Employee Engagement, Rewards & Recognition | Article

7 Ideas for Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day

We believe employees deserve to be appreciated daily. But we also believe in going above and beyond to say thank you every once in a while!

National Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday in March every year. It’s a great reminder to go the extra mile to make sure employees feel seen, recognized, and appreciated. That’s why we’ve compiled ideas for how to celebrate the important work-related holiday. Some may require planning well in advance. Others can be last minute supplements to what you already have planned. Check them out below!

1. Create a unique experience

Organize an in person event or multiple activities throughout the day. Some examples are a baking class on site, competitive games between departments for prizes, or an offsite hike together. Be sure to make everything inclusive so all employees that might want to participate are able to. People will be chat about and cherish these unique experiences.

2. Do social media shoutouts

With their permission, feature a few employees on your company’s social media page(s). You can highlight their efforts, share a bit about them, or allow them to share a joyful moment. It’s a great way to give them a public shout out that anyone who knows them can interact with. It can amplify the level of appreciation as praise pours in from beyond the people in your organization!

3. Upload points

If your organization has a points-based program in place, do a generous point upload. Employees at companies that use points have higher levels of intrinsic motivation, organizational identification, and employee engagement. Giving points is a simple yet effective option if you’re unsure which route to go for Employee Appreciation Day. People enjoy the autonomy of choosing how to redeem their points.

4. Pass out branded swag

Hand out a practical item that is branded with your company’s logo. It could be a hoodie, drinkware, bag, speaker, or reusable notebook. Make sure the item is high quality and something that people will actually use. Branded swag is also a great way to mark the day of celebration. When your employees wear or use it, they’ll be reminded how appreciated they are.

5. Pair a note with a treat

Handwrite notes of appreciation for your direct reports. Place the notes on their desks before they arrive for the day along with an edible treat. If you know each of your employees’ favorite snacks, be sure include those for each individual. Mail a handwritten note and treat or snack for remote employees too. What a pleasant surprise, in the office and at home!

6. Volunteer as a team

Giving back can be very uplifting and joy-giving. Schedule a day (on the holiday or near it) for your entire team to volunteer together. You can also volunteer as a whole organization if you work at a small enough company. Employees can gain a lot personally from giving back to their community and it is also an opportunity for team bonding.

7. Give a half day

If it’s possible for your employees to take the afternoon off, reward their hard work with a half day. Employee Appreciation Day is always on a Friday, after all! So it’s a perfect time to say thank you by giving them an afternoon to decompress.

When employees feel appreciated, they are more productive and more connected to your organization. So make them feel appreciated on many more days than just one. You’ll transform your business, and the way employees interact with it!