10 Ways to WOW Your Workforce on Employee Appreciation Day (and Beyond)!

January 12, 2022

Employee Appreciation Day is the first Friday in March! Did you know that 85% of employees are satisfied with a simple ‘thank you’ for their efforts? This simple acknowledgment proves that expressing gratitude strengthens employee engagement and retention. Here are a few ways to say ‘thank you’ and then some — both remote and in-person — to show your appreciation and help spread cheer and gratitude.

1) Make It personal

No matter what item, gift or memento you decide to give, be sure it’s delivered with a handwritten note detailing what you are thankful for about that person. Being told you are appreciated is wonderful, having some specifics about what makes you so special steps it up a notch and is just one more way to be sure the moment will have a positive and lasting impression.

2) Give the gift of choice

Surprise employees with a gift card they can use to purchase something meaningful to them. Even if its just a small amount, these types of thoughtful gestures are remembered and appreciated.

3) Small appreciation gift

If gift cards aren’t your thing, giving a small present to your employees is a wonderful gesture. It would be even better if you knew the individual interests of your employees and sent them something personalized. Your workforce will recognize the effort you took to get to know them, which will build loyalty and trust.

4) Give the gift of time — OFF

We all need a “mental health” day once in a while. Why not give your employees one free day of personal time off, no questions asked, on a day of their choosing? You could even make it fun by using a poker chip or get-out-of-jail-free card.

5) A three-day weekend

Let employees off one Friday or Monday, as an extra bonus to a weekend. You can stagger resources, so you still have coverage while giving everyone an extra day added to their weekend plans.

6) A special getaway

A getaway for two is always a welcome gift even to a local hotel or resort. A one- or two-night stay may mean more than you could ever know. Being able to share their gift with a loved one is a fabulous feeling, creating memories that last much longer than the stay itself.

7) Breakfast or lunch celebration

For your on-site employees, start their day off right by providing a spread of bagels and donuts, or give midday a boost with a lunchtime pizza! Having an informal meal in the company break room encourages interaction and camaraderie. Want to make it extra special? Give your honored guests first dibs on the goodies.

8) Send a care package

For your remote employees, send a care package filled with their favorite things. Care packages can include company swag, gift certificates, treats or games employees can share with their families. And just like the small appreciation gift noted in #3, the more personalized to their tastes and likes, the more memorable and appreciated it will be!

9) Virtual happy hour

To connect remote and on-site workers, schedule a Zoom happy hour at the end of the day with cocktails or mocktails! Send remote employees a care package with their drink, a special glass, and participation instructions. The day of the happy hour, have beverages on hand for on-site employees, so everyone can toast together and show their appreciation.

10) Make the moment memorable

Distribute blank note cards to your employees and encourage them to write a “nomination” or a kind note of appreciation about one of their peers. Studies show peer-to-peer recognition is just as powerful as manager appreciation! Read all the nominations aloud at the next town hall or company gathering.

Investing time in employee engagement strategies to recognize your workforce doesn’t have to break the bank and can have a potentially high impact on morale. These small gestures will create a culture of appreciation, which will multiply business outcomes tenfold.