Employee Appreciation Day – Top Most Ways Your Company Can Thank Employees

employee appreciation day written on paper with pen

It’s that time of year again! Time to show your employees some appreciation for all they’ve done this year. Employee appreciation day is a time to show gratitude for employees’ hard work. On this day, companies can make their employees feel valued with thoughtful gestures and demonstrations of appreciation.

Some companies do an all-day event from breakfast to dinner at night, offering gifts and prizes. Other companies choose one specific activity that their employees always enjoy.

Whatever employee appreciation ideas you choose will depend on your company culture and your team members’ personality. The idea should be personalized enough that your workers, whether new employees or remote employees, feel valued and appreciated!

But, it is not always simple to come up with new and creative ways of expressing your gratitude to your staff. One of the most significant concerns for any employer is: “what are some employee appreciation ideas that won’t break the budget?”

We’ve compiled a list of employee appreciation ideas to help you start!

Is There an Official Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee appreciation day is a non-traditional holiday first established in 1995 by Workman Publishing. It happens on the first Friday in March, and this year’s National Employee Appreciation Day falls on Friday, March 4, 2022.

Employee appreciation day is becoming increasingly popular in the United States and other countries. That’s because employee-employer connections are at the heart of successful businesses. Appreciating employees reinforces a good relationship between the company leadership team/employers and workers.

Ensuring employee happiness is met this special day goes a long way toward making them feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves.

Why Celebrate Employee Recognition Day?

To celebrate employee appreciation day is a great way to show your team members that you appreciate all their hard work. Employee engagement and retention can also be improved as a result.

Also, employee appreciation day events are a terrific opportunity for employers to build genuine relationships with their employees. When employers keep showing appreciation and stay connected directly with their team members, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Research shows that in the United States, just 34% of the workforce is continuously interested in their jobs. But there is an enormous communication gap between many companies and their employees in the workplace.

And because of this, employee appreciation, quality management, and employer-employee communication have all grown in importance due to increased recognition for employees.

So how can you do employee appreciation the right way?

There are many ways your company can reward employees and show that they’re an essential part of it.

Inexpensive Ideas and Gifts to Show Employee Appreciation

The current environment and advancement in technology have led to many companies letting their employees do remote work.

Working remotely means many employees aren’t in-house, so many organizations wonder how to celebrate employee appreciation day without being exorbitant on the prices. Here are some low-cost or inexpensive employee appreciation day ideas for your company to consider.

Half-Day Off

Let’s face it. Many employees have a lot on their plates and finding the time to do it all may be challenging. If your company can afford to give their employees an extra day off, you should do so!

If you don’t already, consider creating an employee scheduling software account for your employees so they may schedule their work. This will allow your employees to plan out their time and help them prepare for their day off, thus ensuring job satisfaction.

Throw a Virtual Happy Hour

What could be better than a team happy hour! Get everyone together for some fun drinks and snacks after work. This employee appreciation idea is a great way to bond with coworkers outside of the office. This virtual happy hour is also a perfect opportunity to show virtual workers how much you appreciate their hard work. Plus, it’s always more fun when you do things as a team!

Free Event Tickets

Who doesn’t love free stuff? Offer complimentary tickets to employees if your firm is sponsoring or organizing an event.

Use the employee appreciation day as a recognition platform to thank them and offer them an opportunity to learn about your organization in the process.

Tickets to amusement parks, museums, or other tourist attractions are great gifts for your team members.

For those who work close to theaters and venues hosting large events like concerts, sports games, or other entertainment shows, why not give your employees tickets to those as well?

Free Meals

If your company hosts a big event for employee appreciation day, then having free food will be another way to show employees how much you value them. Free meals might include hot dogs and hamburgers at the office or catered lunch from a local restaurant.

You can also make it an afternoon event by providing snacks and drinks.

Send a Postcard or Letter

Employees always love getting snail mail, especially from their boss or company, especially those working remotely. Why not take the time to write a personalized postcard or letter thanking them for all their hard work? This is one of the employee appreciation ideas that will make them feel appreciated and give them a short break from everyday monotony.

Gift Cards

Who doesn’t love getting a gift card? Using cards is a low-cost employee appreciation approach to show that you care without much effort or money. You can choose gift cards from their favorite restaurant, store, or even an online retailer like Amazon.

Praise and Employee Recognition

This is the simplest and most cost-effective employee appreciation method to show your staff how much you appreciate them. Morale may be raised with a simple “thank you” for excellent work or a meaningful comment.

Remote employees won’t be left out either! Simple video messages will make your remote employees feel appreciated.

The good news is that your employees will probably return the favor and give their thanks to you as well! Moreover, the company leadership can do this all year round and not only on the employee appreciation day.

Gift Baskets

If there’s one thing most people can’t resist, it’s chocolate and other sweet treats like cookies, cakes, candy bars, etc. You can purchase a gift basket or a care package from a local store or even make one yourself.

This is an excellent employee appreciation method to show your employees that you went the extra mile and took the time to put together a special gift just for them!

Go a step further; let your employees choose small gifts they want to include in the care packages. Giving the right gift basket is sometimes better than giving a single gift.

Awards and Certificates

For a low-cost employee appreciation approach to show your employees that you value them, this may be the answer! You can create a rewards platform and offer awards or certificates with the employees’ names and company logo on them.

For team members working remotely, you can make a digital certificate instead.

Extended Lunch Break

Having a little additional time throughout the day is usually a plus. This is especially true if you’re an employee who likes taking your lunch break. Why not give them some more time off by offering extended lunch breaks? Even if it only lasts for one hour, this employee appreciation idea will help boost morale and make the break room a much-needed time out!

Volunteer-based Rewards

Another excellent employee appreciation day idea is to show your employees that you value their hard work. According to a poll by Deloitte, 70% of employed Americans believe that “volunteer activities are more likely to improve employee morale than company-sponsored happy hours.”

Therefore, you can set up a volunteer program to get paid for their hours helping out at local shelters or organizations like animal rescues and humane societies. This employee appreciation idea will allow them to do well while showing how much you appreciate their efforts!

Social Media Love-Bombing

This employee appreciation method is a great way to show appreciation for all your employees’ hard work daily. Bomb their social media feeds with as much love and gratitude as you possibly can! Thank them in posts, comments, and even direct messages. The more public recognition you shower them with, the better!


Final Verdict

We’ve seen how an employee recognition program can help boost employee engagement and satisfaction. But did you know it could also provide tangible benefits for your organization?

A collaborative study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that employees who get frequent thanks are more inclined to put in extra effort and welcome new staff.

This ultimately builds an entire culture of gratitude that spreads throughout the company. If you want your business’ employees to be happy, productive, cooperative team members, then it’s time for you to implement an employee appreciation system today!

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