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Employee Appreciation Day: 5 Inspiring Initiatives in Social Care

Appreciation matters, it really does. Especially for workers in a mentally taxing–but vital–sector like Social Care. To mark Employee Appreciation Day we’re showcasing five amazing initiatives from across the sector.

Mental health strains, low pay, and feeling unappreciated are some of the top reasons Social Care workers give when quitting

Improving pay is necessary, but in today’s climate it’s often harder to implement; budget cuts, inflation, and a volatile economy are forcing companies to look for alternative ways to appreciate employees. 

Improving the mental health of your Social Care workforce and making them feel valued and recognised can truly change workers’ lives—without costing your businesses cash. 

With 77% of Social Care workers wanting recognition from their employer, but only 21% of workers saying this happens regularly–there’s massive room for improvement. 

In light of Employee Appreciation Day—and soon to be Social Care Worker’s Day—we’re sharing five employee recognition and appreciation initiatives that care homes in the UK are running to show workers that what they’re doing is being noticed. 

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day is a special event celebrated on the first Friday of March. This day is a special reminder for companies to thank, recognise, and celebrate their employees. This year that day falls on Friday 3rd March 2023.

#EmployeeAppreciationDay is for employees and companies across all industries around the world–after all, no matter what they do, they deserve to be recognised and appreciated for their hard work. 

Five recognition and appreciation initiatives we can all learn from

Bill Marklein, founder of Employ Humanity, said:

Culture is how employees’ hearts and stomachs feel about Monday morning on a Sunday night.” 

This couldn’t be any truer. After all, two in five workers have left their jobs due to feeling unappreciated. In comparison, only 35% cite looking for better-paid jobs as the reason for leaving.  

Even today, many are prioritising mental well-being over finances. Let’s look at five initiatives that are helping employees feel the appreciation that they deserve.

First up, Majesticare. 

1) Majesticare: where employees are shining stars

The Majesticare Star Awards is a set of awards given to employees in different categories to show them how much residents, patients, and the company value their work. 

Employees can be nominated by colleagues, as a great showcase of peer recognition, but also by residents and their families.

Majesticare weren’t shy when coming up with categories for their awards, they understand how vital acknowledging individuals and teams is. 

Some of the Star Awards categories, for which people can nominate employees and teams for as many as they want, are:

  • Legendary Leader Award
  • Cosmic Care Award
  • Majesticare’s Rising Star – Newcomer Award
  • The Buzz Aldrin Unsung Hero Award

Majesticare knows that valuing, appreciating, and recognising employees is crucial for an out-of-this-world quality of care, and more importantly, a pillar of a thriving company culture. 

This initiative takes their employee appreciation efforts to the moon and back–and similar award structures will likely do the same for your team. 

2) Sanctuary Care: where Social Care appreciation gets social 

Sanctuary Care has over 6,000 employees and more than 90 care homes. They know that appreciating and recognising employees is one of the best ways to ensure employee well-being and the highest possible quality of care at scale. 

Sanctuary Care offers employee benefits like free meals, gym memberships, and bonuses to teams that achieve a Care Quality Commission (CQC) award. They also recognise employees for their hard work on Social Media

Seeing how employees are 63% more likely to stay at a job where they feel recognised, even small things like this can have a huge impact on staff morale and satisfaction. 

Additionally, Sanctuary Care holds employee awards where the winners can get up to £300 in vouchers

3) Voyage Care: where recognition and appreciation are served on the daily

Voyage Care truly understands the importance of recognising workers and it shows. They offer:

  • Voyage Excellence Awards: anyone across the company can nominate an individual or team for an award—and they strongly link nominations to the company values, increasing employee engagement with the company’s mission and vision
  • Thank you cards: encouraging employees to acknowledge each other’s outstanding performance
  • Recognising achievements: when a team gets recognised by an outside association like the National Autistic Society or the CQC as an outstanding care home, Voyage will provide a personal thank you note from the CEO to each team member, and a local celebration so that the whole team can enjoy when hard work pays off. This is a great way to boost staff morale and team culture. 
  • Long service award: a reward scheme that marks 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of working at Voyage Care. This helps create a supportive workplace for team members achieving their personal career milestones while increasing staff retention rates


Staff appreciation for Voyage Care is quintessential. In their own words: “Our remarkable teams work incredibly hard to help us achieve our core purpose: to deliver great quality care and support. The difference they make to the lives of the people we support is immense and we want them to know how much we appreciate them.”

Learn how to create a workplace culture of staff recognition in Social Care. 

4) Aria Care Home: where wellness and mental health are a top priority for all

Newport's Aria Care Home for people with Dementia won a Caring UK Award in 2022 for achieving 100% employee retention by enhancing its workforce culture. That is no small feat—no matter the industry! 

But, what have they been doing right? Let’s take a look. 

First of all, they offer employee wellness programmes focused on supporting the mental health of its employees. After all, 86% of HR professionals cited that offering mental health resources can increase employee retention. 

On one hand, their mental health improves thanks to the resources provided. On the other, they feel seen, heard, and appreciated by an employer who cares about their well-being. A win-win!

Managing Director of Aria Care home, Ali Al-Mufti said: “The team [at Aria Care] have cultivated a remarkable culture here this year and understands the importance of love and support not only for our residents, but each other as well.

“Our team worked diligently and selflessly during the covid outbreak, having to deal with some of the most challenging times ever seen in the sector and did so with unrelenting selflessness and resilience. They are an amazing group of people, and I am so proud of all of them.”

Ali added “I hope that one day we can contribute a positive change in an industry that is facing many challenges. At Aria Care Home, we have no fear of trying to do things differently and will always focus on the wellbeing of both our residents and the workforce.”

In Social Care, caring for residents it’s only half the work. Ensuring workers are being taken care of, their mental health and general well-being, is not only good for retention, but it also improves the quality of care they are able to provide. 

Ready to go the extra mile? Check out three strategies to retain and win back staff. 

5) Abbots Care: where technology helps take better care of Social Care workers

Abbots Care has stepped into the future of workforce appreciation. After witnessing the challenging times and isolation many workers were living through the pandemic, Abbots Care’s Managing Director and Co-Founder Camille Leavold came up with an app to help support workers’ mental and emotional well-being. 

The app is accessible to workers from their very first day on the job and in it they can:

  • Check-in how you’re feeling: allowing staff to check-in and report on their feelings, if they wish, this helps the managing teams to better understand how our workforce is feeling as a whole
  • Praise and support co-workers: care staff are able to praise and support their co-workers, this helps foster a supportive and positive work environment as well as a sense of community
  • Receive rewards: Abbots Care decided to incentivize the use of the app by allowing staff to earn rewards for using it and engaging in activities that promote their well-being
  • General advice: the app also provides general advice and guidance on maintaining good mental health, like how to manage stress, improving sleep, and examples of other self-care practices
  • Service User feedback: Social Care staff can also share feedback from Service Users in order to boost morale and help workers understand the impact they are having on the people they take care of

This app has been a true game-changer for Abbots Care. In their own words: “Since its launch, we can honestly say that the Abbots Care wellbeing app has made a huge impact not only in the way our people and company communicate but our culture and team motivation as a whole – which is no mean feat when you employ a remote workforce of over 400 people!”

As you can see, Abbots Care makes sure that all employees are feeling valued, seen, and recognised for their work, and that they are able to take care of their mental health and overall well-being–and is using technology to help them do exactly that.  

Show them that you care this Employee Appreciation Day and beyond!

Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated on the first Friday in March each year to focus our attention on employees in all industries–including Social Care–because they truly deserve it. 

Get inspired with these five recognition and appreciation initiatives shown here, and get ready to value and appreciate your Social Care employees–today and always. 

Want more? Check our latest webinar where we discussed if Social Care needs a new culture of recognitionpsst, the short answer is yes!