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This month we had a double celebration - Employee Appreciation Day and International Women's Day. At IBI, we couldn't think of a better way to honor both occasions than by highlighting the immense impact that feeling appreciated can have on employee engagement, satisfaction, and well-being - especially for women in the workplace.

The data is clear - when employees feel truly seen, valued, and recognized for their contributions, it creates an incredible motivating force. Studies have shown that feeling appreciated can increase employee engagement. They are more committed to their organizations, more willing to go above and beyond, and more resilient in the face of stress. Expressions of gratitude from colleagues and leaders are a renewable source of encouragement and energy.

For women, who have spent generations having their crucial skills and innovations undervalued or overlooked, authentic appreciation is particularly empowering. According to research by McKinsey, women are less likely than men to receive feedback that recognizes their work and potential. In a workplace culture of recognition, women feel more respected, more likely to speak up, and more confident in their abilities - helping offset the effects of gender bias that cause women's performance to be undervalued.

Simple acts of meaningful recognition - a compliment in a meeting, a shout out in the company newsletter, an employee appreciation award - create a positive cycle. Employees who feel included and recognized are at least twice as likely to give their full effort. When women's accomplishments are uplifted and celebrated, it amplifies their motivation, engagement, and retention.

So on this combined Employee Appreciation Day and International Women's Day, we urge fostering cultures of active appreciation, especially toward elevating your incredible female team members. It will reap benefits far beyond just today's celebration:

  • Ensure outstanding work and achievements by women are equitably considered for rewards, promotions, and advancement opportunities
  • Have senior leaders make a point of publicly expressing gratitude to their high-performing women staff
  • Survey your female employees to better understand what forms of recognition are most meaningful to them
  • Implement programs that enable peer-to-peer appreciation, like shout out channels and kudos boards

Taking tangible actions to recognize the invaluable contributions from your female workforce will amplify their motivation, confidence, and sense of belonging. In turn, that will fuel higher engagement, more innovation, and better business outcomes.

This Employee Appreciation Day and International Women's Day, we celebrate the evidence-backed power of authentic appreciation to uplift women, drive success, and create more equitable workplaces.

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