Employee Appreciation Day Ideas 2017
It’ll come as no surprise that we believe that every day should be Employee Appreciation Day. That said, the first Friday of March is earmarked for employers to make a fuss of their employees and to show their appreciation in various ways. It extends from global corporations to SMEs. The day was started in 1995 by Bob Nelson, one of the founding members of the Recognition Professional International.
So, this March 3rd, what will you be doing to recognise this very special day? Not celebrating the day can be looked upon negatively - and anything that shows a lack of appreciation can contribute towards a dissatisfied workforce and higher staff turnover.
“Managers are confused about what they should do,” said Kevin Ames, director of speaking at the O.C. Tanner Institute. “In a way, the holiday is almost obligatory—if companies don’t celebrate it, then they’re viewed negatively. And, when they do celebrate it, the right message must be communicated.”
Just like Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day of the year that we celebrate our loved one, Employee Appreciation Day shouldn’t be the one day of the year that you provide positive feedback to your staff members. If you’re not in the habit of providing positive employee evaluations on a regular basis, it’s an ideal day to announce the launch of a new employee recognition program, or to make a small gesture of appreciation.
Some companies lay on special staff breakfasts or lunches, or make public declarations on social media (much like a *real* relationship!). There is no right or wrong way to celebrate the day. Acknowledging it is the least you can do. If staff members are shown appreciation throughout the year, they won’t mind a simple expression of gratitude. The key is to make sure that you know your staff well enough to be able to know what they would expect and what they would appreciate. Whether they want some sort of display/shindig or a more low key thank you.
Employee Appreciation Day Ideas
Here’s a quick guide to the sort of thing you could do to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day:
- Bring in breakfast
- Lay on a lunch
- Have an afternoon tea
- Hold a ‘pub quiz’ at the office
- Send everyone home early
- A handwritten note
- Celebrate their achievements on your company blog or social media channels
- A small personalised gift to each employee (tread carefully here, this will totally depend on your company culture and knowledge of the team)
- A bottle of wine
- A vocal back-patting session where team leaders or management extol the virtues of each employee
- Have a day/afternoon out together
- Bring in a masseuse
- Gift vouchers
- Picnic (weather-permitting)
- Guest motivational speaker
- Ice cream
- Movie afternoon (popcorn obligatory)
- “Boss for a day” - yes, give them autonomy!
- Donate on their behalf to their chosen charity (it doesn't have to be much and you don’t have to disclose the amount if prefered)
- Team building exercises (but nothing cringeworthy - something fun that you know the team will appreciate)
- Set up a special discount at a local business exclusively for your employees
- Bad taste decorations - come in early armed with tonnes of balloons, glitter “Congratulations” banners, tinsel, bright garlands and whatever you can lay your hands on - decorate each desk if possible. If it looks like an 80s kids party, you’re on the right track. Who doesn’t love party decorations?
- Award ceremony (make sure everyone is included) - you could even go for an ‘ironic’ award ceremony to celebrate the idiosyncrasies around your office!
- Donate all your profits for the day to the employees