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Make every day Employee Appreciation Day

You can't limit recognition to 1 day on the calendar

By Roy Saunderson

Every day we interact with some pretty amazing people doing their jobs in an awesome way.

But do your colleagues, your boss, and especially yourself, truly feel valued for the good things you are doing at work each day?

And so we are reminded about valuing people at work every year on the first Friday in March — this year it’s March 4th — with Employee Appreciation Day.

Calendared days create remembrance and rumination for us — which should be a good thing, right? Awareness brings change — and surely we need that. However, there’s a problem with having just one day on the calendar. It seems we quickly forget about our colleagues the rest of the days on the calendar.

Some studies out there say 39 per cent of employees don’t receive any appreciation at work. In contrast, we’ve found examples with our new client companies where only one third of the employees reported receiving any recognition for their contributions.

No matter the statistical spectrum, any number that gets into double digits of how people do not feel respected, valued and appreciated is wrong.

Unfortunately, with such a high percentage of employees claiming no recognition on a regular basis, having a designated day on the calendar appears as a cynical reflection of their daily reality.

Can I make a bold stand and say we make every day employee appreciation day?

No, I am not saying you have to stand by the workplace entrance or exit and say “thank you” to every employee who enters and leaves work each day.

But every employee wants to, hear, see, and feel, some form of appreciation for who they are and be recognized for what they do, on a regular basis.

Make recognition and appreciation a daily habit and a way of life by considering the following ideas:

Learn to appreciate yourself first: One of the biggest reasons holding people back from appreciating others is not valuing themselves first. Stop and look at what you are doing in a day. Have some pride in what you’ve accomplished. If you see life negatively try honestly to reframe your thoughts and look for one good thing you’ve done every day. Embrace it and accept it.

Become more observant of good things around you: Whether you see this as developing an attitude of gratitude or becoming a detective searching out everyone doing great things around you — be on the lookout for positive actions of others. If you’re on the phone a lot, or working remotely, pick up on how people are helping you and others. Take it in and treasure these observations.

Open your mouth and heart and say something positive: With all these wonderful things you’ve seen — open your mouth. Take the challenge to express appreciation for the people around you and all they do. There are endless opportunities to express appreciation to others: face-to-face, on the phone or via written form of emails, notes, texts or social media. Let your expressions burst out of you and learn to feel good doing so.

Weekly review of recognition giving: Gallup’s Q12 recognition question asks whether you’ve been praised or recognized for doing good work in the last seven days, implying we should recognize one another at least weekly. Let’s be more aware and mindful of each other and sincerely acknowledge those around us for the difference they’ve made in our lives and our work each week.

Roy Saunderson is chief instructional and curriculum developer of Vistance Learning (part of Rideau). For more information visit

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