Employee Appreciation Day can be tricky to plan at a busy company. However, it is an important part of keeping employees satisfied in the workplace and striving to work harder.

When is Employee Appreciation Day 2024?

The next Employee Appreciation Day falls on March 1, 2024. Why the first week of March you might ask? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that March is one of the most popular months for people to quit their jobs. Perhaps the date was thought to be good timing.

This special day was founded by Dr. Bob Nelson and Workman Publishing in 1995. The idea came from his book “1001 Ways to Reward Employees,” which was published a year earlier. He wanted to call attention to the fact many employees don’t feel valued at work. Nelson pointed out that about 12 percent of workers feel recognized in a meaningful way.

Nelson, in his book, noted there are meaningful ways companies can show appreciation to their employees even on tight budgets.

Employee Appreciation Day ideas

Owners, managers and supervisors can show their appreciation to employees in many ways. The Internet is full of low-cost gifts and activities to fit every need.

Check out these ideas to keep your employees happy and productive:

Personally acknowledge achievements

Give employees verbal or written praise from the right people. According to research by Gallup, 28 percent of employees felt strongly recognized when acknowledgment came from their manager. Another 24 percent felt it was better to hear it from their CEO or a high-ranking leader.

This type of recognition sticks with employees because of the personal attention it gives. Taking a few minutes to give extra encouragement shows them you are grateful and their work is meaningful.

Surprise them with time off

Expand Employee Appreciation Day into Employee Appreciation Week by sending your staff on a wellness retreat or staycation! They will appreciate the rest, return to work happier, and will have more energy to put into their projects.

Another option is to pay for courses or seminars that your employees are interested in attending. This allows them to gain new skills for your company and achieve personal growth.

Employee Appreciation Day ideas for remote workers

Group activities that bring everyone together are possible even if your staff is remote. The Internet allows everyone to have a good time together and feel included.

Suggestions for virtual group activities:

  • Host a movie night via watch party on a streaming service
  • Find an online competitive game and host a tournament with teams from the office
  • Give your staff ice breaker questions to answer on a group message so they can get to know each other
  • Have everyone show-and-tell their favorite possession
  • Play two truths and a lie on a video call
  • Set out food and snack items with your logo

Employee Appreciation Day gifts

A few other ideas for saying thank you include gift cards to popular restaurants and local retailers, and office upgrades such as a new coffee machine.

customized apparel for employees

Gifting employees with customized apparel is a win-win for everyone. It’s a practical gift to workers that lets them show their pride in your business. Corporate T-shirts, company hats and other gifts printed with your logo will also give you unlimited advertising whenever they’re worn.

Feature image credit: Getty Images

show you care with custom mugs

Jodi Laux is a copywriter with Totally Promotional. Her passion for writing was sparked by spending much of her childhood with her nose stuck in a book. Jodi formed her creative voice at Wright State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Now she writes content to help people find the answers and products they need.

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