Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

Philip Cleave
February 23, 2023
Boss shakes hand of employee that's done a great job

With this year’s Employee Appreciation Day fast approaching, there’s never been a better time to show your employees that you care.

In fact, showing your staff more appreciation is probably more crucial than you might think. Certainly, there are plenty of statistics to support this:

  • 49% of staff would feel more loyal towards their employer if they felt truly valued by them
  • 62% of UK workers do not believe they are valued at work
  • 66% of employees said they would be likely to leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated

From keeping your employees engaged and more productive, to increasing their staff loyalty and retention. There are many benefits to be gained by showing your staff more appreciation.

Taking time out to listen to your workforce, getting their feedback through employee surveys and then acting on what they would like to see is also a vital part of this and should be at the core of your engagement strategy.

However, if you’re not already doing enough to show staff you care, doing something for Employee Appreciation Day, is a quick and effective way to get things moving in the right direction.

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day is an annual event that occurs on the first Friday in March.

This celebratory day which focuses on staff across all industries and first originated in the USA in 1995, was established to encourage employers to recognize and thank employees for their hard work and contributions in the workplace.

Employees are one of the company’s greatest assets and recognition and appreciation are known to be among the biggest motivational factors for staff. So, any initiatives such as Employee Appreciation Day, which an employer can use to demonstrate their gratitude for their employees’ contributions, will help keep morale and job satisfaction levels high.

6 fun ways to show staff you care

If you’re looking to do something for Employee Appreciation Day, but haven’t had a chance to think about anything yet, here are some ideas of how you might celebrate this special day with your staff this year:

Surprise gifts

Make your employees’ day, by dropping a surprise e-gift into their inboxes or direct to their smart phone, such as an Amazon e-gift voucher that they can spend immediately on something they really want.

Breakfast snacks

Whether it’s bacon butties or a breakfast smoothie, consider hosting a ‘pat on the back’ breakfast for your staff.

Happy hour

You might want to think about running a ‘laptops closed’ happy hour on this special Friday, where you all stop and enjoy a cuppa, glass of fizz and some cake, while celebrating staff achievements.

Superstar staff gallery

In contrast, you might opt to get people’s attention by doing something more visual.

Consider conducting a company foyer or reception makeover, putting up a photo exhibition of all the staff who have really shone during the last year.

Competition time

Everyone loves the chance to win something.

Think about hosting a prize draw on this special day, with lucky staff winning an extra day off work, free lunches in the canteen for a week or some gift vouchers.

Don’t forget staff that work from home

A goody bag, gourmet lunch box or gift card can also provide an enticing option for WFH staff who may not be able to get into the office for the celebrations

These are just a handful of ideas to get you started and you may have many more in mind that could be equally effective. However, the most important thing is to ensure you make these ideas as memorable as you can.  If you can do this, your appreciation towards staff, will linger longer in your employees’ minds and motivate them to keep performing to the best of their abilities.

Longer term initiatives to show staff appreciation

When it comes to thanking staff for their work contributions, Employee Appreciation Day, is a great place to start. However, if you’re to make the greatest difference to how they feel and keep them motivated and engaged, you need to think about bringing in some longer-term initiatives that will demonstrate how seriously you value their hard work and efforts.

Here are some ideas to think about:

Try to build appreciation into your everyday

Probably one of the simplest, but most effective ways to make staff feel good is to simply thank them when they’ve done a good job. Although, this is not a new concept, how many of us actually consistently recognize our colleagues in this way?

Whether it’s praising employees in team chats and team meetings or recognizing their work anniversary and writing them thank-you notes. Whatever it is you can do to show your appreciation, building these small acts into your company culture, can go a long way towards maintaining a happy, engaged and motivated workforce.

Prioritize learning and development opportunities

To help keep them motivated most employees want their work to be as interesting as possible and challenge them in new ways.

Subsequently, if you’re able to cultivate a ‘Culture of Learning’ within your organization, by offering lunchtime talks, access to online courses, allowances to gain new qualifications and greater collaboration and learning among teams, your staff will feel more motivated fulfilled.

Provide more perks and rewards

From a day off on your birthday and discounts on gym membership, to a quarterly bonus and profit sharing in your company. Everyone is motivated by perks and rewards. And when they know they’ll be rewarded for doing a great job, they’ll be even more driven to perform consistently well in everything they do.

Consequently, anything you can look to bring in to better incentivise and motivate employees will be hugely beneficial.

Offer more work flexibility

Following the Covid pandemic, about three-quarters of the UK workforce said they were looking for more flexibility in the way that they work.

So, if you can give your staff more autonomy over where and how they work, you’ll not only demonstrate your appreciation for what they already do, but also your trust in them to continue to perform effectively in their roles, irrespective of where they may be working from.

Deliver better employee experiences

The quality of experiences you deliver for your staff can have a major impact on their engagement, motivation and overall levels contentment.

Whether it’s delivering great onboarding and training experiences to investing in a staff wellbeing program. Whatever, initiatives you’ve put in place to improve your employee experiences, it’s vital to ensure they’re consistent throughout an employee’s journey, from the time they join you to their ongoing development, retention and final company exit. And the best way to check this is to survey your staff for their feedback.

Using surveys to strengthen your staff relationships

Taking time out to recognize and thank employees for their contributions and effort is important. However, a more powerful way to strengthen your relationship with staff, is to listen to them, and ensure their voices are always heard. This is where the value of regularly surveying employees for their thoughts and opinions can be hugely beneficial.

From their motivation and engagement levels to their job satisfaction and willingness to recommend you as a good place to work to others through the employee net promoter score. There’s a wide range of employee surveys and metrics you can use to get to the heart of how your staff are feeling and provide the insight you need to make the positive changes that will re-energize and re-engage your workforce. If you can do this, your business should go from strength to strength.

Show staff you care with experiences they’ll love

Delivering positive and memorable experiences will help make your staff feel valued and special. It will also benefit your business too. But you’ll only get the very best results with the right survey tools.


Get started and create your first survey

If you would like more information then please get in touch.