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Show Your Employees Appreciation With Food and Fun

Employee Appreciation Day

Every year at Dawson’s True Value Hardware, with two locations in Topsfield and North Beverly, Massachusetts, the management team hosts an appreciation event for its employees. Since many families and the store are extremely busy during the holiday season, management tends to host the employee appreciation party in January, once things have slowed down, says Mark Johnson, general manager at Dawson’s True Value Hardware.

Employees at Dawson's True Value Hardware play mini golf at the store during an employee party.
Employees at Dawson’s True Value Hardware play mini golf at the store during an employee party.

Previously the management has taken employees out to dinner or rented a bowling alley. This year, however, they had a local mini golf rental company set up nine mini golf holes throughout the store. The attendees were split into two teams and tried to par the course, leading to lighthearted camaraderie and a memorable event.

In addition to mini golf, there was also a dartboard and bag toss in the store, creating a game night for employees. Every good party needs food, so a local barbecue restaurant catered the event. Employees were able to bring their spouse, resulting in more than 50 attendees.

“The event was very well-received and we got many requests to do this again next year,” says Johnson.

Besides this yearly event, Johnson says the store does smaller events for its employees such as a summer barbecue. Having these annual employee appreciation events is key to ensure your employees’ morale stays high and to provide employees the chance to relax with fellow coworkers in a lighthearted atmosphere.

If you are a multi-store operation, consider having one big event each year that brings the different stores’ employees together. Then, throughout the rest of the year, have more regular events to show appreciation to your employees, such as catering lunch quarterly, starting an employee of the month recognition or even hosting a summer tailgate day, where friends and family visit the store for games and barbecue.

Customer Appreciation Day

Women show off their power tools skills they acquired at the Skill Builders Series.
Women show off their power tools skills they acquired at the Skill Builders Series.

Recognizing employees’ hard work is extremely important to Johnson, but so is recognizing the patronage of his customers. To show his appreciation, he began hosting a Skill-Builder Series that provides attendees how-to advice, which kicked off this past November.

The first series was geared toward women who wanted to know how to fix a damaged wall or get more comfortable

Five different demonstration stations were set up throughout the store during the Skill-Builder Series.
Five different demonstration stations were set up throughout the store during the Skill-Builder Series.

with power tools. The event had five demonstration booths around the store with raffles occurring during the evening. Attendees were also able to donate to a local domestic abuse shelter, tying the event back the community.

“The event was a huge hit,” say Johnson. “There were people waiting outside the door that evening.”

Smaller versions of this event will be held throughout the year with the biggest event held in October or November, and they won’t always be geared toward women.

“We may do a kids event sometime or focus on homeowners,” says Johnson.

About Sara Logel

As NRHA’s market research analyst, Sara conducts organic research and stays abreast of industry trends to help hardware retailers better run their business. Sara also contributes to editorial content in Hardware Retailing magazine. Sara received her B.S. in Marketing and Spanish from Butler University and, after graduation, began her career with NRHA. Sara enjoys traveling, being outdoors and exploring the city of Indianapolis.

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