Post: Cheap and Creative Approaches to Show Staff Appreciation

brilliant job sticky Ways to show appreciation to employees

Employees are the backbone of any business. They work hard every day to help the company achieve its goals. As a business team leader, it’s essential to show your employees that your company values and appreciates their hard work.

And with highly engaged teams offering 21% more profitability, having an employee recognition program in place, it’s no wonder that employers are looking for ways to stand out.

There is always something new coming up on your radar from competitions between coworkers and small perks like money or gift cards!

But, many small business leaders and team leaders don’t appreciate their employees. They either forget, think it is too expensive, or can’t develop anything creative. But making employees feel appreciated does not have to be costly or complicated.

There are many ways to show your employees appreciation that are both creative and budget-friendly. In this blog post, we’ll discuss innovative ways that will help boost employee morale while also saving your entire organization some money; hopefully, some of them will work for your company.

Let’s get this ball rolling, shall we?

Why is Employee Recognition Important?

Many small business owners may wonder why employee recognition is essential. After all, the business is the one that’s responsible for making a profit, and employees are there to do their jobs.

But employee recognition is one of the essential things a small business can do to create a successful and productive team.

According to polls, 69 percent of employees believe they would work more if employers recognized their accomplishments better.

Employee appreciation day helps motivate employees to keep up the excellent work. Plus, employee recognition boosts employee productivity and improves company culture.

Read on for creative ways to show your team members you appreciate them.

Ideas for a Budget-Friendly Employee Appreciation Day

It’s all too easy to get carried away with organizing unique employee appreciation gifts for your workers. Thus, it’s crucial to think about the best opportunities that will also fit into your budget to show employee appreciation without spending too much money.

From cooking contests and game nights at work, here are several staff recognition programs you can choose to implement right now.

Free Ways to Show Appreciation to Employees

Look no further if you’re looking for employee appreciation ideas that won’t cost your company a dime. Here are some enjoyable and straightforward methods to express your gratitude towards your staff.

Say Thank You in Person

Write a handwritten note to each of your employees. Such a simple gesture will genuinely appreciate and encourage employees, especially those who rarely hear “thank you.”

Get To Know Your Employees

Host a casual gathering where you can learn more about how each employee spends their time away from work. It will also be the perfect opportunity to welcome new team members and discover their interests outside of work and inside.

Do Some Team-Building Activities

Allow your employees to bond outside of work through fun and creative initiatives like an escape room or other fun team-building activities.

Create a Game Room

Nothing says “fun” like filling an unused conference room with games and setting aside time to play them together. This idea is perfect for companies that want to create some work/life balance while still showing employee appreciation for their hard work.

Be Friendly

Sometimes, the simplest things mean the most. By being polite and close to your employees, you set the tone for a positive work environment where employees feel valued.

Give Them Time Off

It’s tough to feel appreciated at work when you never get a break. As we mentioned earlier, most employees will be even more motivated if they know their boss values them and cares about their well-being as individuals.

Say Thank You Publicly

A simple shout-out on a company Facebook or Instagram account might be all that your employees need to feel recognized.

Create a “Spotlight” Employee Program

Allow employees to nominate each other for outstanding work performance and award winners with prizes or even money. This will encourage them to reciprocate the good vibes by recognizing other employees.

Company Culture Employee Appreciation Ideas

Creating company activities that turn into a culture is another excellent way to show employee appreciation. If you’re looking for more ways to applaud your employees than just giving them a gift, try some of these exciting company culture ideas.

Throw an Office Party

Host a summer barbecue or potluck lunch. This is the perfect opportunity for employees to learn more about each other outside of work while showing others how much they care and appreciate their help. Office parties are also a great way to reward employees for a well-done job!

Create an Employee of the Month Board

To recognize employees’ hard work and dedication to your company, create an “Employee of the Month” or corporate rewards portal where each employee can get their month dedicated to them.

Encourage Creativity

Let your employees be creative! Encourage them to come up with new and innovative ideas by hosting a weekly or monthly “idea session.” It is a great way to get feedback from employees on company policies or changes they would like to see made.

Celebrate Holidays Together

From Halloween parties to Christmas celebrations, get into the holiday spirit by hosting company-wide events that everyone can enjoy. This employee appreciation method shows that you care more than just their work performance.

Clear a Schedule and Have Fun Together

When workloads are low, have some fun and relax. You could play games, go for a team walk, or talk about non-work-related topics. Your employees will appreciate their time at work even more by taking a break from work!

Be More Vocal About Your Appreciation

Employees appreciate it when their managers take the time to get to know them. Take some extra time with employees whenever you can and attempt to ask about their interests, lives outside of work, etc.

Make Company Parties More Inclusive

Sometimes, office parties are exclusive instead of inclusive, which means certain staff members feel excluded. Work to make your company parties more open and inviting so that everyone feels comfortable attending.

Inexpensive Employee Appreciation Ideas

Do you want to show your employees that you care but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Try implementing one or more of these inexpensive employee appreciation ideas.

Use Technology

Instead of having physical awards made up and printed at an expensive cost, create digital award certificates employees can print out themselves.

Make Baked Goods

Treat your employees to some delicious treats! Bake cookies or cupcakes together and present them as tasty “thank you” gestures to the office.

Handwrite Notes of Appreciation

Get down on paper (or computer screen!) how much you appreciate each employee in your office. Handwritten formal recognition notes are not only timeless, but they also let your employees know you took the time to write each one out by hand!

Personalize Gifts

Even just a simple gift can have a positive impact behind it if it’s personalized. Whether you choose something as small as an ornament with employee names on it or a custom mug with employee initials, personalized gifts are always a great idea.

Give Employees Time Off

Consider giving your employees extra paid days off to show employee appreciation if you have the means. Off days allow your employees to take some much-needed time for themselves without worrying about losing any pay.

Prioritize the Health of Your Employees

You can do this by offering a fitness reimbursement. It is the perfect way to show your employees deserve your care for their well-being and health!

Offer a Free Lunch

Office lunches can become boring for some. To ensure employee happiness with their meal choices, offer one free lunch per week that they may choose from a selection of different restaurants in or near your area!

How Do You Show Appreciation to Staff During COVID?

Yes, it is more important than ever for bosses to show employee appreciation during these trying times. COVID-19 has been a significant disruptor of both work and home life.

Employees are likely feeling a range of emotions, from stress to fear, and it is the boss’s responsibility to create a supportive environment.

Here are some suggestions on recognizing employees during these difficult times

  • Thank them for sticking with the company and for their hard work.
  • Acknowledge the tough times and let your team members know you still appreciate them.
  • Get some free time to sit and talk with each team member one on one. Be sure to listen; this is an opportunity to learn more about what makes them tick, discover their aspirations for the future, and be reminded why they work so hard every day.
  • Offer flexible hours or schedule changes if needed to help every team member juggle work and home life better.
  • Express your gratitude through a handwritten note or email recognizing an employee’s contribution.
  • Show staff appreciation by offering them gifts such as a gift card, flowers, or a special treat.
  • Showcase their work on social media or in company communications.
  • Let them know that you’re available to help with any personal problems they might be having.
  • Acknowledge their good work and let them know that you’re glad to have such a high-caliber employee on the team.
  • Be sure to acknowledge your employees when it comes time for reviews or bonus opportunities, as well!


Consider these employee recognition ideas if you want to take your employee recognition game up a notch. It’s essential for all employees to feel recognized and appreciated for their contributions, not just one or two stellar performers.

These are only a few ways organizations can provide incentives—recognizing employees is just as valuable! Which methods have you used in the past? What other good practices do you follow when recognizing team members?

When it comes down to it, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to tell someone they’re appreciated. What’s important is to find the right employee recognition programs that suit your company culture and budget – something that will make everyone feel valued!

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