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What is the Connection between Valentine’s Day and Appreciation in the Workplace? Not Much! (with one exception)

08Feb 2014

Valentine’s day is quickly approaching. It is a great opportunity to communicate your love to those close to you. Unfortunately, it seems many in the world of employee recognition try to link recognition and appreciation to any holiday (I can’t wait to see what they try to do with St. Patrick’s Day!)

So let me state firmly upfront — there isn’t (or shouldn’t be) much connection between Valentine’s Day and communicating appreciation in the workplace. Why? Because Valentine’s Day is about personal relationships — spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends (and maybe other family and friends, to a lesser degree.)

Let’s keep our boundaries clear, and not try to convince others of the importance of appreciation in the workplace by using inappropriate connections.

Having said that, I do think employers and supervisors can demonstrate appreciation (indirectly) to their employees by supporting their efforts to do something special for their spouse / special person. Why? People are happier when their personal relationships are going well. And for many, Valentine’s Day and all the cultural expectations surrounding it, can create additional stress in our lives (“What should I do? What should I get them?”)

Recognize that this added stress may be there for your employees and support them in their efforts to communicate their love to their “valentine” (if appropriate, let them off a little early to go get a gift or get ready for their date.)

[Suggestion: If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages, get it, read it and apply the concepts. Written by my friend and co-author Dr. Gary Chapman, over eight million individuals & couples have found it to be helpful!]

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