Your 2023 Employee Appreciation Day (and Month) Guide


February 21, 2023

Taryn Hart

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Employee Appreciation Day is an excellent opportunity for employers to demonstrate appreciation. Here are some ideas (plus a free calendar!) to get you started.

employees celebrating and appreciating one another

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Employee Appreciation Day is a special occasion to recognize and celebrate the hard work and dedication of your employees. Of course, employees should be recognized for their contributions all year long, but Employee Appreciation Day is an opportunity for employers to demonstrate extra appreciation.  

When is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day is observed on the first Friday of March every year. This year, Employee Appreciation Day is Friday, March 3, 2023.  

What is the history of Employee Appreciation Day?

The concept of Employee Appreciation Day was first introduced in the United States in 1995 by Dr. Bob Nelson who has helped many organizations build a culture of recognition across the globe. This day is now observed in several countries worldwide and serves as a reminder  of the importance of appreciating employees, and the impact recognition has on an organization.  

Why is employee recognition important?

Employee recognition directly impacts engagement in an organization. Employee engagement is a big focus for HR leaders in 2023, especially after the changes we faced in the last three years that brought the Great Resignation, quiet quitting, layoffs, the list goes on. Disengagement affects culture and it’s expensive. Gallup reports that employees who are actively disengaged costs the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.  

But here’s the good news: organizations that are including recognition in their strategies are experiencing better business outcomes such as profitability, retention, productivity, and employee satisfaction.  


Prominence Health Plan, a Kudos client since 2021, conducted an internal culture assessment and identified a critical gap in their employee experience. The feedback they received was a lack of employee appreciation that was quickly becoming a problem in their company culture.  

“There’s never been a time when investing in employee engagement has been more important,” says Kamal Jemmoua, CEO at Prominence Health.  

Kudos values-based recognition platform was the clear choice to support Prominence Health’s strategic approach to enhancing their company culture. Prominence Health is now an award-winning employer and has achieved impressive growth and performance.  

“At the end of the day, employees are your most important asset, and you need to figure out how to appreciate them.” - Kamal Jemmoua, CEO at Prominence Health  

Download the full case study Prominence Health Prioritizes Culture to Drive Performance with Kudos.  

Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day (and the entire month!)

Recognizing your employees and showing gratitude for their work creates a positive work culture that fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty. Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is a great start to building a culture of recognition - take the next step and recognize throughout the entire month! We’ve made it easy for you with this free calendar of recognition prompts to inspire you to show appreciation all month.

Here are some ideas for Employee Appreciation Day:

  1. Personalized appreciation messages: take the time to write personalized messages to employees, recognizing their specific contributions and achievements.
  1. Host a social event: plan a social event for employees to connect and celebrate together. This could be a lunch, happy hour, or a night out.
  1. Provide meaningful gifts: consider providing employees with meaningful gifts that are unique to them.  
  1. Top up their points: if you’re using a recognition platform like Kudos, distribute extra points to everyone so they can redeem rewards of their choice.  
  1. Offer time off: provide employees with an extra day off or an early release day.  
  1. Organize a company-wide retreat: give your team a change in scenery with a mini getaway.  
  1. Enjoy the outdoors: plan an outdoor activity like a hike, a nature walk or a game in the park.  
  1. Go to the movies: take the afternoon off and see a box office top hit with your team.
  1. Set up a game day: dedicate an afternoon where employees can play games with each other either virtually or in person.  
  1. Let them decide: offer your employees a variety of options so they can select something that will truly make them feel appreciated.  

Send Recognition All Year

While Employee Appreciation Day is important, recognizing your employees all year will have the most impact on your organization. Kudos makes sending meaningful recognition easy and accessible to everyone – with employee milestones, nomination programs and personalized rewards, no achievement goes unnoticed.

Our free 2023 Celebrations Calendar includes all the important dates throughout the year so you never miss an opportunity to recognize and celebrate your employees!  

There’s no need to wait until Employee Appreciation Day to make recognition part of your culture – we can help you right now!  

We can help you build a stronger culture

We can help you build a stronger culture

Transform your organization with a recognition and rewards program designed for you. Schedule a short call with us to learn how.

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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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