7 Ways to Make This the Best Employee Appreciation Day EVER (Plus 6 BONUS tips)

The most wonderful time of the year is nearly upon us! Cancel Christmas. Veto Valentine’s Day. Move over Mother’s Day (sorry, Mom).

Employee Appreciation Day is the first Friday in March!

It’s a very exciting time in our industry, so forgive us if we go overboard a bit. We’ll get into some of the cool things you can do for your team members in a minute. But first…

Why is Employee Appreciation Day even a thing?

As we started preparing promo pieces and clever ideas to show your employees how much you appreciate them, we started wondering: Why is this even a special occasion? Are there really bosses and companies who only take the time to recognize their employees one time out of the year?

Sadly, that is the case. There are a great many who think that having a special event on this one day of the year fills up the employee’s emotional bank account enough to perpetuate top levels of performance. But come November, or July, or possibly even the first Saturday in March, some employees will already have burned it up like a piece of magician’s flash paper.

Like any other holiday or special nationally recognized day, its nice to put a spotlight on Employee Appreciation. However, if you lose sight of it the rest of the year, its hardly worth any effort at all.

The reason for the season

Like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day, the spirit of this special day should live with us throughout our daily lives, on a regular basis. Therefore, it should be something we are always conscious of, not just living out in a single event, unless we’re satisfied with just going through the motions.

We said we’re going to share with you some ideas for recognizing your employees, and we’re getting there. You’re free to use them on the first Friday in March, but we implore you to consider building a consistent, ongoing, and long-term strategy for employee recognition.

Studies have shown that in order to increase levels of employee engagement management should set a goal of recognizing every employee at least once every seven days. Why is employee engagement important? As a result, engaged employees are committed to the committee vision and goals, motivated to succeed, and have a higher sense of self-worth and well-being.

Real ideas you can use

OK, now for a few simple ideas (there are a million and one ways to do this; this is just to get you started):

1 – The One Big Thing

Come up with one thing that every employee does well. Try not to overlap them, so they are unique to each person (they are people, after all). Gather the team and read each one of them aloud. Have the entire team clap for each other after each one is read. There’ll be some laughs, some blushing, maybe even some misty-eyes, and you’ll be seen as someone who is paying attention to their efforts.

2 – A Personalized Message

If that sounds a little too much of a “public display of affection” for you, try a handwritten note with a personalized message. At MyEmployees, we have a product called Spot-On Cards that are perfect for this. A handwritten card says you’ve taken time to thank the recipient personally. It’s simple, however it’s an immensely powerful gesture.

3 – Everyone loves a free meal

Cater breakfast or lunch. Or both. This one is stupid simple. It does not have to be extravagant. For instance, for breakfast try donuts and coffee, maybe a fruit tray. For lunch try get a stack of pizzas or have the sub shop make one of those fifteen foot sandwiches.

4 – Regifting is perfectly acceptable

Look around the office for promo items or schwag you’ve gotten from vendors. Write each employee’s name on a slip of paper and then put them all in a hat or bucket. Hold a drawing for each of the items, and pull out one name for each. They don’t have to be high cost items. Above all, everyone just loves to win something.

5 – The Boss desk swap

Hold a contest to swap desks with the boss for a week. This works great in settings where employees work in shared space or cubicles and the boss has an office. You may see a significant spike in performance as people strive to win, so get creative and give it a shot.

6 – Do a dirty deed

One suggestion we heard a short while back was to offer to cover one of the more dreadful tasks employees have to do during the day. Tell them you will take care of it for them. However, be careful that this doesn’t have too great an effect on overall productivity or quality. And, who knows, you may uncover some ways to improve a process employees are struggling with.

7 – Simplest of all

Just say, “Thank You.” Go to each employee and thank them for their contribution to the company. Be specific in your praise. Look them in the eye, be sincere, and shake hand their hand. In addition, Spot-On Cards that are perfect for this.


Food Trucks

We do our best to treat our employees on the regular. For instance, food trucks are an awesome way to get the team together for an employee appreciation event. We gathered the team to celebrate the employees, and decided to expand it to a company-wide field day.

To make it extra special, we hired a local food truck to come out and provide lunch for all the employees. After that, the weather was just right for hot dogs, corn hole, volleyball, and more.

Check it out!

Do it for charity

Another unique idea? Get the team together for a good cause. Here’s a highlight reel from the team at MyEmployees getting down and dirty at the 2016 Combat Mud Run to raise money for veterans of the armed forces.

Whether or not there’s a mud run scheduled in your area near Employee Appreciation Day may be a stretch… The idea is get everyone inspired around something they can do to feel good about themselves, have fun, and come together as a team.

Let’s go bowling!

Bowling is the kind of outing everyone can get behind. It’s more of a social activity than a competitive sport (well, to most of us anyway…).


Looking for something that will really show a special employee (or employees) how much they are appreciated? Check out the MyEmployees online store for the highest quality awards at the lowest possibly price. Here are some of the highlights:

Acrylic awards

There aren’t many ways you can make an impact on an awards presentation that outshine the sleek stylings of acrylic awards. Clean crisp lines; a solid, mounted base; your company’s logo printed in full HD color at the top, and all the engraving is done using our PLS 6.150 Laser Engraving and Cutting Platform. Your custom title will be etched with a precision laser into each award. The pride and prestige will be written all over your employee’s faces as they watch you hand over their stylish acrylic award.

Click HERE to order your custom acrylic award.

Classic solid walnut plaques

 Your employees are special and they deserve an award they can be proud of. Forget that pressed particle board you find at the discount trophy shop. Your wood plaques are made from solid American Walnut. Each plaque undergoes a 6 point quality inspection, so you’re guaranteed there are no scratches, dings, or chips in the finish. Your company’s logo is printed at the top in full HD Color on every award. Your custom award title will be etched with a precision laser onto the brass plate. The solid wood plaque is a beautiful, classic look, and an award your employees will cherish.

Click HERE for you choice of custom, solid walnut plaques

Say it with a Personal Note

 The recognition and appreciation don’t stop with the single awards. Another awesome tool you get to use is the Spot-on Kit. There are nearly 300 opportunities for peer to peer or manager to employee recognition in this box.

Personal handwritten notes of thanks and praise are some of the most powerful ways a leader can connect with a member of the team. One top of that, when employees use them for pee-to-peer recognition, you end up creating a workplace culture where teamwork and cooperation are the norm. The SpotOn Kit really helps build team morale and increases employee engagement.

Click HERE to order a Spot-On Kit.

Make it a great day!

Make this Employee Appreciation Day a great day for your employees! Show them how much their contributions mean to you and to your business.

If you don’t already, strongly consider making Employee Appreciation Day an everyday event.

Taking the time to recognize and reward your team members will pay dividends through employee engagement and, above all else, will lead to increased productivity, quality of work, quality of life, and, ultimately, profitability.