Making your employees feel recognized and appreciated can really go a long way towards boosting morale and satisfaction in the workplace. During Employee Appreciation Week, there are a number of fun, affordable, and exciting employee appreciation event ideas that you can try to make your employees feel like their hard work is seen and valued.

In this blog post, we will explore why employee appreciation is so important and also give you 25 fantastic employee appreciation week ideas that you can use. You can even put these ideas to use year-round - nothing boosts morale quite like positive reinforcement!

What is Employee Appreciation?

In a nutshell, employee appreciation is a way of showing your employees that you have recognized their hard work and efforts and that you are grateful for them. A study done by the Society for Human Resource Management showed that 80% of HR professionals reported that they have an employee recognition program within their company, with 68% of them saying it positively affects employee retention. As with anything, there are a number of different ways to show appreciation. You can send letters, celebrate, or even award gifts to your employees. The possibilities are endless and can easily be tailored to fit your company’s own creed and ideals.

A good relationship with your employees can also lead to you knowing exactly what will make them feel appreciated. Employee appreciation day is normally celebrated on the first Friday in March. However, changing this to employee appreciation week adds a special touch in the workplace will go a long way towards ensuring a happy employee base. Celebrating this week is a great way of saying thank you with gestures rather than just with words. Remember that it is important to show your employees the appreciation and recognition that they deserve!

Why is Employee Appreciation So Important?

Apart from just being a courteous thing to do, saying ‘thank you’ or showing thanks with gestures can go a long way towards boosting employee retention, morale, and communication. One study showed that employees who feel as though their work is not appreciated are more likely to consider quitting within a year. Employee appreciation doesn’t need to be extravagant. A simple gesture is enough to show your employees that you appreciate them.

Employee appreciation is also significant for the relationship between the employer and the employee. Recognition shows respect and admiration and lets the employee know that their hard work is not going unnoticed. People are far more likely to continue good work and effort if they feel it is being seen and appreciated. It follows that the more appreciated your employees feel, the happier they will be in their jobs. And the happier your employees are in their positions, the more likely they will be to stay on and put in some extra effort. It’s as simple as that!

Like Richard Branson, founder of Virgin, once said,

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

Reinforce the moments that matter, with an employee recognition platform that fosters company values and makes work more human. Build a culture of appreciation with Empuls. Let’s appreciate more. Let’s appreciate better. Let’s appreciate together.

25 Creative ideas for Employee Appreciation Week Celebrations

Because employee retention and satisfaction is so important for a healthy workplace, we’ve put together 25 great employee appreciation week ideas to help you celebrate in style!

Employee Appreciation Week Ideas to Ease The Stress

1. Organize a spa day! Your employees will love the opportunity to relax and unwind. If you can’t have everyone leave the office, a great alternative is to bring a masseuse or chiropractor on-site to help your employees ease the stress of their work environment.

2. Arrange for a half-day of work. One time, during Employee Appreciation Week, you can offer your employees the opportunity to leave earlier than usual. Being able to spend this extra time on personal things, like the gym or spending time with family, can really boost morale.

3. If a half-day isn’t plausible, consider longer break times during the week. You can even place fun board games in the break room or organize activities for your employees to take part in.

4. Offer one extra vacation day as a reward! Your employees will really appreciate the gesture of adding one extra day to their leave schedule. Personal time is crucial for employee wellness.

5. Consider bringing in a meditation expert for a day. Your employees can take turns to consult with someone who really knows how to help people de-stress and center themselves again.

Employee Appreciation Event Ideas to Celebrate In Style

6. It’s a cliche, but it works - have a pizza party! There are no employee appreciation event ideas quite like the ones that have good food involved. They bring people together and make them feel appreciated. Organize one of these parties as a surprise for your employees during this week.

7. You could also host an awards ceremony. Awards can range from work-related like ‘Most Organized’ to fun things like ‘Best Dressed.’ Making people feel like they are a valued member of the team is key.

8. A fun outing like bowling or an employee dinner is also a great idea. This will help people to get to know each other better outside of a work environment.

9. Organize some form of entertainment during this week. Bringing in a live act for your employees to enjoy can help them de-stress and enjoy their day at work a little more.

10. Celebrate milestones. Having an event for birthdays or anniversaries will make people feel like their time at your company has been seen, valued, and appreciated.

Out With The Old, In With The New

11. Offer your employees a desk allowance so that they can redo and personalize their desks to their choosing. Even something as simple as new stationery or organizers can make someone feel a lot more comfortable and at home in their place of work.

12. Coffee is essential to the workplace, so consider getting a new coffee machine for your employees. Break the stigma of workplace coffee being the worst and allow your employees to enjoy a cup without venturing outside!

13. Revamping the break room is also a great idea. This is where people go to relax and unwind, so new appliances or comfortable chairs can make a big difference.

14. New electronics can also make a huge difference! Updating things like computers, software, or printers can be a great way to say thank you, as this can make it a lot easier for your employees to do their jobs efficiently.

15. A general office also revamps one of the best ways to show your appreciation for your staff. New office chairs, plants, and lights can add to the workplace environment and mood.

Show Your Appreciation With Gifts

16. Do some recon on your employees, and then gift them with vouchers to places you know they’ll love! If you can get a good price on a restaurant deal, this is also a good idea.

17. Personalized thank you notes are a simple yet extremely effective way to show your thanks. Accompany these with some flowers for individuals or the workplace, and you’ll have smiling employees in no time.

18. You may also consider providing fun gift bags for your staff. Fill these with things that everyone can use and enjoy, or even with some company merchandise to make them feel even more like part of the family.

19. Subscriptions are the gifts that keep on giving. You could give each employee a subscription to something practical or something they love to show your appreciation.

20. Treats in the break room during Employee Appreciation Week are a must! Snacks as simple as donuts or bagels are great things to start a workday with. Break times can also be filled with treats that help your employees get through the rest of the workday.

Employee Appreciation Week Ideas To Motivate Your Employees

21. Putting new mentor programs in place can really give your employees the boost they need. Not only does it provide some employees with guidance, but it also allows others to exercise their leadership skills. Win-win!

22. Team building exercises are always a good idea. Whether you do these on-site during break times or organize an outing dedicated to improving teamwork, you’ll find that you will truly reap the benefits of this kind of fun activity.

23. Allow your employees some time out for their own personal projects. Setting aside this time for staff to work on something that makes them happy or working towards is a great way to make them feel valued.

24. Bring in an educational or motivational speaker! These people are trained to make your staff feel motivated and excited about work. They can also allow for an uplifting and cheerful mood in the office.

25. Roll out a suggestion box. This can be for anything but should especially be for tips on how best to make employees feel recognized and appreciated. You will find that the opportunity to have their voices heard will go a long way!

Bonus Idea: Make it personal and fun

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that recognition should be done in one way. Without considering the recognition needs of your employees, it could be easy for them to feel irrelevant and lost in the crowd.

A bonus creative idea for employee appreciation week is to give employee recognition pins as a way to show your gratitude and appreciation. It could be for completing special projects, an employee of the month, or going above and beyond at work. The benefit of this being the employee will be able to rep the pin around the office on their backpack and as office-swag.

The reason for adding this bonus tip as one of the creative ideas for employee appreciation week is because there is a strong correlation between recognition and employee satisfaction.

So if you are wondering what is the perfect choice for an employee recognition idea, the answer lies in making it personal, relevant, and timely. The rewards and recognition would vary, depending on the idea that fits your company culture.

Empuls, Employee Appreciation Platform

While we have explored a host of ideas to celebrate employee appreciation week, having an employee appreciation platform can go a long way in making the employees feel appreciated all the time. Empuls, a  holistic employee engagement, and appreciation platform enables organizations to connect, align, motivate and reinforce positive behaviors in employees to build a truly engaged culture.

Empuls helps you drive engagement by making rewards and recognition fun with its powerful intranet platform that lets you make social media like interactions, built-in rewards catalog, reward workflows, and much more. Not just that, the platform helps users to appreciate and reward their team members with points that can be redeemed through gift vouchers and experiences.

Final thoughts

It is clear that showing appreciation and recognition to your employees can help to make them feel like they are an integral part of the team and family.

Follow as many of the above tips as you can next time Employee Appreciation Week rolls around and consider using an all-in-one engagement platform like Empuls. With it, you can easily empower your employees and make sure that they feel recognized and appreciated.

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