15 Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day 2022


February 23, 2022

Taryn Hart

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5 min

Recognizing and appreciating your employees should be a year-round priority, but sometimes you need to go above and beyond. This Employee Appreciation Day, March 4th, make sure you have a plan to celebrate your team.

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Each time you receive recognition or gratitude, your brain releases a chemical called serotonin. This chemical helps regulate your emotions and enhance your mood. Appreciation positively impacts your personal world, as well as your professional one.

Recognizing and appreciating your employees should be a year-round priority, but sometimes you need to go above and beyond. This Employee Appreciation Day, March 4, make sure you have a plan to celebrate your team.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. "What would make you feel appreciated?"

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. Plan to send the survey well before Employee Appreciation Day, so that you can plan the day around the responses.  

2. A simple thank you still goes a long way

Thanking your employees for the simple things they do every day has a great impact on your organization. Try celebrating each employee for their unique contribution to the team by sending personalized notes. Remind your employees that they are valued, and that their work does not go unnoticed.

3. Invest in their personal time

Let your employees pursue their passions by giving them a paid afternoon off. What better way to appreciate your employees’ dedication than 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 sheer cost of commuting to work. Some employees can spend up to $5,000 annually just transporting to and from work. You may not be able to cover all transportation costs, but you could reimburse your employees for bus and train passes or offer them a paid parking pass.

5. Go public with your appreciation 

Don’t just celebrate internally – tell the world you appreciate your employees. Work with your marketing team to build a plan for spreading the recognition on all of your social media platforms.

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 remote team building activities

Dedicate an afternoon for planning remote games. 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 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. Go the extra mile and create customized engraved trophies for the winners.

9. Be creative with rewards

Coffee mugs, t-shirts, and customized pens don’t send a genuine message of appreciation to your employees. Instead, give your employees options to choose from – not everyone wants a gift card or free food. Discover how to meaningfully reward your employees by offering multiple choices.

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? Show your appreciation by ensuring their equipment is up to date and reliable. A new standing desk, new chair or better monitor could demonstrate your gratitude to your employees.  

Appreciation should be built into your culture – not just set aside for one day out of the year. If you’re wondering 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 because they feel unrecognized. Meaningful recognition allows employees to see their organization’s values in action and feel appreciated for their contributions. 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. Your employees deserve recognition on birthdays, anniversaries, and each milestone in between. Simply sharing an e-card for team-members to sign   

13. Update your company values

It might be time to review your organization’s values to ensure they still align with your employee’s. Forbes research finds that more than 50%of employees will leave their jobs if company values no longer align with their own. Lead by example and incorporate recognition into your brand’s core values.

14. Offer more flexibility

83% of employees feel more loyal to their employers if flexible work arrangements are available to them. This can include working from home, 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 for the dedication and time they invest in the company. It’s important to give your employees the opportunity to open-up about any stress or burdens they’re feeling. Teams perform better when members believe their leaders respect and appreciate them.

Your Employees will LOVE Kudos!

Your Employees will LOVE Kudos!

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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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