Employee Appreciation Day is coming up on March 3… just a few weeks away! Although it’s nice that this “holiday” can prompt us as leaders and bosses to recognize our team, in reality, employee appreciation and engagement should happen more than one day a year.

Just like any other part of your business, it requires a plan with clear goals and objectives. Not sure where to start on building that plan? Read on for five ideas of how to engage and appreciate your employees throughout the entire year.

    1. Get to know your employees. It’s safe to say that this is pretty baseline – yet so many managers are “too busy” and forget to regularly just check in with their employees as people. What hobbies is each person passionate about? How does each person spend their time outside of work? Knowing the names of kids, significant others, and other important people in their lives goes a long way. And hopefully you can share some details about yourself as well!
    2. Act on employee feedback. There’s nothing worse than being asked for your opinion, and then not seeing any change come out of the feedback you provide. Employee surveys are a great tool to gauge the satisfaction of your team, but what’s most important is what happens next. Be sure to share the key takeaways and learnings from the survey, as well as what you / the leadership team plans to do to make improvements based on what you learned from employees.
    3. Provide specific and actionable feedback and measure progress. Hopefully through official review processes, you’re able to share feedback with your employees on their accomplishments, strengths, and areas of opportunity. To build on this, more informal quarterly check-ins can be helpful so you don’t have to go six months without discussing feedback. When giving feedback (positive or constructive), it’s important to give examples of when they exhibited certain behaviors, to make it more specific. From there, ideas of how to work on (or build on) a skill are always helpful, giving you the opportunity later to circle back and measure progress.
    4. Provide continuous learning and development opportunities. This can sometimes feel more daunting than it should. We all know we should regularly learn new skills and subject matter, but what should we focus on learning first? And how can we acquire that knowledge? For starters, doing cross-training with other departments can go a long way for all employees, to help everyone understand what goes on throughout the whole company. From there, having external speakers come in can be a breath of fresh air – who doesn’t like hearing smart and passionate motivational speakers? This week at Merchology, we’re having a style and image consultant come in and discuss “The Power of Perception,” giving advice on how to show up as our best selves every day. Lastly, there are so many great (and free!) webinars out there to tap into. Recently a few folks at Merchology watched “The Future of B2B Ecommerce” by Internet Retailer to hear about the latest trends and predictions that could impact our business.
    5. Don’t wait until the end of the year to celebrate! Most companies have some kind of holiday party, which is usually a great opportunity to reflect on progress achieved over the year and celebrate. However, who needs the holidays as an excuse to throw a big party?! In fact, a mid-year party can be a great opportunity to take pause and gear up for the second half of the year, which for many companies is their busy season. This year, the Merchology team is planning a Friday afternoon, Hawaiian-themed boat cruise in July. It’s something we can all look forward to as we drudge through the last couple of cold winter months!


There you go – five initial ideas to get you started on engaging with and appreciating your employees. Of course, we at Merchology are also partial to the idea that co-branded gifts can be a great way to reward employees, but we recognize that’s only one part of the plan.

We recognize that employees sometimes like gifts that do not have company logos on them! To see a few of these ideas, check out our new Non-Custom Gifts Collection. Have a great weekend!