It is T-minus two days until Employee Appreciation Day. Are you ready…? As we noted in our previous post, it is important that we implement a recognition program to thank and acknowledge employees for their hard work that contributes to our business’ success. Employees want recognition, verbal appreciation, and encouragement. Whether you have one employee or one thousand employees, showing your appreciation will go a long way. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are more productive, have fewer incidents of absenteeism, and have better interactions with customers.

Not sure where to start? We have compiled the following suggestions on different ways that you can celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in your office to create lasting change in your organization and to show your employees that you value them and their contributions. Consider doing one, or all, of the following:

  • Food: This can be an easy and fun crowd pleaser.
    • Picnic: Weather permitting, consider taking the team to the great outdoors. Organize some team activities to have everyone get to know each other better.
    • Ice Cream Social: Arrange an afternoon pick-me-up with all of the trimmings.
    • Breakfast: Order bagels and breakfast sandwiches or hire a local chef to come to your office to prepare tasty creations on demand with an omelet station. A smoothie bar or oatmeal bar are also great options for the health conscious.
    • Lunch: Treat your team to an off-site meal. Consider allowing for extra time for lunch so as not to rush the team back to work.
    • Dinner: Have the team meet at a local restaurant after hours for a nice sit-down dinner.
  • Gifts: There are companies in the business of employee recognition that can help you find the right gifts for your team and budget. Popular companies include Positive Promotions, Baudville, and Oriental Trading.
    • Gift cards: Cards to local stores, restaurants or for pampering are sure to be a hit with your team.
    • Gadgets: MP3s, wireless earbuds, and power banks can be great gifts for employees on the go. Tool kits, car accessories and flashlights are also great gifts that can promote safety
    • Items that promote team spirit or bonding such as themed drinkware and bags or polo shirts and jackets with your company’s logo, etc.
  • Other Ways to Show Appreciation:
    • Provide opportunity: Rewarding standout employees with opportunities outside of their day to day duties motivates them and their peers to continue to strive for excellence. Cross training, leading team projects and representing the business in the community are examples of opportunities that can be offered to employees.
    • Written Notes: A thoughtful, well-written note addressed to an employee can have a higher impact than a general mass-produced card. Think about each employee and how they helped your organization achieve its goals. If your organization is too big to make handwritten notes feasible, be sure to send an email company-wide with a personalized message.
    • Work-Life Balance: Thank employees for their efforts by offering flexible schedules and working remotely options.

We hope the above suggestions get your creative juices flowing on ways to show your employees that you value their efforts and loyalty. We challenge you to be strategic in implementing your employee recognition program. No two organizational cultures are the same. Ensure that you understand your employees’ needs in relation to how they want to be recognized, acknowledged and encouraged. With a strategic and targeted approach to employee appreciation, we can show our employees how much we value their efforts. They, in turn, will become passionate about our business, our goals, and our customers.