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12 Unique Ideas for Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day 2019

Employee Appreciation Day is March 1, 2019. Employee Appreciation Day is an important day for employees. Celebrating this nationally recognized holiday not only lets employees know their employers appreciate them, it also motivates them to put their best foot forward, especially if authentic gratitude and recognition is extended year-round. Fun fact: EA Day always falls on a Friday. 

  1. The obvious lunch
  2. Give caricatures 
  3. Make personal achievements public
  4. Bring in a breakfast master
  5. Tried and true certificates 
  6. Host a cooking class
  7. Have a competition 
  8. Take lunch a step further
  9. Put some pep in their step
  10. Snack bracket
  11. Give points
  12. Give buttons 

Many tasks and tools we use have been digitized. Tasks which used to require legible penmanship, paper, scissors, and sometimes even tape (gasp) are now available with couple light taps of the thumb. Now that we’ve been immersed in all things digital and have adopted them as our standard, the occasional hand written note, for example, proves quite the authentic gesture among the cacophony of dings, red notification dots, and unread messages. The same goes for the workplace. Simple gestures of gratitude can do more than just put a smile on an employee's face–it can boost overall employee engagement. Here are a few ideas for Employee Appreciation Day, and a couple year-round initiatives to consider: 

1. The obvious lunch

If you don’t have room in the budget for a big appreciation day initiative, simply treating your team to lunch will certainly convey your thanks.

2. Give Caricatures

Caricatures are just funny. Bring in an artist on Employee Appreciation Day– employees will not only have a laugh and bond over the childlike tomfoolery, all while your office gets some fresh and personalized decor.

Atlanta Warehouse Corporate Design Work Stations

3. Make Personal Achievements Public

Get to know your employees’ goals and achievements outside of the workplace. Uplifting employees and celebrating proud moments aligns personal and professional goals, creates a bond between employees and management, and ultimately boosts employee engagement. For example, for an employee who has begun a fitness journey and successfully ran a 5K, find photos, have them printed and posted along with a gift card for coffee or breakfast.

4. Bring in a Breakfast Master

Bring a chef in on employee appreciation day to make custom omelets for your team.

5. Tried and True Certificates 

An employee certificate of achievement may seem a little old school, but they work. Check out our free printable certificates here.

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6. Host a Cooking Class

Take a couple hours out of the workday to treat your team to a cooking class.

7. Have a Competition

Pull everything you’ve done for employees in the past and have employees vote on their favorites. Also invite employees to suggest new and exciting ideas, pool them together in a hat or bucket. Have a different employee pull one each month and award the team.

8. Take Lunch a Step Further

Make employee appreciation day lunch more of an outing. Is there a sporting event or exhibit nearby? Scooters? Breweries? Consider your city’s offerings and kick lunch up a notch to really show your gratitude.   

9. Put Some Pep in Their Step

Treat your employees to team pedicures. Even if nail salons aren’t places some employees frequent, even if your idea is met with some resistance, get the team in a massage chair and see if they don’t feel pampered. Some salons offer champagne.


Year round

10. Snack Bracket

Not only show employees appreciation but also tie in your wellness program by providing snacks. Gamify employee snack preferences with a snack bracket. Provide healthy (and the occasional indulgence) options for employees to vote on and incorporate them into your break room supply. Not only do snacks boost employee happiness, they also are more likely to keep employees close to the office and ultimately their work.

11. Give Points

The best way to show appreciation to your employees is to extend gratitude year round with an employee recognition program. Tie rewards that actually employees want to workplace achievements, incorporate company values, and encourage peer to peer recognition to boost employee engagement.

12. Give Buttons

Remember flair? Yeah, those can also do wonders in the workplace. Recognize a job well done with a decorative button. Items that can be collected and displayed following an achievement remind employees and those around them of the positive affirmations associated with outstanding work.