Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
Simply saying you are grateful for your staff’s efforts is insufficient. Give them a special event that lifts them from their daily tasks to something memorable.
Although there isn’t a Hallmark card to mark it nor are the banks and post offices closed, employers around the U.S. should provide an “Employee Appreciation Day” as a means of boosting the morale of the people who make their enterprise work. Sponsored by the Recognition Professionals International, a trade professional organization, it is recommended for the first Friday in March every year. But nothing says an employer can’t hold this on a day of their choosing, perhaps when company business is least interrupted by it.
What do companies do to show that employees matter? Other than fair compensation and competitive benefits, it’s probably best to organize an event that accomplishes other things, such as cross-departmental socializing. For some employers, that event might need to be held offsite and perhaps outside of working hours. In other situations it may be wholly appropriate and productive to make it a special lunch.
But when we say “special,” it really needs to be that. Break from routine, perhaps hosting that lunch in a nearby park. Better yet, instead of a sit-down meal where guests at best interact with the four or five people seated near them, you might adopt the trend of food stations and casual mingling. Consider one of the most popular formats, corporate taco cart catering. Human resources professionals have largely tapped into it for several years now, but where such event planning is done by others it might be a new and novel idea.
Taco catering is pretty ideal in that it is very adaptable to occasions. Everything from weddings, graduations and bar mitzvahs to huge corporate events can be accommodated by adding taco carts and even mobile margarita bars. Because each cart is a self-contained kitchen and service area, they can be used at venues where traditional food service would not be possible.
Consider these points if you are planning an employee appreciation day:
It’s about more than a gift: it should be an experience – It serves everyone’s best interests when what you give is something they physically experience. When they meet people from outside their departments it helps them and the company at the same time.
Make it fun – Start with a ban on PowerPoint presentations. Next, make the food festive. What says, “Here’s a party!” more than when taco caterers show up?
Don’t make employees work on this event! – You need an outside vendor such as a taco catering company to handle everything.
A final note is that supervisors should be given adequate time to plan for this event such that project deadlines are not impeded or used to dissuade some employees from attending the event. If tasty shrimp, vegetarian or shredded pork tacos are what everyone else is talking about later, it would be wrong for a handful of dedicated employees to miss out. Tacos for all!