How to Nail Employee Appreciation Day

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Is your business ready for Employee Appreciation Day? The first Friday in March, companies often celebrate by offering gifts, giving time off, or hosting an employee appreciation event. This is the perfect opportunity to express gratitude to your employees, whether you are in leadership, management, or human resources. 

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to coordinate a staff appreciation day party. What gifts show you care? How do you celebrate with a remote workforce? What if you have hundreds or thousands of employees?  

The good news is Employee Appreciation Day doesn’t have to be stressful or anti-climactic. We’re here to answer all these questions so you can go above and beyond for your employees.  

Forget What You Know About Corporate Gifting 

First, it’s important to acknowledge that a lot of people get employee gifts wrong. Even the term “corporate gift” makes us cringe, because the idea behind corporate gifting is purely transactional. The thinking goes like this: “I give gifts to my employees, so they will continue to be loyal to my company and me.”  And that’s it. No semblance of genuine gratefulness. Just a thinly veiled bribe. 

Corporate gifts tend to be impersonal, like a branded mug or T-shirt that end up at the thrift store. This is especially true if you haven’t established a daily culture of appreciation and kindness in your workplace. When employees receive a gift that feels like an afterthought, it can actually be counterproductive to your goals. 

Appreciating Your Employees Is Smart Business 

When you appreciate your employees, you and your business will watch the rewards come naturally. Data shows that recognition and happiness at work grow into morale, retention, and productivity. According to a study, workers who are happy are 20% more productive than those who feel unhappy. For salespeople, happiness increases sales by 37%. 

While appreciation and gifting should be based on pure emotions, it’s no secret that running a business is a numbers game. And if you want to have loyal employees and a good reputation, it’s important to start meeting the basic human need to feel cared for and important. Empty gestures don’t accomplish this—meaningful gifts do. 

Employee Appreciation Day Gift Examples 

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the verb “appreciate” means “to understand the worth or importance of someone; to admire and value someone.” What kind of gift will make your employees feel valued? Here are some of our favorite Employee Appreciation Day ideas:

  • Tickets to see their favorite musical artist or sports team 
  • Team lunch or dinner 
  • Gift cards to their favorite stores 
  • At-home spa kits 
  • In-office masseuse

The best employee appreciation gifts are personal and create memories. Even something as simple as a personalized note can have a lasting impact. 

In-Office vs. Virtual Employee Appreciation Day Ideas 

You can have an effective celebration whether your employees are remote or back in the office. Common in-office ideas for an employee appreciation event include a pizza party, talent show, photo booth, and board games.  

How do you celebrate remote employees? Thanks to virtual meeting tools, you can have a party online, where you can enjoy a game night, happy hour, trivia contests, or pay for food delivery for all staff members. 

Another fun idea is to come up with themes for Employee Appreciation Day, so everyone can dress accordingly in-person or on a video chat. Popular theme ideas include “Dress as Your Favorite Decade” or “Superhero Costume Party.” 

Extend the Celebration: Employee Appreciation Week 

You can also extend the celebration into a team appreciation week full of team-building activities, contests, and food. Consider something unique for each day, such as massage chairs, food trucks, or sweet treats in the breakroom. 

Employee Appreciation Ideas for Large Companies 

How do you ensure each employee feels recognized if you have a large organization? One solution is to automate your employee appreciation gifts with Client Giant’s premium gifting service. We offer exclusive discounts for VIP members who need bulk gifts for employees. Whether you have 50 or 1,000 employees, Client Giant makes gifting thoughtfully a no-brainer. 

Announce an Employee Recognition Program 

Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect day for implementing a recognition and rewards program for your organization. This type of program lets your employees recognize their colleagues and earn rewards. An internal recognition program can help foster a sense of community and boost morale among your workers. 

Provide Extra Time Off or Paid Vacation Days 

If employees love one thing, it’s time off from work. Consider giving some time off to show your gratitude. Whether it’s an extended lunch break, half-day off, or full day off, your employees will thank you. 

Support Wellness and Work-Life Balance 

Employees value their health and don’t want to feel burnt out, so why not express appreciation by providing time for meditation or flexible schedules? Flexible scheduling can include anything from letting employees with children arrive and leave earlier, to adopting a four-day workweek.  

Give Social Media Shoutouts 

It’s easy to incorporate Employee Appreciation Day into your digital marketing channels. You can use your company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter profiles to acknowledge your employees publicly. Those who are featured may share these posts with their followers, helping to spread the word about your brand’s culture and values. 

When you highlight employees on social media, note who they are, their role, and their accomplishments. Make sure you tell employees about your plan and get their approval before posting. Remember, not everyone wants to be in the public spotlight.  

Invite a Guest Speaker 

You can bring a relevant industry professional to talk with your team in-person or virtually. The guest speaker can share their experience and knowledge, and help your employees grow their own skills. Plus, your employees will appreciate a break from the daily grind. 

Seek and Implement Employee Feedback 

Why not go to the source for Employee Appreciation Day ideas? You can set up an anonymous survey to gather insight into what makes your workforce feel appreciated. Then, you can simply implement those suggestions to make sure you knock Employee Appreciation Day out of the park!  

Automated Employee Appreciation Gifts 

You don’t need to stress about choosing and delivering gifts to your employees. At Client Giant, we’ve developed an automated employee gifting service, and we know how to give gifts that make employees feel valued. When you sign up for automated employee gifts, our in-house concierge team handles everything from start to finish.  

Learn more about how Client Giant works to unify your organization’s gifting experience.