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Employee Appreciation from Values to Matinees: Unique Ideas to Help You Celebrate

By Michael Heller Employee Engagement

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It’s that time of year again, when we get to appreciate our employees and all they do for us! If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know how important it is to regularly give your employees feedback, but what you may not realize is that feedback gets translated into employee appreciation.

Not all appreciation is feedback based, however. Sometimes, people just need to be given recognition and appreciation for their hard work without the feedback. In fact, 58% of employees think leaders can improve engagement by giving more recognition. Here are some unique ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in your workplace.

Celebrate #EmployeeAppreciation like never before with these unique ideas! Click To Tweet

Tie Employee Appreciation to Your Values

One of the things that underscores great feedback is ensuring it’s tied to a value your company holds. If it isn’t, feedback can be hard to read from manager to manager and employees may end up confused and frustrated. If values are this important to feedback, it stands to reason, they’re a great thing on which to base your appreciation!

  • Try an awards ceremony and give awards to people or teams who exemplify your values. Maybe the design team stayed late to win a huge account and you can present them with the Grit and Determination award. Or perhaps Marcia decided to create a full presentation based on an idea she knew would work, and you want to give her the Pursuit of Excellence award.
  • Bring in a muralist to illustrate stories your employees tell about meaningful interactions with one another or with clients. Put the drawings up on the walls to remind you and your team how much your values mean to your everyday work.
  • Have a scavenger hunt with your values as the prizes. Test the knowledge of your employees to see if they truly know your values and where to find them.

Celebrate Employee Appreciation With a Party!

Did you know that 69% of employees say they would work harder if they were appreciated more? Of course, the most natural way to show your employees you appreciate their hard work is a party. But surprise parties for employees (particularly the busy ones) can be a little hard to work around with project deadlines looming and family obligations. Instead, create time to celebrate where people can come in and out. Offer up food and fun that can be sampled in between calls and meetings. Alternatively, you can tell all your clients you have no intention of working that day. Some ways to celebrate:

  • Schedule some pampering time. All you need for this employee appreciation idea is a private area. Have a masseuse and manicurist come in for the day. Give employees warning ahead of time to ensure everyone is wearing comfortable clothing.
  • Have a breakfast meeting. Mimosas, waffles and bacon are hard to turn down, and having a big celebration at the beginning of the day can motivate everyone to work a little harder the rest of the day. Hire a chef to flip pancakes.
  • Schedule an after-hours party. Whether you do a craft beer tasting, a wine bar happy hour, a golf trip or a luau, make sure to let your people know it’s all about them!

Build Something Together

Employee appreciation can be doubly incredible when you’re all working together on something other than your day-to-day activities. Lots of companies plan company outings to volunteer or work within their community for a day. Not only can you offer some paid time off and time outside, you can also offer your employees the chance to give back! Some easy ideas:

  • Pajama Drive
  • Little Library Planting
  • Food Kitchen Assistance
  • Hospital or Nursing Home Deliveries
  • Warm Winter Wear Collection

No budget? No problem. Employee Appreciation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, studies show that if just 1% more of payroll was spent on recognition, 85% of companies would see improved engagement. 82% of employees don’t think they’re recognized for their work as often as they deserve, but you can change all that! Low-cost employee appreciation ideas:

  • March Madness: Give them a day (or half day) to work on their brackets without getting in trouble.
  • Employee Trivia: Discover how well everyone in the office knows one another with a game of trivia based on your employees.
  • Meeting Pictionary: Have you ever tried to have a meeting where no one was allowed to speak? It may not be productive, but it might be really fun!
  • Game Day: Have everyone bring a snack and their favorite game to an afternoon of laughing and playing.
  • Matinee Day: Call ahead to your local theater and see how much it is to rent a showing of a matinee. You might be surprised at what you can do!
Michael Heller

Posted By Michael Heller

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