25 Creative Employee Appreciation Ideas for 2019

Appreciation Treats
Last Updated on

Admit it, your workplace wouldn’t be the same without the hardworking and dedicated employees that walk through the doors every day. Employees who feel appreciated in the workplace have greater job satisfaction, which leads to increased productivity. Sometimes all an employee wants to hear is a “thank you”—but for all those other times, we’ve put together a list of 25 creative ways to say “thank you” without actually saying it.

Employee Appreciation Day only comes around once a year in March, but you can easily make every day Employee Appreciation Day by incorporating the fun ideas below into your workplace throughout the year. Be sure to stock up on employee appreciation gifts for your celebration or event, or just to recognize your team for all the little things they do to make your workplace greater.

1. Recognize Employees Wearing Their “Badge of Honor”

Make sure all of your employees have badge holders. On a randomly chosen day each week, fill a bowl with the names of people who are wearing them. Then, draw a name and award that person a prize.
2. Plan a Surprise Motivational Event 
Announce a mandatory training session for your employees. But instead of organizing one, plan a motivational event. Hang up festive decorations in the event location. When the employees enter, yell “Surprise!” Give an inspiring speech and hand each employee a gift tote.
3. Add a Touch of Tinseltown 
Recreate Hollywood’s Walk of Fame by taping large paper stars featuring the names of celebrities on the floor. Use cardboard and white paint to make the “Hollywood” sign. Ask department managers to dress up as movie stars. Have them welcome your employees at the start of their shifts, and give each employee a token of appreciation.
4. Put Together the Pieces 
Show staff members they’re a good fit for your team with a fun team-building activity. Pick up a puzzle that has approximately as many pieces as you have staff members. Bring everyone together. Let each person pick a piece. Then, ask employees to walk around the room and find people who have pieces that attach to theirs. Reward participants with a treat pack.
5. Host an Innovation Day 
Let your employees be inventors for an afternoon. Divide them into teams, and provide each team with a box of random office supplies. Instruct each group to come up with an invention using the items. Have them make presentations about their inventions, and give them gifts for participating.
6. Push Around a Coffee and Breakfast Cart 
One morning, surprise your employees with custom tumblers. Then, push around a cart that carries coffee and easy-to-eat breakfast foods. Dispense the coffee into the travel mugs.
7. Host a “Cool” Ice Cream Contest 
Take the ice cream social up a few notches. Hold a competition amongst employees to find new ice cream sundaes (combinations of ice cream flavors and toppings). Provide all of the ingredients to make them. Give employees mood bowls to put their sundaes in. Gather the names of each employee creation and which ingredients are involved. Let all staff members vote for their favorite dish. Present the winner with a custom fleece jacket.
8. Bring in a Charismatic Character 
If your business doesn’t already have one, a mascot might be just what you need to help recognize and energize your staff. Recruit an outgoing person to fill the role of the mascot. Have him or her dress up and pass out food and candy gift sets once a month.
9. Ask Employees for More Suggestions 
Employees who are involved in the company are more dedicated to its success. Ask your employees for suggestions on how to improve yours. Create suggestion forms and set up a box to put them in. Make sure employees write their names on the forms so you can reward them for good suggestions.
10. Put It in Writing 
Sometimes praise from co-workers means just as much, if not more, than praise from management. Pass out stationery sets to your employees. Encourage everyone to use the custom notepads to write positive notes to other employees. They can leave notes on desks for the recipient to find or hand them over in person.
11. Make Note of Your Appreciation 
Surprise employees with a simple, heartfelt gift that puts your appreciation into words. The night before your Appreciation Day event, place a mini jotter and pen set at each employee’s workstation to be discovered first thing in the morning. Be sure to write a small note of appreciation in each jotter!
12. Throw a Parking Lot Party 
Celebrate your staff by staging a tailgate party in the work parking lot. Clear an area of vehicles and set up grills and tables. Serve up food and drink and pass out custom coolers.
13. Take Out Stress 
Treat your hard-working employees to a “Relax, You Deserve It Day.” Hire a massage therapist to give 10-minute back and shoulder rubs throughout the day. Set up your lounge or break room with bean bags, mellow tunes, mood lighting, and lava lamps. Then, send everyone home with an adult coloring book to help prolong relaxation.
14. Make Appreciation Fashionable 
Outfit your entire staff with custom t-shirts to wear on your Employee Appreciation Day celebration. Gather everyone together for a few words of inspiration and encourage all to join in a rousing round of applause and cheers. While this is going on, have someone place a gift of appreciation at each employee’s workstation.
15. Host a Wonderful Week of Events
Hold a week of theme days to generate fun and build enthusiasm. Start with “Motivational Monday.” Give a stirring speech and hand out tokens of appreciation. On “Teamwork Tuesday,” let employees wear their favorite sports team shirts. Celebrate “We’re Wild About Our Staff Wednesday” and encourage employees to wear animal-print clothes. For “Thank You Thursday,” give everyone a thank-you note. Finally, celebrate “Fiesta Friday” with a Mexican food luncheon.
16. Create an Employee Appreciation Yearbook 
Design a memento for your staff members. Gather individual photos of all your staff. Then, choose a title for each staffer, such as Most Organized, Funniest, Most Creative, etc. Put the photos and titles together in a “yearbook.” Have high-quality copies made. Give the booklets to your staff members with a greeting card.
17. Encourage a Little Friendly Competition 
Divide your staff into teams and ask each one to pick a rock band name. Have the teams compete in games, such as Charades and Hangman, for a week. Award points to the winning team of each game. At the end of the week, tally the points and present custom awards to the members of the team with the best overall score.
18. Celebrate Diversity with a Worldly Meal 
Highlight the diversity of your staff by planning a luncheon of international foods. Ask employees for food and drink suggestions of their favorite cultural foods. Decorate the dining area with maps from all over the world. At the luncheon, give employees custom lunch bags to use for leftovers.
19. Fire Up the Barbecue 
Show your gratitude with a barbecue and potluck at a local park. Invite all your employees, and ask attendees to bring their favorite side dish to complement the meat or vegetarian choices on the grill. Organize some fun outdoor games, like Frisbee® and Croquet. During lunch, say a few words of thanks and pass out apron and BBQ sets.
20. Organize a Heart-Healthy Luncheon 
Organize a luncheon with heart-healthy foods such as salads, available buffet style. Make sure all salad ingredients are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Have a nutritionist come in to speak about eating heart-healthy foods. Pass out salad or food containers at the end of the luncheon.
21. Shower Your Employees with Recognition 
Decorate a bulletin board or display case with paper raindrops and hang a sign that reads, “We Shower Our Staff With Appreciation.” Draw a template of a large raindrop on a sheet of paper and make copies of it. Write thank-you notes to employees on the paper raindrops, and, each day for a week, tack up several of the raindrop notes. At the end of the week, distribute umbrellas to employees.
22. Write Personalized Poems 
Write a rhyming poem about each of your employees. In the rhyme, mention admirable characteristics of the person. Every day for a week, read one or more poems out loud (depending on the size of your staff). Present the subject of the poem with a stationery gift set.
23. Provide Daily Fruit 
Snacking is beneficial to health, if done correctly. Provide your employees with healthy snacks by serving fruit mid-morning. Pick a category of fruit per day, such as citrus or berries—or choose a color such as yellow to focus on daily. Hand out a fruit infuser tumbler to each employee along with the fruit.
24. Create Employee Appreciation Posters 
Without a dedicated staff, your business wouldn’t have reached its current heights of success. Create posters that read “Thanks For Helping Our Company Soar.” Hang up photographs of various types of aircraft. Distribute soda and juice from a cart that you push through the halls. Also, pass out small bags of peanuts or pretzels.
25. Grow Gratitude with a Floral-Themed Event
Bring the beauty of nature to your employees, and let them know they help your business bloom. Use a floral theme for your employee recognition event. Place potted flowers around your department. Have cut flowers on the tables, and decorate bulletin boards with artificial flowers. Give employees sip-n-go tumblers with seed packets and tea.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *