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K-State Today

March 3, 2021

Working Wildcats: Show your appreciation

Submitted by Human Capital Services

Human Capital Services is launching the Working Wildcats campaign to reinforce employee wellness and address some common challenges that employees may continue to face as a result of the pandemic.

The Working Wildcats campaign will feature K-State Today articles and social media posts to encourage self-care and provide resources to sustain a positive and productive workplace. Intended as a quick source of information, a website has been created to host and archive these resources. The Working Wildcats website also is accessible under the banner on the Human Capital Services website

Employee Appreciation Day

Expressing employee appreciation is a timely topic as Friday, March 5, is Employee Appreciation Day. In today's heavily remote environment, communicating employee appreciation and organizational value both as an employee and a person is important. While budget constraints are real, there are many ways to show appreciation that won't stress institutional funds. In an article published by the College and University Professional Association of Human Resources, "10 Creative Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day During COVID-19," several ideas are provided ranging from no-cost to low- to medium-cost options. Departments may use a Kudoboard to celebrate employees and share praise or raffle off prizes (university swag already on hand) during a Zoom call. Perhaps you could order a special treat to be delivered to your employees, send a text or video message to show appreciation or even express a simple "thank you" to employees. HCS encourages everyone to be creative in celebrating Employee Appreciation Day. When you celebrate, take a picture and post to social media using the #workingwildcats hashtag.

Expressing employee appreciation is important as it is directly tied to employee morale. Supervisors should be cognizant of barriers to employee recognition such as "feeling too busy" or believing that employee recognition has to be complicated, both barriers provided in a recent Forbes article. When employees feel appreciated, motivation, productivity and engagement increase. In a recent survey by Workhuman, findings suggest that 53% of respondents would like to see more recognition for their efforts. Minimal in cost, employee appreciation and recognition are some of the easiest and most effective ways to increase employee morale, productivity and loyalty to the organization.

Employee recognition and appreciation can't happen often enough. Derek Jackson, associate vice president for student life shares a few comments, recognizing the efforts of many K-State staff members during a monumental and difficult year:

"I would like to thank each of our staff for the incredible amount of work that went into making the return of students in the fall and spring semester happen in a safe manner. You have put yourself out and about serving our students by keeping their classrooms, bathrooms, dining spaces, meeting rooms clean and sanitized. You have provided nutritious meals in a safe manner and helped our students have places to relax and workout. It has taken all of you in these extraordinary times to help each other stay staff. I appreciate all of the work our Lafene Health Center staff have done to provide medical support for so many of our students and faculty staff. Special shout out to our COVID Care team who have worked night and day relocating students to safe isolation and quarantine spaces, delivered meals through all types of weather and have been the ones checking in with our students' health and well-being as they wait out their quarantine or isolation. All of the university community's efforts are to be commended."