15 Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day 2022

Recognition

February 23, 2022

Taryn Hart

X min

5 min

Make sure your organization has a plan to appreciate your employees - here are some ideas to get you started.

15 Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day 2022
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Every time we receive recognition or gratitude, our brains release serotonin. Serotonin makes us feel good by regulating our emotions and enhancing our mood. The positive impact appreciation has isn’t just important in our personal world – it’s equally important at work. Recognizing and appreciating your employees should be a priority for your organization year-round, but it’s especially important on Employee Appreciation Day. On March 4th, make sure your organization has a plan to appreciate your employees and everything they do. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Ask what your employees would like.

This day is about celebrating your employees. Give them an opportunity to express what would make them feel appreciated. There are many tools to distribute surveys to your employees, and plan to send the survey well before Employee Appreciation Day so that you can plan the day around your employee responses.  

2. A simple thank you still goes a long way.

Thanking your employees every day for what they do, even for just the small things, is a simple act that has a massive impact on your organization. Send a personalized note to your teammates highlighting the wins each of them has had and reminding them their work is always valued.  

3. Give everyone an afternoon off!

Let your employees pursue their passions by giving them a paid afternoon off. What better way to appreciate your employees’ dedication by allowing them some much-needed time off to relax, be with their family, or take an extra-long weekend.  

4. Cover their transportation costs.

Some organizations don’t consider the cost employees pay to get to their place of work. Some employees can spend up to $5,000 annually on transportation to get to and from work. Although your organization may not be able to cover all transportation costs, you could offer a paid parking pass, or reimburse bus and train passes.

5. Go public with your appreciation.  

Don’t just celebrate internally – tell the world you appreciate your employees! Work with your marketing team to ensure you have a plan to post on social media platforms about how you’re celebrating Employee Appreciation Day.  

6. Have a virtual lunch or happy hour.

We know that showing appreciation in a work-from-home environment can be a struggle, but you can still host virtual lunches or happy hours with your employees. Send pre-paid Uber Eats gift cards to your employees and celebrate together virtually!  

7. Set up distributed team building activities.

Dedicate an afternoon and set up remote games for your employees. This is a great way to promote virtual team building, while giving your team the opportunity to bond outside of work. There are many online games you can play to make remote socialization between teammates creative and engaging.  

8. Create custom awards.

Work with your Human Resources team to create internal awards to honour your employees. These could be awards like Employee of the Month or Best Team Player, and to go the extra mile, create customized engraved trophies you can send to the winners.  

9. Be creative with rewards – let your employees decide!

Coffee mugs, t-shirts, and customized pens don’t send a message of true appreciation to your employees. Instead, give your employees options to choose from. Not everyone wants a gift card or free food – discover what your employees really want and allow everyone to select a reward that means something to them.  

10. Update their work-from-home equipment.

When was the last time you checked in on your employees' work-from-home equipment? Do they have everything they need to be productive and successful? A great way to show your appreciation for your employees is to ensure their at-home setup is up to date. A new standing desk, new chair or better monitor could demonstrate your gratitude to your employees.  

Appreciation should be built into your culture and not just set aside for one day out of the year. If you’re seeking ideas on how to incorporate ongoing employee appreciation, here are some solutions to investigate:  

11. Invest in an employee recognition platform.

One of the most common reasons employees’ leave their jobs is due to lack of recognition. Meaningful recognition allows employees to see their organization’s values in action and feel appreciated for their contributions big and small. Employee recognition solutions, like Kudos®, make it easy for managers and peers to recognize employees regularly.

12. Celebrate birthdays, milestones, and anniversaries.

Don’t let these moments go unnoticed. Whether it’s someone’s birthday, a promotion or title-change, or years of service, these milestones show your employees’ dedication, and they deserve recognition. Something as simple as sharing an e-card that everyone can sign goes a long way.  

13. Update your company values.

It might be time to review your organization’s values to ensure they still align with the values of your employees. Forbes research has found that more than 50% of employees will leave their jobs if the company values are no longer aligned with their own. Appreciation starts at the top, so lead by example and express commitment to ongoing recognition by incorporating recognition into your values and employer brand.  

14. Offer more flexibility.

83% of employees feel more loyal to their employers if flexible work arrangements are available to them. It’s also important to note that flexible work arrangements shouldn’t just be working from home – it should also be flexible hours, part-time options, and paid leave. Start focusing on results and deadlines instead of how many hours your employees work.  

15. Encourage your leaders to check in frequently.

Appreciate your employees not just for their work but also for the time they dedicate every day to the company. It’s important to frequently check in with your employees and give them the opportunity to express any stress or burdens they’re feeling. Teams perform better when members believe their leaders respect and appreciate them.

About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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