them to do. They want the support and resources they need to do their jobs well. Hard work – ‘doing more with less’ – that merits more than a party.

Appreciation starts with Understanding. Relationships, with Communication.

Plastering a bulletin board with a poorly designed, badly written, grammatically flawed piece of paper that no one has time to read – that’s Internal Communications, How NOT To.

A company’s most important stakeholders are its employees. Human resources, employee relations – and employee advocacy I’d like to do – work together for the good of the organization. That starts with trust, respect and effective communication.

This PR thinks any business should appreciate its employees with actions that match its words. Every week of the year.

You: What do you get from your ‘special’ week? 

Photo credit: Google search, lost the links. My bad. 

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