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61 Ideas for Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day

Written by Alexis Matheny

61IdeasForEmployeeAppreciationDayWhat is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day is a day of celebration to show employees how much their efforts and contributions are valued by you and your organization. The holiday was created in 1955 by Dr. Bob Nelson and is observed the first Friday of March each year. The day, which is fast approaching this year, falls on March 1st, 2019.

 

     
Why is Employee Appreciation Day Important?

While we encourage you to celebrate your employees every day of the year, Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect way to start a tradition of employee recognition in your organization. Eighty-two percent of employees don't feel that they are recognized enough for their hard work by management, and employee Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity to turn that around. Celebrating the day with even the smallest gesture contributes to a welcoming company culture and overall employee happiness. 

 

     
Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day:

1. Host a pizza party
 

2. Go on a team bonding retreat


3. Give out handwritten notes / thank you's
 
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4. Bring in specialty coffee for a morning treat


5. Bring in a masseuse for some stress relief


6. Give everyone extra points in your employee incentive program platform


7. Cater lunch from a favorite local restaurant


8. Allow employees to choose a gift from a catalog of options


9. Take your employees out for a spa day


10. Post social media shout outs for each employee throughout the week


11. Hire a yoga instructor to lead a yoga or meditation hour
 
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12. Ask for feedback - provide a platform for employees to submit new ideas and company improvement suggestions


13. Take everyone on a brewery tour


14. Make charitable donations and let employees choose who you donate to


15. Keep the work fridge stocked with free drinks


16. Allow everyone an hour or two to work on a personal project


17. Let employees praise their peers - showcase the recognition in a spot for the entire company to see


18. Give an extra hour for lunch breaks


19. Set up a photo or video booth
 
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20. Go our for drinks after work - on the company's tab


21. Set up an ice cream (or frozen yogurt) sundae bar with a plethora of toppings


22. Create a thank you video from management


23. Hold a free raffle for the chance to win cool prizes


24. Let employees leave work early to work on a personal passion / gain inspiration that helps them be more creative during work hours


25. Set up an inspiration board for everyone to write fun and creative notes on


26. Splurge and take your employees on a workation - a working vacation


27. Celebrate with a sushi spread for lunch


28. Set up games in the break room - board games, video games, and more


29. Use an ecard platform to send thank you messages


30. Arrange for a company outing to an event - concert, comedian, professional sport
 
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31. Set up a make your own smores bar


32. Take the company out to dinner after the work day ends


33. Let employees come in late the following Monday


34. Set up "cheer pong" - think beer pong without beer


35. Take the company out to a theme park


36. Use a prize wheel for employees to win exciting prizes


37. Have a fiesta with a "build your own" taco station


38. Hold a potluck and let employees bring in their favorite dishes


39. Try an escape room that doubles as a team building exercise


40. Create an "About the Team" book that showcases your employees' personalities


41. Provide fruit, yogurt, and other healthy snacks throughout the day


42. Welcome employees to a party at the CEO's home - ideal for smaller companies


43. Throw a cook-off competition


44. Give out a free vacation day or half day to be used throughout the year


45. Spice things up with some office mock-tails... or maybe even real cocktails
 
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46. Hold a mario-kart tournament in the break room


47. Arrange for a tour of the wineries in your area


48. Bring the car wash to work and provide everyone with a free wash


49. Allow casual attire for the day


50. Bring breakfast for all - donuts, bagels, & coffee


51. Host a company picnic for employees and their families


52. Send an inspirational message to each employee, highlighting their unique assets


53. Take everyone to the bowling alley for some friendly competition


54. Reserve a night on a dinner cruise
 
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55. Come up with a fun theme for the day


56. Allow employees to work remote for a day


57. Shorten office hours for the week


58. Have some fun and set up some adult outdoor inflatables day (slide, bouncy house, bubble soccer, etc)


59. Show movies in the break room throughout the day


60. Let employees to bring their pets to work


61. Arrange for food trucks to come to your parking lot during lunch hours

 

Whether its a small gesture like a thank you note or an over-the-top company retreat, just make sure to say THANKS in one way or another for everything your employees do!

 

Free Incentive Checklist Download


Originally published on February 22, 2019

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