Who doesn’t appreciate something special on Valentines Day? Count your employees among the people in your life who deserve a little attention…a little warm and fuzzy corporate attention, that is.
Showing your workforce that your company cares is actually a priority for many organizations today. At least, it should be, because employees increasingly want and expect a personal touch from their employers: a warmness and appreciation that goes beyond the nitty gritty minutiae of a typical workday.
We’re referring to company culture here—and if yours could use some sweetening up, Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to practice some warming up. A few ideas to try:
Send Employees a “Love Letter”
Okay, maybe more of a “here’s why we care about our employees” memo. Something along the lines of…
It’s Valentine’s Day, and we just want to share with you all the reasons we value you and your service to [Company Name]. Every work day, you devote your time and energy to serving our internal and external customers—and helping us meet our goals. You contribute to a company culture that’s getting stronger and more effective. Your ideas and talents make a difference to your departmental team and the company as a whole...
You won’t want to use this verbatim, but you get the idea. Write something that comes from the heart, and make your words and sentiments relevant to your employees and your company’s mission.
[Read more: Sense of Belonging at Work]
For a digital twist, send out your gratitude over social media—it’s a form of recognition they’ll appreciate!
Treat Them to Some Valentines Day Goodies
Here’s where that box of chocolates come in. But you don’t have to limit yourself to the traditional confections—unless you know your office is comprised of chocoholics. Consider offering a slightly more healthy spread of veggies with dip, or those fun, fresh fruit bouquets. Chocolate covered strawberries strike the perfect balance. Another idea is to surprise them with a special meal or dessert: breakfast bagels in the break-room or cheesecake after lunch. For remote employees, pick a treat (or a restaurant gift card) that holds up in the mail.
Then again…maybe food isn’t their “love language!” Keep in mind that some people aren’t charmed by edible gifts, or perhaps they have health conditions that keep the usual crowd (palate) pleasers at arms-length. If your office isn’t filled with foodies, your employees may appreciate a $5 gift card or some fun, useful company swag (T-shirt, mug, bottle opener, pen…whatever’s on-brand that they’d actually enjoy using). You might also want to consider a hosting community-building activity such as a gathering/drive to support the American Heart Association or another organization that's close to your company's heart.
Decorate the Office
Whether the decorations go up in early February or your HR team stays late on the 13th to surprise everyone in the morning, have some fun with streamers, hearts, and confetti. Alternatively, you can have a contest and invite each department to decorate their areas—your C-Suite can vote on the winners. Don’t forget to encourage remote employees to decorate their workspaces, too, and share their setups via video.
For some tips on making sure your workplace/workforce Valentines Day activities aren’t sending any unintentional messages that some employees may deem inappropriate, check out 8 Guard Rails for a Happy Valentine’s Day in your Workplace from the SHRM blog.
Show them You Care, Always
The best idea is to show your employees you care every day of the year. Here are some best practices to do just that:
Solicit their feedback…on just about anything related to your workforce culture and employee benefits. Employees want to be listened to and heard, and every good relationship (in and out of the workplace) depends on give and take, back and forth, collaboration, and communication.
Nurture their work/Life balance…by offering flexible schedules, work-from-home days, and wellbeing benefits that help them address all areas of their health and wellness—and that of their families’, too. Go back to the previous pointer and survey your employees to find out what balancing benefits they’d appreciate the most.
Build an amazing culture…so your employees know you care about their whole selves. Create an environment that’s enjoyable to work in, comfortable and employee-friendly, where they “feel the love” from the C-Suite down to the cubicles and remote offices.
Have a happy Valentine’s Day...and enjoy sharing the corporate caring, all the year through!