10 Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

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Have you heard of Employee Appreciation Day UK? If so you’ll already be thinking about how to show employee appreciation. At Ovation Incentives we’re experienced experts in making employees happy, creating goodwill, and boosting bottom lines. That’s what all the best employee incentives help businesses do. Read on to find out all about Employee Appreciation Day, discover why it matters, and be inspired by some of the best employee appreciation gifts, the most impactful employee appreciation letters, the most effective employee appreciation messages, and the brightest employee appreciation ideas. Let’s raise a glass to Employee Appreciation Day 2022.

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

So what is employee appreciation day? It’s an official holiday that falls on the first Friday in March, designed as a formal opportunity for businesses to thank their employees for their hard work and dedication with various employee appreciation awards. It was created specifically to strengthen the emotional links between workers and the companies they work for, and it’s quickly gaining traction. People love it, no surprise when it provides such a great opportunity for managers, leaders and HR professionals to thank the people who work so hard for them.

Numerous studies reveal how the event helps build a stronger, more resilient corporate culture. It’s widely recognised as a powerful driver for employee engagement and happiness. And we all know happy people work harder, smarter and better. No wonder more businesses than ever are using the event to say a sincere thank you to their people. Better staff retention, lower churn, and more productivity from employees as well as from the overall business make it a day to mark in your corporate diary.

When is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee appreciation day is always on the first Friday in March. When is Employee Appreciation Day 2022? It falls on 4th March 2022.

Why Showing Employee Appreciation is Important

While it’s important to appreciate your workers every day, not just one day a year, formalising your thanks with a special day marked by the world has a powerful positive influence. Inc Magazine, Forbes, Boston.com and many more respected organisations are writing about the event, revealing exactly how influential the day is on the feelings and attitude of employees.

Everyone who works, whatever their seniority, will instantly recognise the positive impact of being appreciated. We all feel happier at work when we know for sure we’re wanted and needed. The main reason people leave their jobs is because they feel under-appreciated, unrecognised or even worse, actually ignored, and high staff churn levels cost a fortune because you’re constantly having to re-recruit.

The right kind of recognition programme will reduce staff turnover, create a more positive and effective company culture, motivate employees in surprising and exciting ways, visibly boost productivity, and of course allow you to recruit – and hang onto - the very best talent. It brings people together, inspires creativity, and builds powerful, warm human relationships instead of colder, less effective corporate ones.

Effective Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

There’s a huge choice of different ways to show your appreciation to staff. Some Employee Appreciation Day ideas are more effective than others. Celebrating employee appreciation should be all about showing genuine thanks and acknowledging the efforts made by every single member of staff. Here are some of the most influential and successful ways to show appreciation to your people.

Gift Cards and Experiences

The best thing about gift cards is they let people choose the gift they like, need, and will enjoy most. What are good employee appreciation gifts? When every individual has different tastes, likes, dislikes, hobbies and obsessions, it makes more sense to let people choose than trying to please all of the people, all of the time with a specific thank you gift. The same goes for experiences. They’re incredibly popular and well-liked by individuals, groups and teams. It might involve a spa day, pony trekking, a visit to a theme park, tickets for the big match, a gig, or a restaurant experience. A West End show, wine tasting, fun on the beach, or a day out at the races. The potential is endless.  

Personnel Pampering

Pampering often goes down very well, since it’s usually the complete opposite of a day’s work! Make Employee Appreciation Day extra special by providing a selection of pampering services and wellness guidance for your people. Mindfulness is huge at the moment and can change life for the better in all sorts of useful and imaginative ways. You could arrange Mindful Techniques Coaching for your staff. A massage is a relaxing experience that

leaves people feeling chilled, refreshed and rejuvenated. There’s a choice of massage techniques, from sports massage to deep tissue massage designed for relaxation and head massage for sheer pleasure. You could even hand out treat-packed pampering gift sets to reduce stress and help people be their best self at work.

Treasured Awards

When you’re appreciated for your own unique personal attributes, skills and achievements it feels even lovelier than being thanked in general as part of a group, department, or team. You could figure out a range of fun, personalised awards devised for every individual staff member, highlighting the things each person is best at. A highly personal approach helps make staff feel truly recognised, and that means such a lot in a personal and work context. The best incentives of all make life, as well as work, feel great.

Food and Drink

Your people arrive at work on Employee Appreciation Day to be greeted by a table groaning with fabulous food and drink. The entire day is enhanced by providing delicious snacks in an informal setting. But it doesn’t have to be held in the office. Imagine taking everyone out for a slap-up lunch on the big day, potentially even more of a treat because you’re taking your staff off the premises on an ordinary working day.

Early Finish

One of the simplest and most effective ways to say a huge thank you is to let people go home early. Time off is precious, workers don’t usually get a great deal of it – maybe four or five weeks a year – and every holiday counts. People love a little extra time off, so why not finish work early on Employee Appreciation Day? Or bring everyone in for an hour in the morning to express your thanks and hand out treats, then send everyone home at 10am. They’ll repay you over and over again with extra imagination, more creativity, brighter ideas, and even more of a positive, ‘can-do’ attitude.  

Verbal Appreciation from Management

Do you glow when thanked? Most of us do! There are few things more powerful than a real, genuine, heart-felt thank you, especially when it’s delivered in public. An Employee Appreciation thank you message is highly effective in motivating staff and keeping them motivated. As a manager you can show staff appreciation by verbally praising each and every person on the day, praising their most valued skills and attributes, appreciating their personalities and traits, and revealing how they contribute to the overall success of teams, departments, and the company as a whole.

Donate to Favoured Charities

The charities you support say an awful lot about your personality, values, preoccupations and priorities. Staff appreciation can be shown in a very personal way when you pin down the charities your people respond the most powerfully to, then make a generous donation on their behalf. Altruism brings out the best in us and promoting it can only bring more good things your way.  

Work from Home Upgrades

Covid means millions of us now have choices around how and where we work. Those who feel especially vulnerable to the virus can work from home. Some people prefer to work half the week from home and half

from the office or premises. And that means providing allowances for work-from-home upgrades can have a brilliant motivating effect on your staff. You might give them an allowance for updated office tools, for new software, for an ergonomic chair or a proper desk for someone’s home. You might subsidise their broadband bills. There’s plenty of potential and the things you do will make home-working life easier and more pleasurable permanently, not just on the day itself.   

Virtual Karaoke

Staff appreciation day mustn’t overlook remote workers. Remote working can feel lonely. It’s also easier to feel under-appreciated when you’re never in the office, more so if you’re a very long way away, say on

another continent. Virtual Karaoke is incredibly popular. It’s a fun way to make friends, break down social barriers, find out more about your fellow employees, and have a laugh together. Because laughter is such fantastic social glue, every laugh you inspire makes people happier and business better.

Ask Employees What They Would Like

Some say it’s the ultimate way to appreciate and thank employees. There’s a lot to be said for asking people what they want. It’s respectful, considerate, and means you never get it wrong. Get staff involved in deciding how you should show appreciation and they’ll appreciate you even more. And once there’s a two-way mutual appreciation thing going on, you’re really motoring.

Let’s make this year’s Employee Appreciation Day extra special

There are so many ways to make the most of Employee Appreciation Day, therefore boost productivity, improve your bottom line, reduce employee churn, attract the best people, keep them for longer, and make everyone at your place feel they really do matter in the great scheme of things. Our software supports the best employee incentive programmes. Why not give our demo a go for free or get in touch for an inspiring discussion?