15 Amazing Ideas To Celebrate Employee Recognition Day

  • Jan 30, 2024

Employee Recognition Day is just around the corner, falling on the first Friday in March each year. Increasingly, more and more organizations are recognizing the value of engagement and recognition of employees, not simply because it is the right thing to do, but also in their bottom line.

 

According to research from the Brandon Hall Group in 2020, organizations that give frequent recognition rate their culture 34% higher. According to a Glassdoor Employee Appreciation Survey, 53% of employees said feeling more appreciation from their boss would help them stay longer at their company.

 

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in Human Resources to understand that happier employees are more productive and need to be replaced less. So, with that in mind, how can you best celebrate Employee Recognition Day with your employees or direct reports?

 

We’ve put together 15 ideas so you can have an impactful Employee Recognition Day this year. Take one of these ideas or group a number of them into an Employee Recognition Week. 

 

1. HOST A COMPANY OR DEPARTMENT-WIDE AWARDS CEREMONY

 

 

If you’re a fan of The Office, then you’ll know that Michael Scott wasn’t always the greatest boss in the world, even if he thought he was. But, one thing that Michael had right was having some fun and recognizing the people in his branch. Hosting the “Dundies” every year was a great idea, even if his execution wasn’t always perfect.

 

Hosting an awards ceremony for your employees or your department is a great way to show your appreciation. Public recognition is often very powerful. The awards can be serious, fun, or a combination of both, but invest in some small trophies or awards that are meaningful in your office culture and set up a ceremony. It can become something your employees look forward to each year.

 

Steve Carrell from NBC's The Office holding a

 

  

2. WRITE A PERSONALIZED NOTE

 

Appreciation is best received when you know it wasn’t done for efficiency. That’s why you can always tell when someone sends you a form letter. It doesn’t feel the same.

 

A great way to recognize your employees is to write a personalized note, telling the things you appreciate about their time and effort in the organization. Be authentic. Remember, appreciation and recognition are two separate things. 

 

If your organization is too large for you to write a note to everyone, have your C-suite, VPs, or Directors write them for their departments. This is a completely free way of showing your appreciation and it has an amazing impact.

 

3. OFFER TIME OFF

 

What employee doesn’t love paid time off? If you can afford to do it, giving your employees an unexpected extra day off can have a huge impact on morale. When the reward isn’t expected, the lift can be even greater. 

 

4. CREATE A WALL OF FAME

 

Recognizing your top performers can push others to perform at their best as well. Create a Wall of Fame that recognizes high performers, sales record holders, tenured employees, and whatever else you believe will help employees feel recognized.

 

5. CATER A LUNCH OR BREAKFAST

 

An easy way to show your appreciation is simply to cater lunch or breakfast. Bring in food that will bring employees together, have some communal time, and eat and drink together. Make sure to spend time and participate, as eating together can be a great way to build bonds.

 

6. OFFER DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 

As part of celebrating Employee Recognition Day, bringing in speakers, consultants, and experts who can provide professional and personal development is an excellent way to show your employees you care for their development. Whether this is a workshop, a speaker that motivates, or a seminar on personal development, investing in your employees drives engagement and recognition.

 

7. PUBLIC RECOGNITION ON SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Public recognition can do wonders to highlight employees within an organization, but sometimes recognizing them on your organization’s social media accounts and/or newsletters can further that recognition. 

 

Additionally, demonstrating publicly that recognizing employees is a value that your organization holds will do nothing but help your reputation among the public.

 

8. GIVE AWAY MERCH OR GIFTS

 

Providing your employees with tokens of your appreciation is an incredibly effective way of showing your appreciation while at the same time putting your money where your mouth is. And they don’t need to be massive investments. Simply getting your employees a water bottle or coffee mug with the company logo shows that you care. 

 

Most organizations choose one of these items below but contact PridePromo for a no-cost consultation for options that might fit your goals (and most importantly, your budget).

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. BRING IN WELLNESS & RELAXATION PROFESSIONALS

 

Here is one you might enjoy as well! Reach out to some local massage therapists and wellness coaches and have them visit the office and offer short sessions for your employees. Who doesn’t love the idea of taking a 20-minute break to get a neck and shoulder massage while you’re at work?

 

10. SET UP SOME VOLUNTEER TIME

 

Giving back and being over service to your community is good for the soul. A way you can help recognize and engage with your employees is to sponsor a charitable activity or volunteer day for employees to give back to the community. Allow your employees to pick the organization to give them ownership.

 

Looking for an organization in your area? Check out VolunteerMatch for opportunities in your area.

 

11. AFTER-HOURS FUN

 

Sometimes, getting away from the office (and all the distractions that come with it) is the best place to spend some quality time with your employees. That can be as simple as leaving an hour or two early, hitting a happy hour at a local establishment, or planning a larger event like a trip to TopGolf. Spending informal time (and covering the bill) is a great way of showing appreciation through some fun.

 

12. ENHANCE THEIR WORKSPACE

 

Your employees spend quite a bit of time at their desks or workstations, so why not make their experience better? Enhance their space with some things to make their job easier or more comfortable. Here are a few examples, but you can always consult with PridePromo at no cost and get some ideas for your organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. BRING IN A CARICATURE ARTIST

 

One way to create memories with your employees is to reach out to a caricature artist. Have them set up a space in your office and allow employees to be drawn solo or together as part of your Employee Recognition Day festivities. These caricatures will likely be hung around the office!

 

14. HOLD A BBQ FOR YOUR STAFF

 

Nothing shows your appreciation more than cooking for your staff. It can be as simple as manning the grill or a smoker, but cooking and serving food to your people shows you aren’t afraid to show your appreciation with a little elbow grease. After all, they spend their days helping you succeed, so serving them some burgers with your own two hands is an easy way to show your thanks.

 

15. SIMPLY SAY THANK YOU

 

Sometimes the best way to say thank you is to just say…thank you. Dropping by a workstation or office, engaging with an employee, and then offering a personal and authentic ‘thank you’ is a simple and free way of showing your people that you care and that you are grateful, which is what Employee Recognition Day is all about.

 

 

 


  • Category: Ty's Takes
  • Tags: Employee Recognition Day, Employee, Appreciation
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