The first Friday of March is when most companies celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. This is the day when top leadership and managers acknowledge their staff’s hard work and dedication. Are you looking for Employee Appreciation Day ideas? This initiative was started by Bob Nelson, the founding member of Recognition Professional International, a professional organization involved in employee recognition.
Employee engagement is key to steady and improving productivity within companies. Dedicating a day for employee appreciation is a gesture that proclaims how much companies value their employees. This goes a long way in keeping employees satisfied with improved confidence and trust in the employer.
This blog seeks to spell out employee appreciation day ideas or “How to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day” within companies in a manner that touches a chord.
9 Fun Things to Do for Employee Appreciation Day
When employees feel appreciated, they feel a better connection to their workplaces. In the long term, it can be significant for employee retention. Now let’s turn our attention to staff appreciation day ideas:
1. Organize a field trip
Get all the employees together and arrange a field trip to a botanical garden, museum, or park. It can even be a tour to a winery or brewery. Use the occasion to better connect with your community and experiment with an unknown surrounding to understand new things. It would help create a memorable day while having fun touring local attractions with definite addition to your knowledge.
2. Pamper your employees with treats
Treat your staff with candy, cupcakes, and donuts. Do not restrict your menu, and include a variety of treats for all employees. During the onboarding process, you can slip in a question about their sweet preferences and use that information to organize the office-wide treat. When the day belongs to the employee, take that extra step in making sure they remain satisfied with the pampering.
3. Create a happy-hour
Introduce a slot within the work hours when employees can let their hair down. This will not only create a relaxed atmosphere but also can develop positive company culture. This may be a tad difficult when companies have staff manning critical functions. Remain conscious of including everyone in the happy hours, and go that extra mile to ensure everyone gets the chance to participate.
4. Serve a company-sponsored lunch
Change the regular scenery and book a spot outside the office to have lunch with your employees. Provide healthy eating options and include fun activities like a lunchtime concert, hosting a fun-talk or book reading session during lunch. Overall, make sure the message gets across that the company remains concerned about their employee’s well-being.
5. Introduce fun hobbies
There would be many employees within the organization who used to nurture personal hobbies. Re-introduce those folks to activities like painting, flower arrangement, cooking, or origami. This will ensure that employees are actively encouraged to pursue a work-life balance where they have a life outside the office.
6. Company giveaways
Your employees are an asset and brand ambassadors to the company; ensure they feel special on this day. Gift them company-branded water bottles, clothing, and lunch boxes. You could even provide them with gift cards that can be redeemed at local restaurants, coffee shops, or massage centers.
7. Play games & socialize
Organize games, host quizzes, arrange for office-level Olympics, and push for active participation from all employees. This will provide great opportunities for people within the organization to get to know each other. Their innate sense of sportsmanship and camaraderie will be out in the open for everyone to see and appreciate. In the long term, it will foster new bonds and friendships.
8. Volunteering opportunities
Recent surveys from Deloitte suggest that offering volunteer opportunities gives a massive boost to employee morale. In view of this, organize group volunteer activities for employees at a homeless shelter, humane society, or a senior living community. This could also be in the form of planting trees, cooking, and serving those in need of caring for strays. Such initiatives go a long way in creating happy memories for an employee.
Recommended Read: What Is ‘Volunteer Time Off’ and Why Should You Implement it?
9. Start a mentorship program
Offering professional development activities to employees is a huge shot in the arm for enhanced employee engagement. On Employee Appreciation Day, announce offering mentorship programs for high performers. This is a worthy bonus for employees who normally seek out expensive conferences and courses for professional development. This will empower employees with better growth opportunities within the organization without looking elsewhere.
While these are fun ideas for employee appreciation or Employee Appreciation Day activities, the pandemic has entirely shifted the normal paradigm within which offices used to function.
Until the pandemic situation goes back to normal, we would have to improvise on our celebrations by bringing them online. Companies need not shoot for the stars, but a genuine gesture on the company’s part in bringing employees together can make a huge difference. This is certainly possible with online communication platforms that come with a range of options.