Mark your calendar– IT Appreciation Day is September 21st this year! Thankfully, you still have lots of time to prepare something special for the IT staff in your districts. Between the normalization of computers for every student and the increasing responsibilities that came with fully remote learning in 2020 and 2021, your IT staff has had their hands full recently. It’s time to show them the appreciation they deserve, so we’ve gathered a few ideas they’re sure to love.
1. Post a thank you to social media
Publicly recognizing your IT staff and thanking them for their job well done is essential in the digital age. Get a picture of your staff together and give them a shoutout for your full school community to see! Better yet, make a series of posts about each IT staff member, and thank them individually with a brief statement about that they bring to your team.
2. Host an IT breakfast
Can’t be productive on an empty stomach! With an assortment of fresh fruit, pastries, and hot coffee, your IT staff will be sure to love the hearty, healthy breakfast to start their day. It’ll set the tone for a day of thanks and treats!
3. Gift cards (or gift baskets, or both!)
It’s hard to tell what people need and want these days. A new mom may want more diapers and baby supplies, or she may want some “me time” essentials so she can take a well-deserved break. The flexibility of gift cards is what makes them so great, but if you’d rather hand-select your gifts, gift baskets featuring a variety of goodies are the best way to cover all bases. Who doesn’t love a basket of little treats and trinkets?
4. A break with some prizes
Encourage your IT staff to visit the break room during lunch where a prize wheel is awaiting! Get a variety of good prizes such as a gift certificate to a local restaurant, gift basket of chocolates, or a grocery store gift card are guaranteed to get your IT staff excited.
5. Handwritten cards
Genuine, kind words of thanks go a long way. The goal with this one is to let your IT staff know that they are a personally valued member of the team. Cite specific projects they’ve worked on or problems they’ve helped solve so they know they’ve made their mark on the team this year.
6. DIY coffee bar
Not quite a full breakfast, but an all-day option to go in and make coffee exactly to their liking. When they grab their morning coffee, your team members likely just get a one with milk and move on. But what if they were presented with the opportunity to add more flavors to their afternoon pick-me-up? With some flavored syrups and different creamers, it’ll be a nice break when they need it!
7. Encourage feedback
The best way to ensure your employees are happy is to also ensure that they’re being listened to. Use your IT Appreciation Day celebrations as an invitation to welcome feedback they have on their jobs. Seriously check out those software recommendations and consider changes that they’ve brought up either in the past or present. Remind them of your open-door policy to show you are there for them.
It may not be viable for every district with every budget, but this should always be on the table when considering IT appreciation. Even if a bonus check isn’t possible with such short notice, consider compensation in the form of an extra PTO day.