Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

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Employee recognition is key to retention and developing a healthy work atmosphere. Workers who feel unappreciated are more likely to bail if presented with a better opportunity. As a business owner or manager, one way to recognize all of your employees at once is to hold an employee appreciation day.

Importance of Employee Appreciation

Showing genuine appreciation for employees has a direct effect on the morale and productivity of the workforce. Consulting guru Gayla R. Sherry of Gayla R. Sherry Associates Inc. states, “We are discovering that rewarding the behavior and performance we expect with ongoing and meaningful recognition is much more effective.” Setting up an employee recognition program doesn't usually cost much and can have a significant effect on the department. So establishing employee recognition events, like an appreciation day, is a cost-effective way to reinforce and encourage the workforce.


One idea for employee appreciation day is to surprise workers with special gifts throughout the day. Design the gift giving so that it progresses throughout the day -- from a small trinket or card in the morning to the big prize, like an e-reader device or shopping gift card before each employee leaves. You can also surprise them with the news of the special day. Don’t inform them of employee appreciation day until they walk into work that morning, making for a nice change of pace.

Go Off-Site

For a truly exciting employee appreciation day, hold at least a portion of the workday off-site. You can call a half day at the office and bus employees to the other location to enjoy the day of recognition. Find a place where coworkers can relax and mingle but in a fairly private area. Appropriate destinations include a back room at a bar or restaurant for dinner and an indoor recreational area with space for private parties.

Make it Personal

Even though the appreciation day celebrates the whole workforce, it is still important to make a personal connection to each employee on this day. One way is to compose a handwritten note to each worker highlighting her value to the organization. If you only have a few employees, visit each employee in person to thank her as she enjoys the day and let her know that the day is dedicated to her hard work at the firm.