5 last-minute ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation DayHad you remembered, or even were you aware, that it’s Employee Appreciation Day this Friday 6th March?

If your organisation and its managers already make appreciation a regular part of their day then you probably don’t need to make a big deal out of Employee Appreciation Day, but if you feel that you could improve the levels of appreciation shown to employees then Employee Appreciation Day can give you the impetus you need.

Why should you recognise your employees

Research shows that if you want to inspire great work from your employees then recognition and appreciation is the most powerful tool you can use. In addition recognition programmes reduce employee turnover, improve employee engagement and productivity, are an effective recruiting tool and provide a measureable return on investment.
The following statistics illustrate the power of employee recognition:

  1.  60% of Best-in-Class organisations stated that employee recognition is extremely valuable in driving individual performance. (Aberdeen Group, The Power of Employee Recognition, 2013)
  2. Peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition. (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)
  3. Recognition is an important psychological need. Employees who know that they will receive recognition for acting on the brand promise will have a strong incentive to do so. (Gallup, 2013 State of the American Workplace)
  4. 46% of senior managers view recognition programmes as an investment rather than an expense. (WorldatWork, Trends in Employee Recognition, 2013)
  5. Companies with strategic recognition reported a mean employee turnover rate that is 23.4% lower than retention at companies without any recognition programme. (SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, 2012)


Last minute employee appreciation ideas

If you want to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in your organisation but don’t have the time to plan an event for the day then here are five ideas you can implement quickly:

  1. thank you notePut it in writing – Sometimes the simplest things make the most impact. Get your managers to write a hand-written note to each of their employees saying something specific about why they appreciate that individual’s efforts.
  2. Bring in some services – Bring in people who can either give your employees a treat or remove some of their chores for the day. Perhaps you could offer your employees a head, neck and shoulder massage or have a small team of errand-runners who can collect parcels or drop of the dry cleaning.
  3. Lunch is on you – Give them a lunch break they will remember by treating your employees to a slap-up buffet (not your average office buffet) or meal out at a nice restaurant. Alternatively you can give your employees an extended lunch break so they can meet up with family or friends without the time pressure.
  4. Send them home – A couple of extra hours paid time off at the end of the week is always welcomed.
  5. Make work fun – All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a dull girl. Let employees relax for the day, you can either arrange some inter-team competitions, socialising over afternoon tea or go old school, literally, and ask your employees to bring in games to play just like we did on the last day of the school year.

And in the meantime why don’t you make a note in your diary for next year’s Employee Appreciation Day. It’s always the first Friday in March, so be ready to show you care!


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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