Employee Appreciation Day Ideas


If you want to inspire your employees to do great work and to exceed expectations, recognize them more often and show them you appreciate them.

Credit: O.C. Tanner Company

According to a global study by the O.C. Tanner Institute, the number one thing managers can do is recognize and appreciate employees to inspire great work.

The report suggests 37% of all workers want to be recognize, 13% are self-motivated and do not want anything. Whereas 12% workers say inspire me, another 12% want more autonomy, 7% more pay, 6% other, 6% training, 4% want a promotion, and 3% do not know.

Since today is Employee Appreciation Day in the United States and Canada, it’s a good idea to celebrate by thanking employees for their hard work and effort throughout the year. Here are thirty-five affordable Employee Celebration ideas from JustWorks, Inc. to help get you started.



35 Affordable Employee Celebration Ideas

  1. Celebrate small accomplishments whether in a meeting, an email to the company, or another creative way.
  2. Invest in a fitbit as a treat for employees, to inspire them to be more active and therefore more productive.
  3. Two words: sundae bar!
  4. Implement an employee of the month program, and have nominations.
  5. Say it with flowers!
  6. Be vocal. If a colleague praises a coworker in a meeting, let that coworker know. Spread the word that they are appreciated.
  7. Give a gift card to the local coffee shop after a particularly hard week to show your appreciation. Who doesn’t love a good latte?  Even a $10 card would make their day.
  8. Be polite and friendly. It goes a long way.
  9. Take new employees out to lunch on their first day (or more often, if the budget allows)!
  10. Encourage and recognize those who participate in continuing education. It will benefit the employee and the company, and make them feel good about it.
  11. Plan a company potluck- it’s a fun break from work that builds morale.
  12. Start a suggestion program; about how to improve your office; will make your employees feel heard.
  13. Allow employees to have flexible schedules. For instance, be open to employees leaving work to go the gym in the middle of the day. It will boost productivity and they’ll feel like you trust them. Just ensure they’re getting their work done too.
  14. Celebrate when employees achieve big milestones, like the birth of a child or the completion of a marathon.
  15. Celebrate small milestones, like birthdays. Have a calendar so you don’t forget, get a cake, and/or have the office sign a card.
  16. Consider offering unlimited vacation and encouraging employees to take time off.
  17. Have a mid-week treat in the break room. Waffle Wednesdays?  Tuesday afternoon cookie platter?
  18. Send thank you notes for a job well done. It’s old fashioned, but it means a lot.
  19. Stock your office with a variety of snacks and treats. Believe me- I work at a snack-rich office, and it truly makes employees happy.
  20. Actually, call a coworker to your office to thank them, rather than in passing or through email. The gesture is more personal will be a nice surprise.
  21. Bring in a masseuse or manicurist for an office-wide treat.
  22. Have a pizza party.
  23. Ask your employees for input about fun activities – what do THEY want to do?
  24. Plan company happy hours or dinners. Even if your company can’t foot the bill, employees will look forward to it and appreciate the fun event.
  25. Appoint a “Rookie of the Year.”
  26. Going out to get coffee or to grab take out? Ask if others would like some as well.
  27. Put some board games in the break room! It’ll bring a smile to your coworkers’ break time.
Allow your office to leave early on the day before a holiday weekend. A simple way to make their day (and weekend!) better.
  29. Consider implementing summer Fridays at your office. It’s a surprisingly inexpensive perk!
  30. Have a flexible parental leave
  31. Have an employee appreciation program- a points system rewarding good behavior that they can cash in for small rewards like, leaving early.
  32. Surprise your office with a summer picnic for lunch.
  33. Plan a staff appreciation day using a few suggestions from this list.
  34. Start a mentoring program in your office. Build one that truly reflects the needs and wants of your employees.
  35. Say “thank you” often. It’s a simple phrase that goes a long, long way.
Source:   Caroline Whitney, Justworks, Inc.


OH, BTW…. Leaders should always show appreciation. After all, You don’t want your employees to feel unappreciated, now do you?


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