Employee Appreciation Day: Six Ways to Celebrate Your Team

Employee Appreciation Day: Six Ways to Celebrate Your Team

Friday, March 1st is Employee Appreciation Day — but what exactly is it, and how can you honour your team on this date?

What is Employee Appreciation Day?
Employee Appreciation Day is an unofficial holiday that falls each year on the first Friday in March. National Day Calendar reports that it was created by Bob Nelson and his company Workman Publishing in 1995 to shine the light on employees and strengthen the bond between workers and employers. It’s celebrated in the United States, Canada, and the U.K.

According to Marissa Levin in her Inc. article “5 Acts of Appreciation That Drive Employee Engagement According to Science,” research shows that the most important factor that contributes to employee engagement is that workers believe their supervisors genuinely care about their wellbeing. Moreover, studies reveal that almost half of all workers would look for another position if they didn’t feel appreciated by their supervisors. Clearly, Employee Appreciation Day is more than just a frivolous celebration — it’s an opportunity to enhance engagement by showing your workers how much you value them.

Ideas for celebrating your team
There are many different ways you can show your team you appreciate them, depending on your budget and your staff’s preferences. Here are some fun ideas:

  1. Treat your staff to a lavish lunch. Instead of sending someone to the local deli for sandwiches, take your team to a restaurant for a nice lunch. You can also hire a catering company to bring the food to your office. Whichever option you choose, make sure to keep everyone’s dietary preferences in mind.

  2. Give gifts. As Lisa Quast advises in her Forbes article “5 Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day,” you can hand out gift cards to nice stores so people can choose their own gifts. Other ideas include food hampers and family tickets to shows or attractions. 

  3. Highlight your employees’ accomplishments. One great way to show your appreciation is to explain exactly why you value your team so much. You can put together a special newsletter or hold a speech about your employees’ collective or individual accomplishments. You can even publish an article about it on your company’s blog.

  4. Hand out bonuses. If your company’s revenue allows, it’s nice to hand out extra bonuses on this date. That way, your employees can share in the financial success they help your business achieve.

  5. Contribute to your employees’ wellness. In the Hubspot article “8 Inexpensive Employee Appreciation Day Ideas Your Team Will Love,” Swetha Amaresan points out that investing in your workers’ health will benefit their lives, as well as your company culture. You can give each person a FitBit, equip your office with standing desks, or offer employees a subscription to a local gym.

  6. Give your workers the day off. It’s been said that time is the greatest gift of all. If your operations allow, give your people a paid day off to spend time with their family or pursue their own leisure activities.

Once you’ve shown your employees how much you value them on March 1st, remember to keep doing so throughout the year. Because when you make a point of communicating your appreciation to your employees, you can build engagement, improve retention, and boost overall productivity.