National Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

National Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

If you’re serious about employee recognition, you’ll have started brainstorming on national employee appreciation day ideas long before the day itself comes around.

Generally held the first Friday in March, Employee Appreciation Day is a unique opportunity to recognize your employees’ hard work. It could even be the centerpiece of your employee recognition program.

But how to celebrate it? As is always the case, the most important thing to keep in mind as you come up with national employee appreciation day ideas is what your employees will enjoy most. Concentrating on these activities — rather than the activities you enjoy most (not that they don’t overlap) — is the key to successful employee appreciation and recognition.

“So how do I figure out what my employees enjoy?” you might rightly ask. If you’re not completely sure, the quickest way to find out might be to survey your employees, asking them to for ideas or to rank a list of activities according to their appeal.

You can use a printed survey, send a list of ideas and questions around via e-mail, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, create an electronic survey with one of the many free online tools available. Be sure to include a space to let employees make note of any activity they can’t take part in: A lot of people might like paintball, for example, but if Doris from accounting can’t walk since her back surgery, she’ll be left on the sidelines.

Ideas for Celebrating National Employee Appreciation Day

  • Hold an awards ceremony. There are numerous options for employee recognition programs, and if you’re already running one, national employee appreciation day is a pretty ideal time to hand out your employee recognition awards. Since employee appreciation day is an annual occasion, it’s a good time to focus on awards that cover the entire year — though keep in mind that this is every employee’s day in the sun. Don’t take up the whole day focusing on only the highest achievers.
  • Buy them lunch. Cookouts or office outings are a great group bonding experience — let’s face it, everybody loves a chance to get away from the office during the workday. (Of course warm areas are ideally suited to cookouts, so if you’re in Point Barrow, Alaska, you’ll probably want to steer things toward an indoor outing.) Renting a room at a local restaurant for the afternoon of national employee appreciation day is a good idea, or just a group lunch somewhere convenient.
  • Do something fun. If you’re interested in extending your good times beyond meal time, look into activities available in your area. Why not book a roller rink or a movie theater for the afternoon? Whether it’s a back room you can rent at a local bar or a horseback riding expedition, the idea is that you and your employees get to spend some quality time together without being preoccupied with work. (Remember: The office will always be there when you get back.)
  • Make it a surprise. While some workers may be anticipating national employee appreciation day, the majority are most likely preoccupied with the day-to-day demands of life (and work). So if they pull into the parking lot and find their coworkers assembled on a bus waiting to take them someplace fun, it’ll definitely be a day to remember. That said: If you’re planning something big, it’s a good idea to advise your employees in advance to keep their schedules clear that day.
  • Time off works for everybody. If your budget can’t support your employee appreciation day ideas, here’s a basic suggestion that always works: Give your people the day off, or a half-day off. Again, it might be good to let people know in advance that something is in the works, so that nobody books meetings or calls they can’t break.
These national employee appreciation day ideas are a starting point, of course; ultimately the important thing is that you recognize your employees, whether it’s national employee appreciation day or any other day of the year. MTM Recognition has experts on hand to help you plan and design your employee appreciation activities. Call MTM today and learn more: 1-877-686-7464 or contact us.