Employee Appreciation: What Does It Really Mean?


I was still fairly new to Global Connections when I walked in one October morning to be greeted by Chief Operating Officer Frank Zawojski. Except he was dressed like the Monopoly man and taking selfies with people. And there were pancakes.

“Ah,” I thought to myself. “I haven’t woken up yet.”

But I was awake and it wasn’t just another day at work. In fact, it wasn’t just another week at work – it was Employee Appreciation Week. For the next week I was showered with small gifts, food, words of praise, games, and a bonding experience with my new work family.

And my advice to those of you who are experiencing it for the first time: Embrace it. Don’t be skeptical or shy. It’s one of the best expressions of appreciation I’ve ever experienced in my career, and not many workplaces do such a sincere job of letting us know we are valued.

Let’s look at the science behind what motivates employees.

“A study by Bersin and Associates revealed that companies that provide ample employee recognition have 31% lower voluntary turnover rates than companies that don’t…” – “The Secret to Motivating Your Team,” Forbes

Don’t get me wrong. We’ve heard this before and probably muttered under our breath “yeah, but I like money a lot too.”

However these statistics come up time and again: it matters to people to know they are seen, heard and appreciated for a job well done. And on the flip side, that verbal appreciation tends to encourage employees to repeat that positive behavior.

So when you find a cool drinking vessel on your desk that says “You Rock!” with a nice note from your boss, bask in the glow. Eat the pancakes. Shake Tom Lyons’ hand.

According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, “Employee Motivation: A Powerful New Model,” another major motivator is the drive to bond. “At work, the drive to bond accounts for the enormous boost in motivation when employees feel proud of belonging to the organization…”

Employee Appreciation Week at Global Connections is a great way to meet this fundamental need. Not only will you get to know the people inside and outside your department, you’ll see what a nice family you’re part of.

Play some games. Meet new people. Feel the bonding.

And don’t forget good old-fashioned material greed. Global Connections is very generous with raffles, prizes, and other coveted items you have a good chance of acquiring.

Why does Global Connections put on not just an Employee Appreciation Day, but an Employee Appreciation Week? It’s simple: because you rock.

Happy Employee Appreciation Week!