I have always believed you are only as good as the people that you surround yourself with. For me this philosophy is crucial when it comes to my employees. When hiring staff, I prioritize an eagerness to learn and engage. While knowledge coming into a position can be useful, nothing compares to a positive attitude and a solid intention to strive at a task at hand. I find this philosophy creates a productive and loyal staff that I very much appreciate!

When it comes to Employee Appreciation Day, I seek ways to honor them and all they do. Here are a few ways to show your employees you value having them on your team:


Free Education

I love taking on a mentoring role and lending my experiences and knowledge to the people I work with. It not only enriches my staff, but helps me grow as a leader. It also can spark inspiration and new ideas in the process. If you are a leader in your field, take some time to teach classes on your expertise. If not, seek someone who is, that can enrich not only your business but your employees’ careers as well.

It can be difficult to spread knowledge one by one, but the class format not only can reach more people at once, it can also be very interactive and team building. Try creating a series that can last several weeks with possible guest speakers and teachers. At the end of the course you can offer rewards or prizes for different achievements.


Take a little trip

Sometimes the best way to build strong relationships, unification and trust within the workplace is by leaving it. I love educational field trips that are not only fun, but also enriching for the staff. For instance, being in the hospitality business with a focus on wine, from time to time I make opportunities for us to visit a winery of a wine that we sell. This gives the staff a connection and better understanding of the product they are selling. When they are back in the workplace, this product now has a life and history that they are excited to share with their customers.


While I know not everyone has as social a product as wine, I feel like the same principle can apply in other fields. If your focus is making or selling particular products, it could be very interesting for your team to possibly visit one of the businesses you are making those items for and have your staff see how what they make is being used.


Get Happy

A work sponsored happy hour can always be fun and great for morale-- especially on the boss’s tab! It doesn’t have to be about drinking if that’s a conflict with your company policies, but the same principles could apply to another type of gathering such as a company picnic, arcades, miniature golf, movie nights or bowling. Sounds simple enough but something relatively easy to organize can be greatly appreciated time to let loose a bit.

If you are an entrepreneur or striving to be one, it’s important to remember and acknowledge the time when you were an employee yourself. Avoid circumstances in your business that made or make you feel negatively or uninspired in any way as a staff member. Instead, emulate the positive points you have experienced in your career and create the environment you would love to work in even if you were starting from the bottom in your own company.


Share your goals, be open about what you want and where you want to go. Clear paths lead to open roads, and the possibilities become endless in achieving your destination. Don’t be afraid to draw upon your own past to find ways to appreciate your staff. This way, it comes from a personal and genuine place that will be felt and remembered.