Employee Appreciation During COVID-19

Topics: Small Business

Summary: It's important to show employees how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication to your business. Employee Appreciation Day, held every year in March, is a great time to do so, but employers should remember to show their gratitude all year long, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.​ 

Thanking Employees & Showing Staff Appreciation

Small businesses from restaurants to retail stores understand the importance of the role their staff plays in their organizations. Taking care of these valuable team members should be a high priority. Employee Appreciation Day is held every year March, and while showing your gratitude to employees year-round is important, it's even more true during these stressful days amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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Why is Employee Appreciation Important for Small Businesses?

Staff appreciation and recognition are some of the key motivational factors in the workplace. When employees feel that their organizations care about their well-being, they are more engaged, are more satisfied with their jobs and ultimately more productive. Happy employees are 12% more productive in their careers, while unhappy employees are 10% less productive. A study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 79% of employees say recognition makes them work harder.

Employee appreciation should be a part of a business’s culture. While celebrating employees once a year on Employee Appreciation Day is great, having a recognition program in place all year is essential to keep your staff motivated. Saying thank you for a job well done can go a long way with employee morale throughout the year. Employees appreciate sincere recognition from their managers, coworkers and even company leaders. It makes them feel good and lets them know that their work is having an impact on their company.

Recognition can be done privately or publically, as mentioned above. However, managers need to remember that some workers feel uncomfortable with public appreciation. Employers should ask their employees what they like as tokens of appreciation specifically for Employee Appreciation Day and throughout the year.

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Ideas, Notes & Gifts to Show Staff Appreciation During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020 and changed the way many companies do business. Two years later, we are still feeling the effects, although many of the safety and health cautions the crisis brought have now become part of our daily lives. As the pandemic continues, showing your employees appreciation should remain top of mind for business owners. 

Here are a few ways to spread words of appreciation to employees during COVID-19:
  • Communicate frequently: Information about the coronavirus changes rapidly. Make sure employees are kept up-to-date on what is going on within your organization and any changes happening.
  • Mitigate risks: Employees need to know their safety is taken seriously. Whether that means providing facemasks or other protective gear, hand-washing stations or enforcing six-foot social distancing measures with customers, employees need to know you are taking steps to mitigate risks. Employers should also provide training to their employees so they know the new procedures.
  • Be flexible and loosen restriction: Employers need to be understanding and flexible. Allow employees who can work from home to do so. Make sure employees know they can and should stay home when sick without any consequences, and trust employees when they say they aren’t feeling well.
  • Send thank you notes: Sending personalized thank-you letters to your employees for their hard work during COVID-19 lets them know they are appreciated, which can go a long way in maintaining or improving employee morale, especially during a pandemic. Try something like this, and add in a personal touch: Thank you for your hard work. This past year has brought many challenges and you have risen above them all. You are a valuable member of the team and we appreciate your efforts – it hasn’t gone unnoticed! 
  • Provide public praise: Celebrate employee accomplishments, such as when they’ve met team or company goals, by giving them praise in front of their peers and executives.
  • Give extra time off: Award employees with a half or full day off that they can use later, or allow them to leave a shift early.
  • Hand out gift cards: Give out gift cards to restaurants, grocery stores, or a type of service to your employees. This is a great way to support local businesses and show your appreciation to employees.
  • Offer company swag: Gift company apparel, bags, pens and other swag to your employees.
  • Provide food and drinks: Employers can provide lunch, snacks and beverages to employees in a safe manner.
  • Connect as a team: Whether it is a video conference call or a group chat, keeping employees connected to each other and the business is important.
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Small Business Insurance Coverage from AmTrust Financial

Small business owners need to consider a variety of small business insurance solutions for their employees. AmTrust Financial is a multinational property and casualty insurer specializing in small business insurance coverage. To learn more about our small business solutions, please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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