March is the beginning of busy-bug-season for many of us in the industry. The month also contains Employee Appreciation Day. The unofficial holiday is observed on the first Friday of March. It began in 1995 to strengthen the bonds between employers and employees. For many pest control businesses; appreciation is power. But it can be difficult to remember to show appreciation as the season gets underway. In observance of this year’s Employee Appreciation Day, March 6, 2020, and the understanding that we will all be crazy busy soon, here are seven easy and effective ways to show appreciation to your staff this year.
1. Have a traveling trophy: The traveling trophy is a great culture-building tool hidden under employee appreciation. Choose an activity you want your employees to replicate, such as sharing company social media posts on their personal accounts. Before each staff meeting, calculate which employee shared the most. That employee now gets the trophy until the next staff meeting.
2. Snag bag rewards: Rather than having one generic appreciation gift, have an assortment of gifts from which a recognized employee can choose. Each gift should be relatively equitable in cost, but should span an array of interests — movie tickets, a fuel card, a bottle of wine, company swag, an Amazon Echo, a family photoshoot, one additional Personal Time Off (PTO) day, and venison steaks are all ideas. Even better, poll your staff and ask them to list three things valued between $25 and $75 to be thrown into the snag bag!
3. Make your appreciation social: Many employee appreciation events are held where only the company staff is aware. Do a Facebook Live event when rewarding your staff so everyone knows about it. Post a headshot or customized meme of your employee with a congratulations post on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Heck, you can even make an employee of the month page on your company’s website.
4. Have their peers give cheers: Provide an opportunity for the members of your staff to choose which employee should be appreciated! Your staff is far more observant than you probably give them credit for; allow them the opportunity to vote for an employee to be appreciated.
5. Appreciation field trips: Do you remember how excited you were to go on a field trip while you were in school? It was something different, something cool, at least it wasn’t vocabulary words right? As a team-building and appreciation activity, you can plan company field trips. Many theme parks, movie theaters, parks, and tourist-trap style attractions have discounted rates during normal business hours. How about taking advantage and bring your staff to the local theme park as a way to say, “you guys are awesome and I appreciate everything you do for our pest control company!”
6. Double date dinners: Employee appreciation is a tool to increase employee retention. Getting to know your employees outside of the daily grind is another way to increase employee retention. Why not combine them? Scheduling a double dinner date consisting of you and your spouse with the employee and his or her spouse is a great way to combine two employee retention strategies at once. If you deploy this strategy, try to locate a restaurant that the employee prefers.
7. Recognize non-work achievements: In the same token as the appreciation methods above, recognize employees’ non-work related achievements. This can be done during the staff meeting, on social media, one-on-one or by all of the above. It costs your company nothing to publicly recognize your technician for being captain of the softball tournament champions, the blue ribbon winner at this year’s county fair or completing a humanitarian mission for their church. Take an interest in your employees as individual people and watch their loyalty to you and your company increase.
Appreciation should not be reserved for one day a year. Hopefully, as you read this article and celebrate Employee Appreciation Day, the spirit of the holiday enters your heart and mind. If you do not have an employee appreciation system within your business, I invite you to take the suggestions made above and suggestions your staff offers and create your process to consistently show your staff appreciation.
Eric Palmer is the Founder of 7 in 6 Consulting and the owner of Southwest Exterminators. If you would like to get ahold of him, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org