Quick Ideas to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Happy Employee Appreciation Day! While we all know that being kind and thankful to employees is not something that should only happen once a year, today is the perfect opportunity to go out of your way to celebrate your biggest asset.

For those of you who haven’t planned anything but are looking for some quick and easy last minute ideas to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day, we’ve got you covered. Below are some of the top activities and gifts you can share with your team today to let them you appreciate them.

Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

  1. Time Off: If you’re in an office or have remote workers, give them a few hours off this afternoon. Or, let them know they can leave early another day next week if they’ve got too much on their plate to leave early today.
  2. Happy Hour: Send an invite for the last hour of the day for the team to get together (in real life or virtually) for a casual hangout. Take time to stop working and get to know the team better, to help build culture and team cohesion.
  3. Individual Recognition: Studies show that something as simple as words of gratitude can have a massively positive impact on morale and job satisfaction. And it doesn’t cost a thing. Ask each manager to send an individual message to each of their direct reports thanking them for something specific. These positive vibes will have a lasting impact on company culture. If you have an employee recognition platform in place, you can use that. Otherwise, an old fashioned email or phone call will work.
  4. Recognition Party: Take this recognition one step further, and/or combine it with Happy Hour, for a recognition party. Get the team together and open up the floor for anyone to share recognition for their coworkers in a public forum. Again, this can be done virtually via a recognition platform, or you can just jump on your virtual meeting platform and do it that way.
  5. Team Reflection: We’re often moving so quickly that we miss out on opportunities for reflection. Before jumping into your next virtual meeting, spend some time reflecting on the success of the company or the team. What has worked? What hasn’t? Who has been going above and beyond?
  6. Superlatives or Awards: This one takes a bit more brain power but can still be done pretty quickly depending on the size of the team. Rather than just giving out individual recognition for a job well done, take it a step further and give out silly awards to recognize accomplishments. This can be anything, from “Most Likely to be Found Online at Midnight” to “Most Likely to Be Late to a Meeting”. The goal is to recognize each individual and let them know how well you know them, as well as what you appreciate about them.
  1. Cash: No one is going to be sad about a little extra money. If you combine this with a personal note of thanks, you’ll be making a solid impression with your employees.
  2. Send them Lunch: Send everyone a DoorDash or GrubHub gift card today and tell them lunch is on you.
  3. Give a shoutout on Social Media: Want to take your praise even further? Use LinkedIn to call out some of the amazing things your team does in a public forum.
  4. Organize a Team Game: Whether you’re together or remote, team games are still fun. Take an hour this afternoon for some fun.
  5. Make a Donation: Make a charitable donation on behalf of your employees, and send them a note letting them know you’ve done it and why.
  6. Send them Sweets: Order cookies, chocolates, or send a gift card for ice cream to spread the love (and the sugar).
  7. Call Them: So rarely do we actually pick up the phone these days. How amazing would it be to get a phone call from the boss or the CEO today with a few words of thanks? This can be short and sweet, but individual attention is hard to beat.

No matter which direction you choose, the important thing is to acknowledge your amazing team and let them know you appreciate them. Take time out of your schedule to make it happen, and it will have positive effects on company culture.

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Virtual meetings can be stale. After hosting thousands of virtual and hybrid events on the Scoot platform, we’ve compiled a list of 30 icebreakers, games, happy hour activities, and virtual “outings” to engage and bond hybrid and virtual teams. To see the other virtual ice breakers and activities, you can download our guide for free:

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