National Employee Appreciation Day: Engaging Employees and Keeping Them Happy

It is National Employee Appreciation Day, observed annually on the first Friday in March, and created as a way of focusing the attention of all employers in all industries on employee recognition, according to the National Day Calendar. Businesses and organizations across the country are recognizing the achievements and contributions of their employees. Talent will seek opportunities elsewhere if they are not valued and rewarded–which may be something as simple as flex or remote work days.

The changing landscape also is impacting how employers are meeting the needs of today’s workers when it comes to engaging employees and keeping them happy–and on the job. A recent McKinsey study found 20% to 30% of the American workforce is made up of independent workers. The new American workforce is characterized as multigenerational, increasingly autonomous, and mobile.


Employee Engagement Trends


Maritz Motivation Solutions released a new e-book, Employee Engagement Trends and Insights for 2017, which predicts six key employee engagement trends that will change the landscape for HR practitioners in 2017. In addition to the forecast from CultureNext, the e-book also includes predictions and insights from leaders in the field.

“Professional best practices, technology trends, and innovation are moving targets as HR executives and their companies prepare for 2017 and beyond. Keeping your employees involved and engaged is an area that is always transforming and evolving based on new information and new capabilities,” said Kimberly Abel-Lanier, VP and General Manager for CultureNext at Maritz Motivation Solutions, in a released statement. “In our e-book, we share six exciting transformations we predict will change engagement this year.”

According to CultureNext, the six transforming trends are:



A Maritz Webinar poll revealed 40% of HR respondents see the “need for flexibility,” which was the top-ranking trend in the workplace. “Flexibility encompasses everything from flex-time to remote work to shaking up the traditional office environment based on the wants and needs of employees.”


Seamless integration:


This entails HR systems, such as feedback, recognition, engagement, rewards, wellness, talent management, onboarding, and performance management, all talking to each other.



Employees revealed that they “crave meaning at work and look for a personal connection to their organizations, teams, and missions.”




Two examples cited are the use of self-service HR chatbots and the automatic processing of routine requests. Automation has shifted the focus from routine tasks to those requiring higher-level strategic involvement.


Engagement in the gig economy:


CultureNext acknowledges that along with the rise of Uber and the “freelance nation” comes a new challenge for “HR to engage, motivate, reward, and retain independent employees.”




Predictive analytics is used to inform HR which top performers have ‘untapped potential within the organization,” as well as which are most likely to leave the company for a new opportunity.