Program Planning

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61 Ideas for Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Download Creative Samples To Help You Recognize Employees

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