11 Creative Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day
Feb 22, 2016
By Cathie Ericson
This savvy advice from celebrated entrepreneur Richard Branson echoes what most business owners know: their employees are the lifeblood of their business, so it’s vital to show them genuine appreciation.
In fact, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), job satisfaction and employee engagement levels remain high; 89% of U.S. employees reported being somewhat or very satisfied with their current job role and an employee engagement index of 3.9 indicates a moderately engaged workforce.
Whether you have a formal recognition initiative in place or not, your company can celebrate Employee Appreciation Day on Friday, March 2. To mark this anniversary, we’ve come up with 11 creative ways you can acknowledge your team.
1. Offer fun food options.
There’s no question that everyone loves food. Want to move beyond the everyday staples of donuts or a catered lunch? Try an outdoor BBQ or a chocolate fountain dessert fondue for a creative change.
2. Pamper them.
In-chair massages come to mind, but you could get even more innovative with a variety of services that make their lives easier. David Sturt, author of "Great Work: How to Make a Difference People Love," has seen companies hire car washers or errand runners. “Think about services that either treat them like royalty or remove a burden from their day.”
3. Take on their duties.
If you’ve ever watched the CBS show Undercover Boss, you know that the jobs front-line employees perform aren’t nearly as easy as they look. Try answering the phones or handling customer shipments to truly appreciate how it feels to walk a mile in their shoes.
4. Flip it around and let them be the boss for the day.
Employees can lead meetings and oversee projects, but you can also go a step further. Have them divide into groups to design a new logo, brainstorm ideas and implement new procedures for the day. Who knows? They might generate valuable new insights you can implement.
5. Let them choose their team-building activity.
It can be challenging to find an activity that appeals to everyone, so you might offer a menu of choices. Include an active option like mini golf or bowling, something cultural like a museum visit, and maybe a shopping expedition. Convene at the end of the day, if possible.
6. Have a laugh.
Is your office full of jokesters? Greet them with an April Fool’s-worthy prank, like freezing everyone’s stapler or covering the doors with clear wrap. Invite an office-appropriate comedian to entertain you, play a comedy trivia game or host an open-mic lunch.
7. Be a kid again.
Donna Lubrano, admissions counselor at Hult International Business School, says she used to manage a fun-loving group and organized a child's birthday party for them. She hired Ben and Jerry's to cater a sundae bar and a magician to perform fun magic tricks, like pulling a rabbit out of his hat. “We had a blast, with lots of laughing, and who doesn't like an ice cream sundae?”
8. Give group gifts.
Choose something you think everyone in the office might enjoy, whether it’s a ping pong table or a new snack area. Taylor Tyng, CEO of Wiredrive, noted that after several employees had asked for standing desks, he outfitted the office. “It's a small gesture, but one that shows we care not just about their work product but how they work in general."
9. Get to know each other better.
Sleuth around to discover each employee’s top lunch spot and order each person an individualized lunch. While you eat, play a game like “Two Truths and a Lie” to encourage your team to learn more about each other.
10. Make it the start of something big.
If you don’t have a formalized employee recognition program, consider using this day as a kickoff to announce a larger initiative that might include an “Employee of the Month,” milestone celebration or other components.
11. Give them time off.
No one is going to complain about an unexpected afternoon off. Show your employees you really appreciate them by letting them play hooky.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
/account/v2/editBillingDisplay,/orderhistory/subsManager,/orderhistory/submitReturn,/account/accountSummaryDisplay,/account/loginAccountDisplay,/account/myfiles,/csl/listAllhttps://request.eprotect.vantivcnp.com/eProtect/js/payframe-client3.min.js?d=20200807 Join Now