Employee appreciation is often overlooked considering its impact on employee retention and job satisfaction. Recently, the Daily Mail reported a story about how an employee felt overlooked and sad due to her work not celebrating her birthday, even though it had been done for all other employees. She then took to Reddit to share her thoughts on the social media platform, grabbing the attention and reactions of thousands of users.
The significance of appreciating and recognising the efforts of your employees is rising in awareness, yet it is not executed well by some workplaces. Understanding the achievements and contributions of the employees, as well as how they prefer to be appreciated, is important to create genuine recognition and appreciation.
Forgotten Birthday Led to Disappointment
The Reddit post that was shared by user Tricky Trixy began with her explaining that she has been employed with her current employer for four years. She goes on to mention that nine months ago, her company started an employee appreciation effort by giving employees birthday cakes and cards for their birthdays.
She highlighted that it is not a big deal, just a simple cake and card as a small token of appreciation.
When her birthday rolled around she did not receive a card and cake which left her feeling sad, forgotten and overlooked. She talks about how they could not have forgotten her birthday as her boss, who is the organiser of the birthday appreciation efforts, teased her about it the day before. Further, she only received a happy birthday wish from another co-worker who happens to be her relative.
Users reacted in sympathy to her post. Most of the comments validated her feelings and encouraged her to enjoy her birthday regardless. They acknowledged that it is not about the cake and card, it is about the thoughts and effort put into it. The fact that she did not receive anything on her birthday made the disappointment valid by users on the platform.
Employee Appreciation on Social Media
Another instance of a poorly executed employee appreciation effort is one shared on the social media platform TikTok by the user Milaxhehe. In a short video, she read out an email shared by her company about their plans for employee appreciation day.
Within the email, the company announced that to show their appreciation employees will be given a sweet treat and a chance to take a photo with the CEO.
She expresses her disappointment as what they are offering does not make her feel appreciated, and would rather be given a day off or extra cash. Users agreed.
Her video gained thousands of responses with many angered and sympathised. One person said they were given gift cards by their company but they had no money on them. Another was given half-melted ice cream that was available in the conference room for 15 minutes.
The Importance of Employee Appreciation and Recognition
In a previous article, we discussed the significance of properly appreciating and recognising employees based on O.C. Tanner’s 2023 Global Culture report. The report underlines the importance of developing and maintaining a company culture that is supportive, inclusive and appreciative.
Clearly, from the instances above, many workplaces still have a long way to go in their efforts to recognise and appreciate their employees.
Employee retention is something that many workplaces are struggling to achieve, following the pandemic as well as the great resignation. Although the trends in employment have improved, workplaces still need to grow their efforts to build a sustainable inclusive culture to promote job satisfaction and employee retention.
A key way to accomplish this is by nurturing positive feelings and establishing a customised method for appreciating employees. Recognising the fact that employees have different preferences when it comes to feeling valued is crucial. The key to effective recognition lies in blending symbolic gestures with personal touches and ensuring it happens on time.