Experts discuss some of the ways employers can show their employees a little love in honor of Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Recognition Day is just around the corner and has taken on a new meaning over the past year due to the struggles workers went through during the COVID-19 pandemic, the holiday celebrated on the first Friday in March Launched in 1995 to thank employees for their tireless work throughout the year and to deepen relationships between employees and their organizations

Millions of employees have worn masks and survived the pandemic in person or spent hours in front of their home computers in the past year. Regardless of how some have spent the year, employees have had widespread fatigue and other problems related to being through the Pandemic-induced psychological distress reported

According to Forrester, 33% of US. Employees Report Feelings of Fatigue and Other Mental Health Stresses Businesses need to remain focused on supporting employees and recognizing hard work and effort during this long-term shift in the traditional work environment

Analysts and experts spoke to TechRepublic about eight ways companies can celebrate Employee Recognition Day

Several analysts said that after a year like 2020, companies would have to do everything they could to celebrate their employees for coming through such an extraordinary situation

“As National Employee Appreciation Day approaches, it’s important for leaders to take the time to show employees appreciation for their hard work. This is even more important now that most organizations work remotely, often in challenging home offices, “said Heather Paunet, senior vice president at Untangle

“Leadership should also recognize everyone’s extra effort over the past year by giving them something of value: Time This is an opportunity to give employees a break from virtual meetings and working from home, whether or not one If the company has the resources to provide a full “Mental Health Day” for everyone, or even a short day on Friday, it goes beyond a virtual event of giving employees time as a token of appreciation “

Paunet added that giving employees time to recharge, catch up and relax is important not only to show how much they are valued but also to be more productive when they return

Paunet also noted that all business leaders should routinely show appreciation and love to their employees

Andrew Hewitt, analyst at Forrester, said it is important to celebrate contributions to an organization because remote working is still negatively perceived “Although the overall remote working experience has been positive, there are still many stigmas and challenges in the world Related to remote work, “said Hewitt

Forrester analyst Dan Bieler said higher employee engagement leads to better customer experiences, but in a post-pandemic world, hybrid workforces will become the norm

“This shift will undermine traditional top-down management and presentation-based office culture. The level of employee engagement, meanwhile, will be influenced by the quality and type of corporate culture. Better employee experiences lead to higher employee engagement, and culture is a critical factor for the experiences of the employees, “said Bieler

“In addition, corporate culture is important for business success, as it defines how your company thinks of itself and how it approaches the challenges of constant change”

Katy Tynan, principal analyst at Forrester, said the resilience that millions of employees have demonstrated this year is important to highlight and praise them

Millions of employees have had to make significant changes to their day-to-day performance, and it has not been an easy change for many

“Leaders need to create a culture of resilience to change that will help their organizations be more adaptive to this ever-changing state of change,” said Tynan

Mental health struggles were widespread in 2020, according to several global surveys, many were personally affected by the virus or dealt with financial and family issues related to COVID-19

Hewitt said it is imperative that organizations help employees who express the need for mental health care

“While 33% of US. Workers at home say their mental health has suffered from the pandemic and related challenges Many companies have made it much more convenient to address workplace mental health needs, provide support services to working parents, and improve access to health services such as counselors for free, “Hewitt said

One of the most difficult aspects of working remotely was the inability to connect with coworkers.Many people had gotten used to talking to the water chiller on a daily basis and now had to supplement it with family members or pets, who often don’t provide the kind of comfort and connection could that they needed

Robyn Singh, vice president of People at Qumulo, suggested that organizations establish a Slack channel through which employees can share appreciation and appreciation with one another

“You can have a company-wide channel as well as team-specific channels We created both a corporate channel and one for engineering and customer success. Every day should feel like an employee appreciation day, and it helps keep the praise going all year round, “said Singh

“Taking a moment to share appreciation should be our standard way of working together”

To keep employees motivated and connected, Singh also said companies should hold more events that keep everyone involved and add diversity to the typical work day now filled with Zoom meetings after Zoom meetings

“In a remote setting, it is difficult to develop employee appreciation events that are engaging enough to overcome the zoom fatigue that technicians deal with every day “Chopped” and each employee was given a cutting board, apron and spatula, “said Singh

“Then we worked with the chef on the recipes! Think creatively to break the screen and hold a team building event where everyone is involved”

Many of those who have spoken with TechRepublic said executives need to empathize with workers who may be struggling with the pandemic or remote working, even if thousands of people return to work while the vaccine is on a larger scale When introduced, it is important to remember that after such a long time it can be difficult for some to reintegrate into formal jobs

“All business leaders should show appreciation and appreciation for hard work and milestones throughout the year, not just on December 5th March, “said Paunet

“Now you should also think about a special appreciation of the employees for everyone when we are back together in the office”

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Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the US after reporting from South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia since 2013

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