tips for celebrating employee appreciation day
ways to celebrate employee appreciation day

How to Prepare for Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity to express gratitude for a job well done and promote greater workplace culture. On March 3, plan for an exciting and memorable Employee Appreciation Day. Show your team the effects of their outstanding work and drive motivation, performance, and operational success.

Celebrating our Employees on Employee Appreciation Day

At a time when the workplace is constantly evolving and competition for top talent is fierce, there’s only one thing that hasn’t changed: the necessity of employee appreciation. It’s more important than ever to prioritize employee recognition and appreciation.

Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity to express gratitude for a job well done and promote greater workplace culture. The adage doesn’t lie: “happy employees make for happy customers.”

Practices and traditions such as a day of appreciation create a positive employee experience, which in turn, drastically improves the customer experience. Plan for an exciting and memorable Employee Appreciation Day to show your team the effects of their outstanding work and drive motivation, performance, and operational success.

Whether your employees are in-office, hybrid, or remote, our list recommended programs for a memorable Employee Appreciation Day are guaranteed to bring meaningful recognition and excitement to your workplace.

Tips for an Impactful Employee Appreciation Day

Ensure participation from the executive leadership team

This kind of presence and engagement speaks volumes. Additional impact can be made by inviting your executives to serve as laborers to run some of these programs. Depending on your programs, leadership can participate in various ways, such as; serving food, visibly setting up activities and attending to interact with all levels of the organization, hand-delivering swag or treats to employees’ desks, cleaning up after the events, etc.

Deliver an equally valuable experience to your remote team

Whichever programs you choose, have plans to deliver an equally valuable experience to your remote team. Many programs translate to remote employees, but some still need to. Have a plan that is solely to recognize and appreciate your remote team members.

Plan the day’s events so that every shift has an equal opportunity for participation, recognition and enjoyment

Ensure that any activities celebrating performance provide an opportunity for recognition of lower performers. Create this opportunity by celebrating behavioral achievements, such as attendance, positive cultural contributions or abilities, or efficient after-call work performance.

Don’t forget to take photos

Remember to take photos and make them accessible to employees by creating a photo wall or a digital photo album. This is a great way to document and demonstrate your culture for online brand recognition and recruitment efforts. 

Recognizing and Rewarding Excellence – Ways to Celebrate Your Team

Organizational Value Awards

Identify individuals that have exemplified one of your core values. Allow for supervisor and peer nominations and present awards with a detailed description of why you are choosing to honor the employee. Specific recognition goes a long way in celebrating employee performance.

Cater a Nice Meal

It’s a trusted, time-old recognition practice for a reason. Everybody loves a free meal. Cater lunch from a local restaurant and invite employees to enjoy a family-style meal. Be sure to either cater several meals to capture all shifts, or to order enough to-go meals to save for your employees on later shifts. Note: It’s best to go with cold meals for the to-go meals.

Metrics Performance Raffles

  • Compile a list of your critical metrics and identify which employees met or exceeded these metrics over the course of the last week.
  • For every instance of achievement, the employee receives one raffle ticket toward a prize. Raffling off multiple prizes allows you to perform a drawing every hour to include all shifts in the excitement.
  • Get creative with your prizes and include items such as an extra day of paid time off, a special parking spot, gift cards to local restaurants or popular online retailers, scheduling preference priority for the next pay period, gift baskets, company-branded swag, etc.

Setup a Snack and Beverage Bar

Fill a table with various snacks and beverages and invite your employees to help themselves throughout the day. Be sure to restock as needed so later shifts can still participate. Bump it up a notch by using a rolling cart instead of a table and make daily rounds to refresh your employees at their stations.

Create an Entertainment Den

Set up a popular TV show, movie, or video gaming system in an available space, such as a conference or break room, provide treats, and let your employees kick back for some entertaining down time while on break.

Start the Day Off With Some Swag

  • Surprise your employees by putting a special gift on every desk. Put the gifts out at close of business on March 2, so your employees are greeted with an expression of your gratitude the moment they arrive to work.
  • Prizes can include branded swag, treats, movie tickets, or whatever fits best for your team.
  • Make it extra special by including a handwritten note of appreciation from their supervisor.

Peer-to-Peer Kudos

Don’t forget about the power of peer-to-peer recognition. There are many ways to provide an opportunity for peers to express their gratitude for each other. Some include:

  • Use a public platform or hang kraft paper on the wall to allow employees to give shout-outs to each other
  • Or put a ballot box on every desk and invite employees to write notes of gratitude and kind words to their team members

Knowledge Management System Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt that takes employees on an adventure through your knowledge management system. Ask employees to find answers to questions related to your processes, departments, and products. Offer prizes to those who complete the game. You can fill two needs with one deed with this activity. Not only is this an exciting and motivating activity, but it also creates an opportunity to test the navigability of the platform and the efficiency of your KMS training program.

A Touch of Celebrity

Engage with a local celebrity and invite them to your workspace for autographs and photos with your employees. For remote employees, be sure to have a scheduled moment where the celebrity can video chat with all employees for a nice meet and greet.

Pet Therapy

Collaborate with a local animal shelter or veterinarian to schedule a visit from a pet therapy provider. Dogs are the obvious choice, but pet therapy experts now also work with miniature horses, rabbits, and more! Bringing a trained animal into the office (or, in the case of horses, to an area outside the office) is a surefire way to bring joy into the workspace. It’s a small, but impactful way to show your employees that you care about their happiness.