5 Unique Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

Four employees looking at the camera and smiling

Just heard this Friday is Employee Appreciation Day? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered. Here are our unique ideas for Employee Appreciation Day. Some are simple and easy to whip-up in a pinch, and others are great ways to show your appreciation every day of the year.

A recent survey of one thousand random U.S. employees showed that the one most important thing a manager can do to increase the production of ‘great work’ is to simply recognize them.

Even though the holiday lands on Friday, March 4th, it’s important to remember that recognition and appreciation should be practiced year-round.

Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

1. Celebrate Weekly Wins

Instead of showing appreciation one day out of the year, the most effective strategy is to recognize a job well done whenever you can. Have a weekly wins celebration!

Get some food, bring everyone together, and personally recognize employees who played a key role in a win for your business. Celebrating together on a regular basis boosts happiness, builds a sense of community, and creates a culture based on appreciation.

Top talent employees are 20% more likely to work for organizations with great recognition and promotion practices. If you’re not practicing recognition year-round, you’re missing out on the best quality employees.

 

2. Give a Little Gift

Does your business need employees to stay late sometimes or even work over the weekend once in awhile? It happens, especially in startups where every little detail matters and employees must be highly motivated to succeed.

Consider gifting your employees something like a fitbit, or gym membership. This is a great way to show them you appreciate their time and dedication and you care about their health and happiness. Other gift options that employees will love are:

  • Paid dinner for two
  • Hotel suite for the night
  • Gift certificates (these are less personal but, still appreciated)

Don’t forget to always tell your employees why you gifted them something so special. Point out a specific reason that you appreciate them for.

Article: Here’s Why it Matters How Your Employees Feel at Work [INFOGRAPHIC]

Employee Appreciation Day isn’t all about spending money and giving gifts. Like Valentines Day, it’s an opportunity to stop and remember why you need these people in your life and business. And to think about just how better off you are with them doing what they do best.

3. Listen to What They Want

Have some of your employees been asking for standing desks? Employee appreciation day is a great time to surprise everyone with shiny new workstations. Even for the employees who didn’t ask, they will appreciate the gesture. Most standing desks are adjustable to use while sitting, so you don’t have to stand all day.

The average office worker sits at their desk for 5 hours and 41 minutes each day. Sitting this long each day for an extended period of time is linked to health problems from obesity to diabetes to cancer.

It’s a small gesture, but listening and responding to your employees wishes, within reason, shows that you not only care about the work they produce, you care about how they work and you care about their happiness.  

Employee Appreciation Day is a reminder of how companies and employers should treat their employees every day.

4. In-Office Perks

Many employers are concerned with making the work-life balance, well, balanced. But those efforts might be better placed in improving their employee’s work life, by providing services while their employees are hard at work. Examples are:

  • On-site massage therapist
  • Car washers
  • Errand-runners
  • Catered lunch, breakfast, or mid-day snack.

Who wouldn’t love an unexpected ice cream treat in the middle of the day?

Article: The Difference between Employee Perks and Benefits and How They Affect Happiness

If employers can make work seem less like a chore and more like a healthy part of their employee’s lives, they will be in good business. The point is to find something that either pampers your employees during their regular work day or takes a pesky obligation off their backs.

5. Surprise Paid Time Off

Send out an email or note announcing a full day, half day, or even just a few hours of unexpected paid time off. Give plenty of notice so your employees can make plans. Be sure to mention you appreciate all the hard work they do and hope they use this time to treat themselves. This one is simple, easy, and sure to be a welcome surprise.

“Treat employees like they make a difference and they will.”

Jim Goodnight CEO, SAS

Even the best employers who show their appreciation year-round should not forget to celebrate this day, Friday, March 4th. We hope these ideas for Employee Appreciation Day have helped you to slow down and recognize your workforce for all they do. And don’t worry, Boss’ Day is right around the corner.

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