Employees are the heart of any organization. They create your company culture, help your business grow and improve, and make coming into the office every Monday bearable. Without them, frankly, your business wouldn’t be able to succeed.
That’s why it’s important to recognize your employees’ hard work and acknowledge their accomplishments. While employee recognition should be an ongoing initiative, there is one day in particular when it’s important to step back and celebrate all of your employees—Employee Appreciation Day.
This March 6 holiday falls on a Friday, so it’s the perfect day to encourage employees to step away from their desks and celebrate all their hard work.
But just how should you celebrate this fun office holiday? We asked eight companies around the country to share how they’re planning to commemorate the day.
Here’s how they plan on celebrating Employee Appreciation Day in the office:
1. Schedule a Field Trip
“Every year, we try to have an employee field trip for Employee Appreciation Day. In the past, we’ve gone bowling, golfing, anything that can bring us together closer.
A close team means that you work together better. Teamwork is what makes your business grow, so having time away from the office to regroup and come together as a team is the best thing you can do for your employees and your business.” — Ethan Taub, CEO of Goalry and Loanry
2. Share a Handwritten Note
“Being a remote team, our company celebrates Employee Appreciation Day by crafting heartfelt thank you letters to our teammates or by simply sending funny memes and videos to make each other laugh. Working remotely has limited the way we show our appreciation towards each other but we’ve realized that appreciation doesn’t need to be grand; it only needs to be sincere.” — Simon Hansen, Founder of Home Brew Advice
3. Pamper Your Employees
“This year, my plan is to offer everyone a gift certificate to a local spa and the day off so
they can enjoy a day of being pampered. My team has put in a ton of effort over the last few months, and I know the stress can be suffocating. I think a nice massage or spa treatment will help; though I’m sure a paid day off will help many of them even more. I think everyone will appreciate the chance to unwind and de-stress.” —Jesse Silkoff, Founder of MyRoofingPal
“This year, we have two massage therapists coming into the office to help our employees relax. They’ll give neck and back massages during lunch so employees can go back to their desks refreshed.” — Kamil Faizi, Owner of Challenge Coins 4 U
4. Make It a Month-long Event
“We started a little tradition about three years ago that we’ve stuck with every year since then. We make all of March “Employee Appreciation Month” because one day didn’t seem right to express gratitude for everything our team does. In February, we survey the team about what they want to do to celebrate and work that as much into the day/month as possible.
For past Employee Appreciation months in the past, we’ve closed the office early, brought in a stress management motivational speaker, organized a picnic in a local park, created “Appreciation Jars” where people left candy and notes all month for people they appreciated, brought dogs into the office, and sent gifts to our remote team members.” —Natalie Henley, CEO at Volume Nine
5. Spend The Day Giving Back
“We allow our employees to spend their day volunteering at a charity of their choice and we pay them for it. It is a nice way to break up the monotony of work and allow employees to give back to the community.
This scheme has been very well received; even people who haven’t done charity work before enjoy it, and they usually tag along with one of their colleagues. They gain a newfound respect for each other while helping out.” — Dr. Rahil Chaudhary, Managing Director at Eye7 Chaudhary Eye Centre
5. Give Out Awards
“One of the biggest initiatives is giving out employee awards. It’s an effective way to show recognition for employees who have reached their targets and who have gone above and beyond. We normally give out certificates but there are special cases wherein we consider giving cash incentives as prizes.” — Chris Legazpi, Writer at My Business Academy
6. Hand Out Company Swag
“We’re celebrating Employee Appreciation Day by arranging gift bags for employees and playing team building games. We had company-branded clothing, lunch boxes, and water bottles made and threw in some treats, gift cards to experiences at local restaurants, massage centers, or coffee shops.” — Jennifer Willy, Editor at Etia.com
7. Throw a Party
“The 20 is going all out for Employee Appreciation Day this year. We have rented out a savory and sweet waffle food truck and will be celebrating with a company lunch. There will be music, games, and a lot of celebration for the hard work that our employees put in every single day. We also ordered some company swag to pass out (hats, t-shirts, decks of cards, etc.) since our employees love new items! We are so thankful for our crew of amazing employees and are beyond excited to show them a little extra gratitude!” — Camden Parks, Talent Acquisition Manager at The 20
While Employee Appreciation Day is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate your employees, it’s important to remember employee recognition should be an ongoing initiative—not a one-off event. From celebrating employee birthdays to acknowledging employee milestones, it’s important to make your employees feel seen and appreciated.
When it comes to developing a strong employee recognition program that works for your company, you want to stay true to your company culture.
Need ideas? Read our blog post “12 Ways to Engage Employees through Recognition” for inspiration for any-sized company and budget.