5 Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Holiday Celebration Kit

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5 Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Celebrate your employees with their own special day. We'll get you started.

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We've created ready-to-use celebration kits to take the pressure off preparing for, and celebrating, all the most common office holidays. Get useful tips, fun ideas, and handy downloadables to make the day something truly worth celebrating. 

Employee Appreciation Day Office-Friendly Playlist
Listen while you browse and save it to your library for later.

This Employee Appreciation Day playlist will let your employees know just how much you care about them! Disclaimer: All songs should be interpreted platonically and professionally.

What is Employee Appreciation Day? It’s a chance to celebrate one of the most beautiful relationships: the one between employer and employee. Generally, it is celebrated on the first Friday in March. Put it on your calendar now so that you don’t forget. 

The most important thing you can do on Employee Appreciation Day is show your employees how much you care about them and the work they do. You can do this by sending out an email, making an announcement, throwing a party, and giving out gifts (pro tip: we've got a whole kit to help you with that!) The most important thing is to express appreciation. and there are lots of ways to do that. Here are just a few ideas.

Employee Appreciation Party Ideas

Look at that “I'm being appreciated” gleam in her eye.

1. Bring in treats or lunch.

We think food is a good way to show appreciation. When in doubt, cater lunch for everyone. It’s simple, but effective. 

2. Give everyone time off.

This is a great way to celebrate if you have remote employees. Give everyone some extra PTO to spend time doing something that makes them happy. You can give them a whole day or a half day. 

Employee Appreciation day is a Friday, which makes it a great time to either let people go home early (or enjoy a three-day weekend). However, if your organization can’t handle everyone being gone the same day, give them the PTO to use at another time. 

Alternate idea: have everyone spend the day serving in their community. You can do this as a team or as individuals. 

3. Give employees time for personal development.

Similar to PTO, but instead, give your employees time off specifically to spend developing a talent or skill. Bonus: offer to pay for a subscription to online courses in addition to the time off. 

4. Celebrate all week long. 

Why keep it to just a day when you can really show your appreciation by celebrating for a whole week? Bring in different treats and snacks throughout the week, have team activities, and tell them how much you appreciate them. 

Here are some other ideas for party themes and activities: 

  • Bring in puppies - ask your local animal rescues if they do puppy parties or adoption events.

  • Bring in a speaker for professional development - do a quick poll to see what people at your organization want to learn about or if they have suggestions for speakers.

  • Bring in a yoga or fitness instructor - Zumba at lunch? Yoga in the afternoon? There are many ways to bring some motion into your office celebrations.

  • Hold contests - remember in high school where you would have spirit week (if not, maybe you’ve seen it in the movies)? Have a theme for dressing up or desk decorating each day for a week and give away prizes for the best, most creative, and/or funniest.

  • Have a red carpet or casino night - sometimes it’s fun to get glammed up. Host an evening where people can put on their best and either have games or a movie night.

  • Mobile oil-change - did you know there are companies that come and change oil on the spot? Hire one to change everyone’s oil while they work.

  • Mobile haircuts or nail salon - same idea as above but with haircuts and nail services. 
Kind words and heartfelt thanks are a must, but if given without something of monetary value, they can ring hollow.

5. Send a care package.

No matter where your employees are, you can send them a meaningful gift. Curate a care package with company swag, activities, snacks, gift cards, or anything else you can imagine. Some ideas you could consider:

  • Spa day in a box - bath salts, essential oils, facial masks, massage gift certificate, etc. Everyone likes to treat themselves now and again. 
  • Company swag - you can send the usual jacket and water bottle or get creative with other items like outdoor gear or bluetooth speakers. 
  • Outdoor adventure box - spring is on the way, get them something they can use outside: new shoes, pool toys, beach towels, water bottles, etc. 
  • Event tickets and experiences - get your employees a National Parks pass, tickets to even in their area, or passes to a local theme park. March is a great time to start getting outside. 

Pro tip: Awardco can help you curate a Bonus Box and ship them right to each employee’s door. 

Automate your Employee Appreciation Celebrations with Awardco.

Send out emails (we even have templates for you) automatically each year. You can also give points (redeemable for all kinds of rewards) automatically so everyone can choose their own employee appreciation gift. 

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Awardco was built to create a sense of belonging and loyalty in organizations by truly rewarding the best in people. We'd love to chat with you about doing exactly that.

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