How to Appreciate Employees at the Workplace: 15 Brilliant Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

Are you looking for great Employee Appreciation Day ideas?

Today’s workforce is facing a transition. Employee appreciation is no longer a “good to have” but a “need to have” company.

World at Work study found that 88% of companies have a workers reward program in place— which can vary from an employee of the Month to incentives or gift cards. 

But these typical workers of the Month’s ideas are starting to grow into a reputation for being genuine and, honestly, dull.

In reality, according to our 2019 Employee Engagement Report — representing a decrease of 16 percent from the previous year. You can not have a reward program in place and presume that all of the workers would automatically feel like their efforts are appreciated. You’ve got to come up with suggestions for workers’ appreciation that work. 

So how do good employee appreciation day ideas look like?

Every corporation is special, so what works for one enterprise may not function for another. Nonetheless, generally speaking, appreciation systems should be thorough, and reviews should be given regularly.

What Is Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is held globally on the first Friday in March. It is a day that managers are expected to recognize and appreciate the work and commitment of their workers.

Many businesses celebrate this with a lot of events aimed at helping their workers feel more comfortable and fulfilled in the workforce. While this is typically an annual event, it is a good idea to have several employee appreciation days a year to ensure that your workforce is well taken care of.

Employee recognition doesn’t have to cost a leg or an arm. And even if you don’t have a big bash budget, it’s easier to remember your team members in a small way than not to do anything at all. The main thing is to know how individual employees feel and want to be remembered.

Why is Employee Appreciation Day Important?

Many work weeks focus on business priorities, management decisions, or consumer concerns. Employee Appreciation Day is a very special day that should be focused on workers’ teams that make things happen every day.

Even a little acknowledgment can have a big impact on workplace morale. Feeling valued enhances integrity, boosts motivation, and decreases turnover. Recognition has been shown to improve oxytocin levels— the mechanism that our bodies produce as we interact emotionally, and makes us feel cared for.

Research also shows that the appreciation of staff leads to better customer service. For example, the hospitality industry study found a strong connection between employee engagement and guest satisfaction.

15 Fun Employee Appreciation Day Ideas For Your Team

1. Plan to Recognize Your Staff

Recognize Your Staff

Every blog post is supposed to help offer you inspiration, but until you make plans and find out how you’re going to implement them, nothing happens.

Therefore, the first way to show how much you value your employees is simply to create a viable schedule for what you’re going to do, and when you’re going to do it.

Read the list. You don’t have to follow all the recommendations, but choose a few that you could try to do well, and that would have a genuine sense for your workers. Some are easier to implement compared to others, but they all have their performance.

2. Choose Creative Rewards

Creative Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

Meat, days off, benefits, incentive, promotion— all these are nice but traditional bonuses. Be imaginative and talk about how you can render your incentive special enough to stand out as part of your society.

Many start-ups and companies have drawn images of staff members who have accumulated several years to let the workers have fun with how they are represented. Others are getting caricaturists.

In some cases, shifting to the very old school style of celebrating corporate CEOs can be customized to your current staff and give them a taste of what they might not usually encounter.

3. Give Career-Based Rewards

Career-Based Rewards

A career-based promotion is ideal for workers and will also help the company. You may assign staff to leadership training or let them choose an online class that they would like to take.

When it is not directly related to their current job, you should demonstrate to the workers that you’ve believed in them and their employees.

4. Celebrate Those Happy Birthdays

Birthday Celebrations

If your staff doesn’t mind (some might want to fly under the radar on their birthday), celebrate their birthdays!

Cater a dinner or have a dessert so that everyone in the workplace will take part. Give your employees a day off that they can use whenever they want to in the future. Grant them a day off from the shop level. Birthdays are gifts; what would the employees love the most?

5. Cheers From Peers

Cheers From Peers

Make it easy for your employees to show appreciation to each other. Coworkers are mindful of more than you might realize during your day-to-day tasks.

Give them a chance to point out the good things that people are doing so that they come to your notice, as well as to everyone else’s attention.

6. Ask Your Employees What They Would Like

Ask Your Employees What They Would Like

Survey the workers. Tell them what they want from you as far as you can prove that you respect them. You may be surprised at the results, as well as you can feel confident that you’re providing the staff with something they’re going to enjoy.

7. Have a Trophy

Employee Appreciation Day Ideas Trophy

For professional sports, the Grand Champion’s awards move from one year to the next. Build a trophy of sorts (a real decoration, or something more humorous) that is remembered as a sign of gratitude for the workers, and distribute it around the office to staff members who have done something good.

8. Go Very Public With Your Appreciation

Public Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

Display that you admire the employees by expanding it beyond in-house appreciation. Please let your customers know via signs or social media.

Take a photo, chat about how much you appreciate what your staff has accomplished, and how much they have received this honor.

9. The Track Team Wins

Track Team Wins

Consider how non-profits use a thermometer or some other graphic tool to display a gradual increase in fundraising as they get closer to the goal. Whether you’re using an actual visual strategy or holding others up-to-date during regular meetings, you can do the same.

What are the targets of the different teams? A little friendly competition is good, and as the workforce continues to climb towards a particular goal, you can not only compliment them for their hard work but also motivate them to offer a premium for whatever team makes the mark first.

10. Reward Your Staff Based on Individual Interests

Reward Your Staff Based on Individual Interests

 Showing your gratitude in a way that is unique to each person. Yes, a traditional blanket form of incentive fits (and is needed) in some cases, but if you want to demonstrate how much you respect a person, the best way to do that is to figure out what they want, what they’re involved in, their interests, or what they want the most. 

11. Thank You Notes Are Not Dead

Employee Appreciation Day Ideas Thank You Note

A piece of paper that shows a staff member that you respect them, praise them for their hard work, can go a long way in a digital world.

Whether it’s as easy as a short post-it note or an actual card or a certificate (use our free employee certificate generator) on their locker handle, start cracking down on the age-old practice of thank you notes.

12. Give Employees a Real Choice and a Real Voice

Give Employees a Real Choice and a Real Voice

Appreciation is not just a game and an incentive scheme. It’s supposed to be built into your family. One way to do that is to give the workers real choices and actual voices.

Do your workers get to choose the things they’ve ever been focused on, or are they always given tasks? Will you listen to their thoughts or suggestions and take action on them, or do you listen but ignore or disregard what you’ve learned and done business as usual?

Genuine gratitude is important. You can send a gift card to a staff member for their birthday, but if they’ve come to you regularly with anxieties and you’ve never made any real effort to do anything about it, the gift card is pretty empty.

13. Take Staff out to Lunch

Employee Appreciation Day Ideas Team Lunch

Whether you choose to send the employees out for lunch in groups (large or small) or to speak personally about how the job is going, it takes them out of the office and tells them that they’ve got your attention.

It’s sometimes easier to talk about job projects when you’re not alone in the boss’s office, instead of across the table over a sandwich and a fries. 

14. Go Out for a Field Trip

Field Trip

Taking the staff out on vacation is one of the successful day-to-day employee appreciation day ideas.

When the staff can leave the office, they can let their guard down and socialize easily.

It’s a great way for your squad to connect, as they’re no longer limited to workplace environments.

Local field trips are also a perfect way to get to know the local community deeper and to come up with new ideas to connect with them.

15. Volunteering

Employee Appreciation Day Ideas Volunteering

Service at a local shelter or recycling initiative is a great way for your staff to liaise, create memories, and encourage appreciation.

Studies show that more than 70% of US workers agree that service is more likely to boost integrity than social events like happy hours.