Getting your work recognised and receiving simple praises for a job well done is the best feeling in the world. We all love a little bit of encouragement now and then. But when everyone is absorbed in their daily tasks, oftentimes we forget to recognise the work of our team members. This is exactly why people around the world have started to celebrate ‘Employee Appreciation Day’. To recognise and appreciate the hard work and dedication of the employees. And also instill a great working culture. In this article, we are going to discuss what Employee Appreciation Day is, how to celebrate it, and a few common practices by companies.


What is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day was first celebrated in 1995 by Dr. Bob Nelson in order to celebrate the publication of his book “1001 Ways to Reward Employees”. Nelson was the founding member of Recognition Professionals International, a platform for HR professionals, to promote the role of human resources as a profession and provide network and certifications in workplace recognition.

Every year, the first Friday of March is considered as Employee Appreciation Day. This day is gaining popularity around the world as companies and managers are taking advantage of this opportunity to showcase their commitment for employee well being. It is becoming part of many company cultures. Various companies conduct programs to appreciate and recognize employees for their hard work.

How to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day?

If you are planning to celebrate this year, look at the various ways in which you can make the day memorable.

1.Cater Office Lunch

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Office lunches are always a great choice to bring everyone together. Sharing meals creates a sense of community and camaraderie among workers. This will help you increase collaboration and teamwork all the while celebrating their hard work.

Also read: 9 Tips for Effective Remote Employee Onboarding

2. Send Them a Gift Card

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Amazing thing about gift cards is that they can be redeemed by your employees on their own terms. It gives the team flexibility to spend a certain amount of money on things they like. Most of the time when companies arrange gifts, few of the employees always do not feel happy or thrilled at what they received. Because everyone has their own expectations and likings. Another benefit of giving gift cards is that it is easy to arrange and distribute them. If you compare it with gift hampers, they are slightly time consuming to arrange everything and distribute them. So many companies go for gift cards as their go to choice for rewarding employees.

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3. Send Shoutout on Employee Recognition Platform like EngageLoop

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Employee Recognition platforms help team members and companies to recognise their teams important milestones and successes. It enables inter team communication and messaging easier. Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, etc can be celebrated easily using such platforms.

Most of the platforms will have the feature to celebrate events like Employee Appreciation Days. It will help you give awards, rewards, cash awards, etc directly to team members or allocate it to an entire team. This will boost team morale, boost engagement and help build company cultures that fosters team spirit.

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4. Conduct an Enjoyable Team Building Event

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Bonding outside of the workplace has its own vibe to it. Team members are more jovial and happy. Taking your team members on a team building event is the ideal way to show appreciation and use the opportunity to build better relationships within the company. A successful event will boost employee motivation and engagement.

5. Host DIY Award Ceremony

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Here is a related video:

If you have the time and resources, then planning an award ceremony on the Employee Appreciation Day is a great way to celebrate your team’s hard work and commitment. This type of event presents awards to individuals and team, based on their performance and activities. There are several type of awards one can give during this event. Below are some creative awards to cover all your employees:

  1. Star Performer: For someone that always performs well.
  2. The Excel Wizard: For that person who always fixes a spreadsheet.
  3. The Social Butterfly: For someone who always knows the latest gossip and trends.
  4. The Multitasker: Who juggles multiple projects at once without breaking a sweat.
  5. The Secret Snacker: For that person who always has a hidden stash of snacks in their desk drawer.
  6. The Happy Hour Hero: For that person who knows the best happy hour spots in town.
  7. The Office Comedian: For the person who always keeps everyone laughing.
  8. The Early Bird: That team member who is always on time.
  9. The Walking Dictionary: Award for that person who knows the meaning of every word in the dictionary.
  10. The Fashionista: For that person whose looks are always on point. 

These are only some of the awards that you can incorporate in your award ceremony. If you have any awards that you think our readers will like, make sure you add it in the comments section.

How to Celebrate Virtually?

With the ongoing pandemic, many companies are still working remotely. However, there are still ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day virtually. Some ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day virtually are:

  1. Virtual Lunch: Arrange for a virtual lunch where everyone can join in and enjoy their meal together.
  2. Virtual Happy Hour: Host a virtual happy hour where employees can relax and unwind after a long day of work.
  3. Virtual Games: Host a virtual game night where employees can play games and have fun together.
  4. Virtual Recognition: Use video conferencing to recognize outstanding employees and their achievements.

Here is a video explainer:

How to Appreciate Employees at Work?

Employee appreciation is not limited to Employee Appreciation Day. It is important to appreciate your employees throughout the year to keep them motivated and engaged. Let employees know that they are part of a great company culture which will increase employee job satisfaction. Some ways to appreciate employees at work are:

  1. Recognize Achievements: Recognize your employees’ achievements and let them know that their hard work is appreciated.
  2. Provide Growth Opportunities: Provide your employees with growth opportunities such as training and development programs, career advancement opportunities, or even job rotation.
  3. Show Flexibility: Show flexibility in terms of work schedules or work arrangements, such as allowing employees to work from home or offering flexible work hours.
  4. Provide Competitive Benefits: Offer competitive benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

Also read: 7 Factors to Consider Before Selecting a Gifting Company


To conclude, celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is a great way to show your team how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication. You can boost employee morale, strengthen team spirit, and create a positive work environment by acknowledging their contributions and expressing gratitude. Companies can make this day special by curating a special event, giving employees rewards or awards, showing appreciation by giving benefits, or any other type of ways we discussed in this article. Make the most of this day and let your employees know that you appreciate them!

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