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Top 2 Ways You can Boost Appreciation

taco plus confetti equals happy

22 years ago Bob Nelson and his book publisher promoted the first Friday in March as Employee Appreciation Day.

He’s since called the day a little silly and emphasized you shouldn’t show appreciation only once a year. As he told Business Insider:

“But I did want to have one day where we could call attention to the topic and have conversations about its importance.”

So in the spirit of Employee Appreciation Day, we wanted to talk to you about two great ways to boost appreciation on your team.

#1 Take a break and celebrate!

A great way to inspire appreciation is to celebrate . Celebrating as an individual or a team is a very healthy habit. Just ask a sports psychologist or look at all the research on gratitude, the evidence is overwhelming.

One way we’re evaluating how good HeyTaco! is at getting people to celebrate is by looking at the rewards people are redeeming. We like to see if people are choosing monetary-based rewards (i.e. gift cards) or celebratory items (i.e. team parties). Here’s a breakdown of rewards redeemed over the last year:

What types of rewards are people redeeming tacos for?

pie chart: 80% redeem monetary; 20% redeem celebrations

As you can see, people are more inclined to get a monetary reward for themselves. We’re also more likely to create rewards like gift cards because they’re so convenient to give out and people seem to like them.

Like anything in life though, too much of a good thing can be bad. We recommend trying to have a more even balance of monetary rewards and celebrations. So the next time you redeem or create a reward, think about what impact you want those tacos to have.

We also run an ongoing appreciation survey where we ask, “How often has your team gotten together to celebrate in the last 3 months?”

Number of times a team has celebrated in the past 3 months.

pie chart: 44% 1 to 2 times; 25% never; 20% 3-6 times; 11% 7 or more

With 69% of teams celebrating fewer than two times in 3 months, it’s evident we’re all having a hard time celebrating. Forgetting to celebrate is easy to do, even at HeyTaco! we’re guilty of not celebrating enough.

Here’s a couple things you can do right now to amp up the celebrations:

  • Give someone a high five
  • Reflect on what went well the last month
  • Redeem your tacos for a celebratory reward
  • Create a team party reward
  • Create a recurring team lunch on the calendar

#2: Show someone appreciation for who they are

There’s been over 800,000 taco’s given and the vast majority are for recognizing people for their contributions. People post amazing comments like this 1,000’s of times per day:

@edmund, thanks for helping with my crazy PDF document!!! taco taco
These comments are key to helping those around us feel appreciated, but there’s another form of appreciation that is even more powerful.

It’s when we let people know what it is about them we appreciate. It focuses on who they are and less on what they did. We see this form of appreciation a lot less because it’s harder to do. Sometimes it can feel awkward, and there’s no reminder for you to show it.

Here are a few ways to let people know why they matter:

When times are tough
Sorry the Devito test didn't work out :(. Don't worry your persistence will pay off. taco taco

Birthdays and Anniversaries
Happy 4 year anniversary urkel! Here's a taco for one of the most resourceful people i know! taco

When people do something you value
Very thorough work on that onboarding teardown @urkel! Wish I had your attention to detail! taco taco

At the end of a project
@Alice loved your positivity on the Django project. Wouldn't have made it without you. taco taco taco taco

A parting piece of advice

That’s it for this year’s Employee Appreciation Day. We leave you with one last tip:

Be sure to focus on someone’s elbow instead of their hand when you’re giving them a high five. It’s key for giving high fives with lasting effect.

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