Employee appreciation day is held annually on the first Friday of March. It’s an opportunity for employers to recognize and thank their employees for the great work they do throughout the year.
Smart businesses know that showing appreciation to employees goes a long way in realizing business success. After all, it’s no secret that recognition and acknowledgment are key drivers for employee engagement.
So, how do you thank your workforce and show your team how valued they are? We look at a few ideas for you to consider.
How you show appreciation will, of course, depend on your capacity and budget.
From there, consider whether you want to organize an event of sorts - will it be inside or out of the office?
Or do you have to organize something online because your staff complement extends remotely or globally?
Perhaps you plan to go the route of giving gifts, sharing quotes, or sending out personalized messages that honor and acknowledge employee achievements?
Let’s take a closer look at some of your options.
Time off is always valued because it’s something a person never gets back.
Whether it’s a few hours, half a day, or a full day, your employees will appreciate the extra time off work. They can spend it with friends or family, catch up on home life, or simply rest.
You could schedule this time off on Employee Appreciation Day. Or you could present it on the day as a voucher for employees to use at a time of their choosing.
In honor of Appreciation Day, buy tickets for the team to go as a group and see a live show or movie they have been raving about.
As long as it’s something everyone can enjoy, there will always be that ‘shared moment’ people can look back on and talk about. Going out together to enjoy the experience allows your employees to get to know each other outside of work, ultimately bringing them closer together.
When work and life get busy, wellness is often last on the list of things to do. As the employer, it’s a great gesture of appreciation to give employees space where they can practice personal care.
Not only is it good for their mental and physical wellbeing, but it has a knock-on effect on productivity too. Balanced people are better equipped to focus and perform their best.
As part of Employee Appreciation Day, an idea is to treat your workers to a luxury spa visit. They can put work aside and indulge in a few hours of tranquillity in recognition of the hard work they do for you.
Money planning and retirement are a big concern for most people. To help your employees plan for the future and meet their financial obligations post-retirement, call up a financial advisor to come in for a consultation.
The person can sit with each employee to help them see ten or twenty years ahead. In doing so, the advisor can help lay out a solid plan to guide your employees to meet their goals.
This type of advice is invaluable and can foster employee loyalty as you help your team stay ahead of their finances.
A free team lunch on Employee Appreciation Day (or any day) never fails to impress.
If you can’t stop the workflow at the office, opt for a pizza lunch for all. This way, even though employees can't get away from their desks, you can still treat them.
If you’re looking for something more indulgent or out of the ordinary, why not treat your employees to an all-day dessert buffet? Include a selection of goodies that will surely give everyone something to be excited about.
Handing out award certificates, trophies, or plaques is a great way to show appreciation for teams or individuals who have gone above and beyond.
Even if there aren’t enough formal awards to go around, have some fun with thinking up enough titles for each person involved. It can turn out to be a light-hearted occasion that everyone looks forward to each year and can appreciate.
You can arrange an award ceremony on Appreciation Day where you can hand out the rewards and make an event of it.
Gifts are known universally as tokens of appreciation. An idea for Employee Appreciation Day is to get customized gift boxes made up of items that employees will love.
There are so many themes you can choose from here, from premium snacks to self-care items to expensive alcohol. You can spend as much or as little as you like with this one. So, allocate a budget and take it from there.
If you'd like to give your employees the power to choose their own rewards, check out PerkUp. We can support your global team, allow you to keep all unspent funds, and download real-time transaction reports, making compliance that much easier.
Social media is an amazing platform to recognize your outstanding employees. It’s also a space to boost your brand reputation as a great place to work.
Create a dedicated post on the day to highlight what your team stands for and how they help your brand to shine and succeed. Write up a message of appreciation and thank everyone for their contributions. You can collate photos or create a video where you move through the office and feature each person for a moment or two.
Don’t forget to tag everyone in your post when you publish it. This will encourage them to share it on their own social profiles and get kudos for the great work they do.
Having an industry expert or personality address your employees can be a one-of-a-kind experience for them. It can bring new perspectives, provide inspiration, and uplift their spirits. Not to mention, it can also be a great way to have a break from the usual routine.
Letting employees be the boss for a day is a great way to motivate employees and give them a reason to step out of their comfort zone. Be sure to frame it as a reward, though, and not as a test of abilities, which can defeat the purpose of the gesture.
An idea for this is to hold a draw where each person can randomly select a reward and take charge for the day. You can include things like VIP parking, internal policy reform suggestions, or time in the corner office.
Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is a great way to show your team how much you care. Good people are hard to find, so don’t hold back in this respect. By recognizing your employees, you can give them something to work toward and create a supportive work environment.
Employee appreciation is just one side of creating the type of culture that attracts and retains great talent. To be truly competitive, you can also offer great perks, spot rewards, and celebrate employee anniversaries.