In most workplaces, employees often feel overlooked. They work hard every day, but how often do their milestones and achievements get noticed by supervisors and coworkers alike? And that is why, Employee Appreciation Day might be an unofficial holiday, but it’s still an important one worth noticing.
Employee Appreciation Day is observed on the first Friday in March every year, and it’s a chance for organizations of all sizes to thank their employees for the work they’re doing. Employee Appreciation Day was first created in 1995 as a way to recognize employees at Workman Publishing, but it has since spread throughout organizations around the world.
While we can all agree Employee Appreciation Day should be celebrated more than once a year, it’s important to take this chance to remind your employees just how much you value their hard work. Luckily, you don’t have burn midnight oil to create an environment of appreciation. There exist unique ways to create a special bond with your employees by celebrating their success on this special day.
Here are 8 interesting Employee Appreciation Day ideas to celebrate the day in a very special way:
1. Call Out Accomplishments
The first idea is also the simplest and most effective of all the ways you can start appreciating your employees. On Employee Appreciation Day, why not call out accomplishments both big and small. In most workplaces, there isn’t time to focus on individual accomplishments as they come and go. Take this as an opportunity to highlight those achievements whether you hold a meeting, write them somewhere in the office, or simply send a company-wide email.
One interesting way to implement this call out is to empower each and every employee to announce and appreciate their peers. This peer to peer appreciations even bring out achievements that lie oblivious to the eyes of the management or HR. Workplace social platforms can dynamically up your game for peer to peer appreciation. Once initiated, appreciations start flowing into the company townhall chann
2. Company Lunch
Feedback and survey are powerful ways to get key insights into what your employee feels and thinks. One way to appreciate your employees is to empower them to voice out. Keeping it anonymous makes sure that you get genuine and useful feedback from even shy employees.
Data collected this way reveals key issues with your existing HR policies. These insights can be used to course correct and improve strategies to achieve better efficiencies.
You can even inaugurate a Pulse survey, denoting how you are keen on collecting employee sentiments from time to time. Survey platforms can be a huge relief during this process, helping with adoption and data analytics.
3. Volunteer Together
The financial year-end is around the corner and you might be about to announce the new employee benefits package. Employee appreciation day is the right day to make such an announcement because wellness benefits are a powerful means to connect to the employees. Wellness is a personal aspect of the employee’s life and when the organization takes interest in it through these benefits - an immediate, meaningful relationship is formed.
Even if a wellness program was not in the pipeline, there are innumerous cost-effective e-wellness benefits out there to implement such programs with minimal budgets. A few employee engagement platforms like that of Xoxoday, come pre-loaded with exclusive wellness benefits for employees- making it a close-to-zero cost affair.
4. Company Gifts
Nothing speaks louder than the entire company getting together for lunch. Taking your employees out to lunch or bringing in a catering crew is a relatively affordable way to show that you care. Treating your employees, even in a small way like this, shows you see them as more than just a cog in the wheel.
In cases where it might get difficult organizing such events - especially for large organizations- these lunches could be held team or BU wise, making it tighter knit. Communication platforms can be used to efficiently plan, organize and mobilize such large scale events in sync. Platforms that even provides features to run organization-wide polls and feedback to help narrow down employee interests for these events - making it more meaningful.
5. Field Trip
Why not give back while you’re at it? Volunteering is an effective way to boost employee morale, and 70% of Americans prefer this even to company-sponsored happy hours. Such volunteering events also improve the employer brand image- adding to it being perceived as a socially responsible organization.
Keeping employee interests in close proximity is critical to the success of such events. Talk to your employees to find out how they’d like to give back to the society either face-to-face (preferred, if possible) or over surveys and then make it happen.
Take an entire day or just a few hours and do something good for your community. Volunteering at a local conservation program, senior living community, humane society, or shelter is a great way to build teamwork skills, learn more about your employees, and just do something kind for others.
6. Team-Building Workshops
Free things are always a perk, and your employees will appreciate you taking the time to give them a little something - especially if its branded. If you have company products like branded clothing, coffee mugs, gift cards, etc, these go a long way. Make sure to get proper employee feedback before deciding on what type of swag they’re interested in.
Pack these goodies in a keepsake box, if possible, - to enhance the gift-receiving experience. Sounds tedious? Do let us know if you need help.
7. Happy Hour
Field trips aren’t just for kids in school. Think of how excited your employees would be to go to on a company-sponsored field trip. Harness this excitement by organizing a short, local trip. It could be an office picnic at a local garden or a park, a visit to the brewery, factor or museum. These short trips could give a quick boost in office morale and help employees unwind.
Once again, communication platforms can be of great help in bringing all your employees together, getting quick feedback and organizing.
You never know of the innovative thoughts that could occur to your employees when they are unplugged from the office.
8. Pizza Party
While team-building workshops seem a cliche, there is nothing that can replace an offsite team program. Research suggests that those who have creative outlets outside of work actually perform better on the job. These programs could activities either focussed on creating team-cohesion or could even be a chip off another expertise.
Bringing in a chef for some cooking classes or an artist for painting classes could help employees think outside the boundaries of their functions. Such workshops are an easy way to get those creative juices flowing. If you can, offer a variety of activities so everyone can choose what they want.
Appreciate Your Employees Every Day
While you should ideally appreciate your employees every day, these Employee Appreciation Day ideas will help you celebrate this day meaningfully. It’s time to do a little something special for those workers who get the job done time and time again.
It would be wonderful to take the day as a starting point of your ‘culture of appreciation’ that has proven to be the secret behind many highly successful companies. Nothing works like a ‘pat on the back’ and appreciation on the go.
Constantly improve your appreciations using surveys and feedback. Rethink your programs based on what sounds like the most fun to them and then check with your budget. You’ll be celebrating achievements in no time. Taking advantage of Employee Appreciation Day to help you build trust, connections, and the foundation for success.
Thrilled to start off building a culture of appreciation in your company? We have an exclusive offer for passionate people managers like you on the occasion of Employee Appreciation Day.