Appreciation and recognition are gestures that always put a smile on people’s faces. When employers appreciate their employees, the smile gets even bigger. Although employers should appreciate their staff on an ongoing basis there is a day specifically dedicated to it. It is called Employee Appreciation Day. 

Whether you appreciate your employees daily, monthly, or only when the employee appreciation day kicks in, having a laundry list of ideas will come in handy. 

This article will introduce you to the concept of an employee appreciation day, its benefits, and a list of ideas that you can adopt in your company. 

Let’s begin with understanding what is Employee Appreciation Day. 

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What Is Employee Appreciation Day?

An Employee Appreciation Day is a day that is solely dedicated to recognizing and appreciating employees’ hard work and effort. 

On this day, employers around the world make a special effort to appreciate their employees’ contribution and dedication. Companies celebrate this occasion with special gifts, events, and surprises. 

When Is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday of March. In 2021, it was on March 5th, and in 2022, it will fall on March 4th. Aren’t you already excited?

To ensure that Employee Appreciation Day turns out to be one of the most memorable occasions, you may want to start planning a little earlier. While just saying a thank you goes a long way, you should be a little more expressive than that. 

No matter which activities and employee appreciation day ideas you implement, make sure you connect employees’ efforts to your business’ vision and mission. The questions below can help you do that:

  • What actions and efforts contribute to your company’s mission?
  • What characteristics are in line with your organization’s culture?

Keeping these questions in mind, you can analyze how employees’ efforts have contributed to moving your business closer to its mission. Once you have that in front of you, you can start planning how to thank employees for their continued support and dedication. 

What Is the Significance of Employee Appreciation Day?

Usually, work weeks are all about meeting business goals, getting the tasks done, attending tedious meetings, and racing against time to meet deadlines. Employee Appreciation Day is that one day that is and should be dedicated to employees. That is because they invest their sweat and energy into getting things done. 

If your business does not give much importance to appreciating employees, then the benefits listed below may help. 

Job Satisfaction 

A generous salary may play a big role in making employees stay at a company. But it really isn’t just the money. It is job satisfaction that keeps employees happy and motivated. And this is achieved when employees’ hard work and dedication to work are recognized and appreciated by employers. 


Appreciation builds an employees’ trust in the company’s system and policies. When recognized publicly or privately, employees aspire to work harder the next time. That is because, regardless of how big or small the achievement, they will be rewarded. 

Well Being 

When a company cares for its employees, their stress level reduces motivation increases, and turnover decreases. According to 55% of employees, if employers care about them, they are likely to work for the company for more than 10 years 

Employee Engagement 

When employers appreciate their employees, it gives them a sense of purpose. They feel that their presence is valued which increases motivation and employee engagement. Productivity increases and so does the drive to succeed. 

Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

We have collected some of our favorite employee appreciation day ideas for you. The good news is that these ideas are not just limited to Employee Appreciation Day. you may use them at any point to appreciate your employees. 

Gift Bags, Gift Cards, and Experiences 

A great way to let your employees know that you care about them is to give them a bag full of interesting gifts. The gifts could be a swag bag with a water bottle, a customized cup with their name on it, or company-branded clothing. 

An even better idea would be to ask employees for gift suggestions. This encourages a company culture that respects open discussions, trust, and loyalty. 

Another interesting approach is to give a gift or discount cards for their favorite restaurant, shop, or salon. You can take it a step further and gift employees an experience that they enjoy the most. For instance, as a gesture of gratitude, send employees for a spa day at their favorite salon and let them indulge in something they love. 

This is sure to make them feel relaxed and pampered. 

Provide a Rejuvenating Experience at the Office

Adding to the idea above, you can arrange a spa experience at the office as well. Give them an unforgettable pampering experience by calling in a masseuse/manicurist. In case your employees are not comfortable with getting one at the office, give them a DIY self-care package and let them indulge in an amazing experience at their homes. 

Such in-office experiences will let employees catch up with their colleagues and peers. It’s a great way of indulging in friendly conversations in the workplace.  

Fun Awards 

Remember how we anxiously waited for awards on the last day of school? Well, it’s no different at the workplace. Come up with creative and fun awards that employees will remember and treasure. A coaching champion, an exceptional project manager, an active listener, or an inspiring leader are some of the recognitions that employees can get. 

A Field Trip

Field trips still sound fascinating although the school days are long gone. Recreate this experience for your employees and see how it delights them. 

A field trip doesn’t have to include a yellow bus. You can take your employees to a yoga retreat, a farm, or maybe even a nearby park. The idea is to get out of the office and have some fun together. 

To make it even interesting, add a museum, brewery, or winery tour to your list. Use Employee Appreciation Day as an opportunity to learn more about local attractions, your community, and employees. It is a great opportunity to learn new things together. Who knows, you might return to work with a new business idea. 

A Delectable Lunch Treat

Who doesn’t love food? And even more when it is company-sponsored. 

Treat your employees’ taste buds by ordering yummy food. Combine it with a post-lunch concert, a bike ride, or other fun activities. This is sure to make employee appreciation day a memorable one. 

Employee appreciation day ideas

Virtual Escape Room Adventure

Given the times we are living in, it is now a common phenomenon to have virtual events. If you are a remote company, you can have a virtual employee appreciation day. 

Having said that, you can arrange for a virtual activity for employees to indulge in. For instance, arrange a virtual escape room adventure. It’s exciting and engaging and is a creative way of expressing your gratitude to employees. It provides a fun and refreshing experience for all. 

A Tribute Video 

Looking for a meaningful way of appreciating employees? Make a short, heartfelt video. Record messages of appreciation from managers and colleagues and stitch them into one piece. Include a song to add a sentimental value to it. 

This idea is sure to bring happy tears on the employee appreciation day. Moreover, a video is tangible and can be seen over and over again. It is a kind of gesture that employees will always treasure. 

Thank-you Notes 

Did you know that thank-you notes still exist? You don’t always have to come up with elaborate ideas to express your care for employees. Leaving a simple thank you note or card goes a long way. 

A simple thank you leave a positive impact on employees boosting everything from employee engagement to employee productivity. 

Instill the habit of recognizing employees’ efforts in real-time in your workforce. A culture with such a workforce can celebrate employee appreciation day every day. 

You should also suggest leadership and executive in your company make handwritten thank you notes. Appreciation and recognition from the top management mean the most to the employees. 

Employee appreciation day ideas

Celebrate Birthdays 

People are always up for celebrating birthdays. It is a small yet meaningful gesture to celebrate employees’ birthdays. Order a cake or decorate the employee’s desk with balloons or ribbons. 

Also, don’t forget the card. Make a birthday card and have each employee write a message. These personal touches go a long way in making employees feel valued. 

In the case of a remote company, get your employees to make a birthday video, mail a cake, and a thoughtful gift. 

A Shout Out Virtually or Publicly 

Giving a shoutout is one of the most underrated employee appreciation ideas out there. This is perhaps one of the best gifts you can give to your employees. 

Positive words from an employer act as a motivator and morale booster for employees. And even better if they come in front of colleagues and team members. 

Make sure you appreciate it with clarity. Let others know what you appreciate the most about the employee. Make it a point to mention their desirable qualities such as ‘always on time’ or ‘proactive’. This will also act as a source of inspiration for others. 

In case of remote work, give a shout-out on whatever platform the company uses for instance Microsoft Teams or Slack. 

Employee Appreciation Holiday 

Can’t think of any employee appreciation day ideas? Give a day off on employee appreciation day. Everybody loves to have an extra day off. It will give employees a break from their routine. It is a way of expressing recognition of their hard work which makes them feel valued. 

A Wall Of Fame 

A creative employee appreciation day idea is to create a wall of fame. Dedicate a wall in your office that has pictures of employees who performed well in one aspect or another. Photos communicate far more than words. And they’re fun to look at!

You can be a bit more creative by taking candid shots of your employees hard at work. Encourage other employees to post appreciation notes around the picture. 

This is a great way of making the entire workforce realize the importance of recognizing employee efforts. 

Revamp The Break Room 

What does a break room in your company look like? Is it a dark dingy room with a stinky microwave? Is it just a place where people have their meals? 

Maybe now is the time to redesign it. 

Make a break room that is welcoming and where employees can do more than just eat. Surprise your employees by turning it into a place where employees can listen to music, play games, nap, or read a book. 

Redesigning a break room is a great way of telling employees that you care for their comfort. It is a way of encouraging them to keep doing better by taking care of their needs. 

Every day should be an Employee Appreciation Day

Although this article mainly focuses on employee appreciation day ideas, there really is no limit. You can use these ideas at any point in time. Although some ideas cannot be done in real-time such as revamping a break room, others definitely have potential. 

Nevertheless, all the ideas mentioned above are sure to make your employees happy. However, keep trying other tactics and pay close attention to what your employees want. 

Always remember, employee appreciation is a gateway to develop a robust workplace culture. Although employee appreciation may feel heavy on the pocket, it has long-term benefits. 

Employee appreciation should not only be reserved for one particular day. In fact, it should be done all year round. Employees are and will always be your company’s biggest asset. Nurture and pamper them as often as possible. 

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