40 Outstanding Employee Appreciation Ideas For the Year

by Jun 16, 2021

You ever feel like you’re putting your all into your job and it is going unrecognized? A study by Achievers found that the lack of recognition and engagement has driven 44% of employees to switch jobs. Another study by Bersin and Associates revealed that companies with recognition programs that are highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31% lower voluntary turnover. Employers should take the time to recognize and reward employees for their hard work and dedication to the company. In doing so, it is guaranteed to build a stronger organization! 

So what are some ways to show employee appreciation? We have 45 ideas for you to pick from!

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1. Saying “Thank you” more often 

Simply saying thank you goes such a long way when it comes to recognizing and appreciating employees’ work. Research has shown that we are more content and motivated when we feel valued as team members.

2. Provide Office Supplies 

Providing things such as sticky notes, pens and paper is a great way to show you care about their success within the company! Make it more personal and write a small note on the sticky note to make that individual’s day!

3. Write a “Thank you” Card 

Taking time out of your day to write a simple thank you card means the world to anyone! It is an easy and thoughtful way to show your employees how much you appreciate them.

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4. Surprise Morning Coffee Runs 

Gifting something special like this is a great way to show your team how valued they are! Providing your team with a morning coffee on the house will put a smile on your employee’s faces and get them ready to take on the day!

5. Have a Company Thanks Feed 

A priceless way to boost employee morale is to hold a company-wide thanks feed. Whether it’s through chain emails or Facebook group pages, making announcements when an individual does something good is a great way to create an encouraging community of appreciation within the workplace. 

6. Award Certificates 

This might sound a bit old-fashioned but just bare with me for a moment. A thoughtful way to recognize a specific achievement or accomplishment within the workplace is to hand out certificates! This is a great way to make your teammates feel proud of something they’ve done and bring joy to their day by seeing it hung in the office. 

7. Offer Extended Breaks 

Occasionally giving your employees a 15-30 minute extended break is an exceptional way to show recognition. It gives your teammates time to unwind and regroup a bit before hopping back into the workday!

8. Offer Gym Membership/ Free Gym Time

If your company has the budget for it, bestowing a gym membership to your team is a phenomenal way to show them how much you care about their health and well-being. 

What better way to show your appreciation than to offer something with so much value. Not only will this boost employee morale it will also boost their overall health leading to an increase in productivity. 

9. Take Your Team Out for Lunch

There’s no denying that food makes us all happy campers! Taking your team out to lunch is a great bonding experience and offers a great feeling of appreciation. 

10. Have a Quiet Room

A great way to bring peace and serenity into the office is to include space for a quiet room. A place for your employees to relax and decompress. We all have those moments where we feel as though we’re running on E. Offering a comfortable spot to take a power nap is a great way to restore one’s energy and infer that you care about your teams well being. 

11. Random Surprises 

Treating your employees with random surprises is a great way to engage with the community and show that you care about your staff! Fun ideas such as holding raffles or leaving small gifts on each team member’s desk are sure to bring joy into the office. 

12. Pizza Party 

A fun way to give your team that midday boost is to offer a pizza party! We all love a good slice of ‘zza! Make your employees’ day by buying lunch for the whole crew! 

13. Weekly treats 

What better way to take on your hump day than walking into work and seeing a whole spread of breakfast delights! Bagels, donuts, and pastries… YUM! Providing weekly treats is an excellent way to show you care! 

14. Team Happy Hour 

A great way to connect and destress with your fellow employees is to schedule a team happy hour! Show your thanks by treating your crew to their first round of drinks. This is a great way to recognize and reward your employees for their hard work during the week.  

15. Provide Training Opportunities 

An important part of running a successful business is ensuring that the entire staff is properly trained. When putting together your training programs you should consider making them engaging and relevant. A great way to make learning fun is to turn it into a game! Maybe bingo trivia or jeopardy and offer snacks as prizes for each right answer. Coming up with creative ideas such as this to educate staff shows a great deal of appreciation. 

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16. Introduce an Idea Board

We all want to be heard! A top-tier way to demonstrate how much you appreciate your team is to give them a voice within the company. Install an idea board in the breakroom where people can pin up any proposals or goals they may have. This form of engagement will bring growth to the entire company. 

Posting questions such as, “What are some things we could do to help you feel appreciated?” shows how much you care about their ideas and concerns.

17. Lunch with a leader 

Another great way to bond with your team is by offering individual lunches with a leader of the company. Getting to know your employees one on one allows you the opportunity to learn more about them and create a more open environment in the workplace. 

18. Offer a Free Class

We all love FREE things!!! Brighten your employees’ day by gifting them a free boxing or spinning class! This is an extraordinary way to show recognition for their dedication to the company.

19. Celebrate Everyone’s Birthdays 

Make your team members feel special on their birthdays by having a little celebration! Whether its offering to pay for the staff meals or buying a birthday cake it always feels nice to be appreciated on their special day. If you want to go a step further, you could give them the day off or early dismissal!

20. Provide Role Shadowing Opportunies 

A great way to show that you care about your employees happiness within the company is to offer different role shadowing opportunities. This gives your team members the chance to experience different roles and see where they fit best!

21. Give the New Employees a Mentor

Providing the new team members with a mentor is the best way to ensure they grow strong within the company! It shows that you are dedicated to helping them be the best they can be in their position. Having someone show you the way is always a good way to warm up to the new atmosphere. 

22. Organize Team Building Experiences 

Having a strongly connected team is what builds a strong organization! Implementing team building experiences is an excellent way to bond and grow together as a team!

23. Put Achievements on Display 

Let’s say for example one of your team members made a really big important sale! That is a huge accomplishment! Giving them recognition for those wins will increase their quality of work! Having a bulletin board in the office with postings of these wins shows that you care about each members hard work and dedication to the company.

24. Have a Bowling Tournament 

A fun way to engage with your team members and create a great bonding experience is to hold a bowling tournament! Simply renting out a few lanes and putting together teams will offer a joyful time outside of the office.

25. Give Free Parking 

In some areas parking can be hard to come by. Giving your employees reserved parking spots for free goes a long way. It relieves some of their stress upon arrival to work and some lots offer bulk discounts!

26. Support the Commute

The travel to and from work can get expensive for some individuals depending on how far they live from their workplace. It can cause an immense amount of stress and misery for some employees. Recognize and relieve this stress by supporting their daily commute. Some ways to do this are offering a fuel allowance or buying travel passes for those taking the bus, the subway or the train.

27. Invite Food Trucks to the Workplace 

You ever forget to pack lunch for work or just didnt have the time to do so? Traveling to and from spots to eat on your break can take so much time away from your lunch period. A great solution for this is to invite local food trucks to stop by your workplace! Not only are your supporting local businessed but your putting a smile on your employees faces knowing that they can simply walk outside and quickly grab a tasty burrito.

28. Donate to a Charity of Their Choice 

Giving back brings joy to all of our hearts! An excellent way to show recognition is to let your team members choose a charity of their choice to donate to. Not only are you supporting a cause that they care about but you’re also doing something positive for your community. 

29. Gift Small Experiences 

On special occassions treat your entire company to a small fun experience! Whether its go kart racing or a hot air balloon ride gestures like these show how much you appreciate your team.

30. Advocate for Furthering Education

Show how much you care about your employees growth by supporting their educational goals. Whether it’s offering to pay for certain classes or being lenient with time off to study for exams this proves how much you value them and their drive for furthering their education.  

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31. Bring Your Pet to Work Day

Having allocated days where you allow your team to bring their furry friends in to work is a joyful way to bring happiness into the office. 

32. Spa Day 

Work can take a toll on your mind, body and soul! Offering a team spa day is an excellent way to help them destress, relax and recharge their productivity in the office. 

33. Build Your own Sundaes 

It is Friyay and what better way to celebrate that than having a make your own sundae bar. Prep the break room with loads of sundae ingredients and let your team go wild making the sundae of their dreams! 

34. Add Each Employee to Your About Us Page

Shine a light on each and every one of your employees by adding them to your about us page. It’ll make them feel valued, appreciated and special!

35. Staff Appreciation Holiday

Make a set date for a staff appreciation day! A day just for them to show recognition for their time invested into the company! Order lunch and dessert for the whole crew and allow early dismissal to show your thanks.

36. Company Trophy

A unique way to display achievement in the workplace is to give out team trophies! Awarding your employees for their accomplishments will motivate them to work harder and improve productivity. 

37. Movie Night

Nothing beats kicking it at the movie theater with your extra buttery popcorn! Create a survey for a few different movies your team would want to go see together and whichever movie wins gift them a free movie ticket!

38. Raffle off a Week of PTO

Offering a gift such as this is a fantastic way to show recognition! Set goals each day for your team and if they surpass the goal give them a ticket to put in the raffle. At the end of the month pull a ticket out of the raffle to reveal the winner. This will help them strive to do their best on a daily basis!

39. Personalized Gifts and Rewards 

Imagine walking into your office monday morning and a basket with your favorite candy and scented candles is sitting their waiting for you. It is such a good feeling to be recognized on a more personal level. Doing something like this shows just how much you appreciate your team.

40. Swag it Out

Send customized swag boxes to each of your employees to help them rock out and represent their company! 

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Organizations that incorporate recognition and reward into their company culture will build a strong and resilient workplace. Employee appreciation is something that should consistently be practiced to maintain a positive work community and keep your team members feeling happy and valued for their work and time invested into the company.

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