Valentines is one of the most polarized vacations out there with its naysayers and campaigners almost equally divided. We see people preparing for the occasion weeks in advance and their Facebook updates are all about how excited they are. Then there are those who use the same social media platform to spew poison over what a useless waste of time such occasions are and how these are responsible for everything from global warming to the war in Iraq. Love it or hate it, the fact is that valentine day is one of the most popular vacations out there with almost 180 million cards exchanged in a year and $17.6 Billion expected to be spent in 2012 in US alone.
As your employees(many of them at least) are busy celebrating this day with their loved ones, I think it make sense for companies to also show their people some love. No, we don’t expect you to get flowers and chocolates for all employees (though that would be nice) but small actions that don’t cost much in terms of money go a long way in showing your employees that you actually value them.
I give you below 14 ways a company can show the employees that they are valuable and that the company actually cares. You can choose to do one or more of these 14 but whatever you choose, make sure to follow through. Most of these cost little or no money but the positive impact on employee wellbeing and motivation is immense.
- Announce a policy for a half day off at an employees’ birthday.
- Start a practice of handwritten thank you notes from the CEO for any exceptional achievements.
- Start the practice of matching employee donations to registered charities.
- Announce the policy of Paid volunteer time.
- Offer an incentive to employees who quit smoking.
- Start an employee hotline where they can voice their grievances and suggestions without having to deal with bureaucracy and needless paperwork.
- Start the practice of one hour per week open forum with the CEO.
- Start a “kindest employee of the month” scheme. This is the person who is selected by the rest of the team to be the most helpful and kind not just to other employees but also to people in general.
- Announce a day off at birth of a child (paternity leave).
- Start the practice of displaying the calorie count and nutritional information at the cafeteria menu.
- Set up a small spare room as a play room with toys and some books (ask employees with older kids to donate). This way, you can make it possible for people to bring their children to the workplace from time to time if necessary. This will cut down on the absenteeism and show them that you care for their families and value them as an employee.
- Organize a self-development/ motivation/ stress management workshop on the V-Day. It can be on anything as long as the people feel better after the session and learn skills that improve the quality of their lives.
- Do an employee poll on top three things they wish to change in the company. Publish the results and show them what you are doing on the top three suggestions on a periodic basis.
- Ohhhhh go get some Coffee and Donuts already (you know you want to). Just make sure there are enough for everyone….yes even the janitor!
According to this post, 53% of women in US will dump their boyfriends if they didn’t get them anything for valentines. People surely do have strong feelings for this day and you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the fence. It is all about showing some love after all!