40 Employee Appreciation Ideas for 2019
Lowering employee turnover rates is an ongoing goal for most businesses. Company policies should be focused on maximizing profit and retaining the best employees. Strategies, like on-boarding and training are beneficial in producing a motivated workforce. Another way to increase your employees’ motivation is to show your appreciation.
According to a Gallup survey, recognizing employees is a strategy that is low-cost, but can yield big rewards for your business. The study found that employees who perform the best have a need for appreciation and recognition. Additionally, recognizing and appreciating employees should be versatile and should not only involve financial incentives.
Appreciation for employees should also be shown by offering them an easy to use platform for receiving their employee schedules as well as facilitating their workplace communication so they aren’t scrambling for a particular person’s phone number when they really need it.
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Here are 40 employee appreciation ideas for 2019:
1. Treat your employees to a long lunch
If an employee has done a great job, why not increase their lunch period for a day? You can allow them to take twice the time they would normally get for lunch.
2. Have fun on birthdays
If your employees are in agreement, you can arrange something for their special day. Birthday treats can include cakes and snacks to share with the team.
3. Stock up the break room with snacks
If your employees have a special room where they go for breaks, show your appreciation by supplying snacks that everyone can enjoy. Be sure to include healthy options to cater for the needs of different employees.
4. Give a trophy
Who doesn’t love getting a trophy? If trophies are good enough for professional athletes, they are certainly good enough for your team. To go the extra mile, you can get the trophy inscribed with the employee’s achievement, for example, “exceeded sales targets in 2018”.
5. Give sweets
You can place cupcakes, donuts or cookies in the office kitchen so that your employees can help themselves if they wish.
6. Personalize appreciation gifts
Find out what your employees are interested in outside of work and customize your appreciation gift accordingly. For example, if you find out your employee enjoys baseball, you can give them tickets to the next local game.
7. Write a letter
Most employees are accustomed to receiving communications electronically so, it will be a nice surprise when you take the time and effort to write a thank you letter by hand. Your letter should detail what the employee has achieved and how it makes a difference to your business.
8. Allow a casual Monday
Employers normally allow a casual Friday. However, you can choose to switch things up and show your employees how much you appreciate their work, by allowing them to dress casually on the first day of the week.
9. Start a hall of fame
You can start a hall of fame of employees who have exceeded expectations. The photos can be pictures that are already used within the company, for example email images. The hall of fame should be kept in an area that is only accessible to your employees.
10. Invite your employees to lunch
This lunch invite should be extended to a group of employees who have done well. You can use this time to discuss non-work related issues in order to get to know your employees better.
11. Throw an end-of-year party
The Christmas party is a staple of most businesses. However, you can show your appreciation to your employees by throwing a party at the end of the financial year. This is a way to say thank you to everyone that helped keep your business profitable.
12. Add your employees to your website
You can add employees who have performed well to your website. Adding employees who are at different levels to your website gives your business a friendlier feel, as opposed to only listing high-level management.
13. Remember anniversaries
According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, employees usually quit after working with a company for a year. Show your appreciation to the employees who have decided to remain with your company. Acknowledge the fact they have stayed and mention how their work has impacted your business.
14. Give a social media shout out
Use social media to highlight the great work that is being done by your employees. Using social media to show appreciation to your employees has two benefits. Firstly, your employees will feel valued and secondly, your followers will see that you value your team.
15. Improve the break room
Employees come to the break room to unwind and relax. Why not give them the opportunity to make an improvement to their relaxation space? Employees should vote on different suggestions, like a new type of snack or a new coffee machine.
16. Provide gym membership discounts
Helping your employees to remain fit and healthy has benefits for your business. You can provide free or discounted gym memberships for employees who have gone above and beyond their duties.
17. Implement a mentoring program
It is likely that some of your employees will want to progress within your business, but may not have the confidence to go forward. You should implement a mentoring program to guide junior employees and to enable senior employees to improve communication and training skills.
18. Consider achievements outside of work
Your employees have interests and hobbies outside of work. Acknowledge this fact by finding out what they have achieved in their spare time. For example, you can commend an employee for their volunteer efforts for a non-profit.
Employee appreciation week
Your employees should feel valued at all times. Your workplace culture should be one where your employees understand that their hard work is not taken for granted. Employee appreciation day is celebrated on the first Friday in March, which falls on March 1, 2019. Although this is not an official holiday, it is a chance to go the extra mile to show your employees how much you appreciate them. You can plan a week of activities to transform employee appreciation day into employee appreciation week.
If you decide to show extra gratitude to your employees for the whole week, here are some employee appreciation week ideas:
19. Organize team games
Games create an atmosphere that encourages team bonding. Why not organize an event like laser tag or bowling during employee appreciation week? Make sure you choose an activity that everyone in your team (irrespective of physical limitations) can participate in.
20. Take a survey
Create a survey to find out the area that your employees would like to improve in your workplace. Take action to implement the winning idea and give your employees a morale boost by demonstrating that their opinions matter.
21. Hire a manicurist and a masseuse
Provide your employees with the opportunity to relax by letting them choose between having a manicure and a massage. Being pampered will help them to relax and be more productive.
22. Offer a pass for a lie in
Where your employees have worked particularly hard, give them permission to start work late on their chosen day. You can decide whether your employees can start an hour late or whether they can have the whole morning off.
23. Offer gift cards
Gift cards are a popular way to say thank you to employees. Give gift cards from retailers that stock a wide range of products, like Amazon or Walmart, if you are unsure of individual preferences.
24. Welcome pets
If your business has a love for animals, you can arrange a day for your employees to bring their pets to work. You will need to issue guidelines to ensure this appreciation idea is enjoyed by everyone in your company.
25. Design branded merchandise
There is a long list of merchandise that you can brand for your employees. You can choose items like t-shirts, stickers, iPad covers or water bottles. Whatever your budget, make sure you choose products of high quality to show that you value your employees.
26. Invite food trucks
Invite local food trucks to park near your business for employee appreciation week. If the food truck can secure the right permits to position themselves near your business, treat your employees to a free food truck meal on employee appreciation day.
Employee appreciation ideas for large companies
There are different employee appreciation ideas to suit every budget and every type of business. In general, large companies will have more to spend than smaller businesses. The following are some employee appreciation ideas for large companies:
27. Create an appreciation gift bag
An employee appreciation gift bag could contain different types of gifts for specific categories of achievement. To ensure fair treatment, all bags for a particular achievement should have the same gifts.
28. Order artisan food
Support your local restaurants and give your employees a treat by ordering gourmet sandwiches, cupcakes or cookies.
29. Introduce gamification
Gamification is normally used to train your workforce. However, you can use employee engagement software, like YouEarnedIt to encourage your employees to show their appreciation to their colleagues. This is done by colleagues giving awards for excellent work. Rewards can be collected and exchanged for items, like gift cards.
30. Show impromptu appreciation
You can show you appreciate your employees at any time. There is no need to wait until something of note has taken place. If you own a large company, taking everyone out to lunch would be impractical. Instead, you can leave treats, like muffins, or smoothies in the break room.
31. Commission customized action figures
Most people love superheroes, so order a customized action figure of employees who have over-delivered.
32. Gift an oil painting portrait
This employee appreciation idea is for companies with deep pockets. This is because an average oil painting portrait by a reputable artist can cost around $15,000. If you own a large company and an employee has generated hundreds of thousands in revenue, an oil painting portrait can be a perfect way to say thank you.
33. Design a unique piece of wall art to record the employee of the month
If you have an employee of the month scheme, you can get a specially designed piece of art to write employee names. This will be more exciting than writing names on a board and the visual appeal will increase the level of satisfaction of being added to the board.
34. Use your story
Ideally, your company’s branding should be incorporated in everything you do and employee appreciation is no exception. You can tie perks and rewards to the story of your business. For example, as a large company, you can provide an all-expenses paid trip to the city or country where your business originated.
35. Donate to your employees’ causes
You can make donations directly to charities of your employees’ choice. Alternatively, you can also give employees time off to volunteer at their chosen non-profit.
36. Invest in your employees’ development
Find out what roles your employees would like to pursue within your organization and give them practical support to help them achieve their goals. For instance, if someone from your admin team would like to progress into Human Resources, you can recommend and maybe fund a course to assist in their development.
37. Share different experiences
It’s likely your employees will come from many different backgrounds. You can show appreciation for diversity by encouraging people to bring a dish that represents their culture. If this is not possible, then your employees can bring their favorite food.
38. Collect employee appreciation ideas
It is difficult to cater for every employee appreciation idea, when managing a large company. However, you can collect different appreciation ideas and take a vote on what should be given per month, quarter or year.
39. Place a premium on education
Show your employees that you appreciate that they’re trying to better themselves through education, by allowing time off for attendance of seminars and events. Encouraging your employees to pursue education will mean you have a better equipped workforce and will be able to promote from within.
40. Assist with your employees’ commute
Commuting is normally expensive. You can help to relieve the burden by providing perks like a discount on parking garage passes or bus and train tickets.
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