99 Ways to Thank Your Employees for Employee Appreciation Day

Feb 28, 2018 - Liz Bardetti

Employee Appreciation Day is March 2nd, and it’s a day to say THANK YOU to your team, your employees and your coworkers because without them, you wouldn’t have the amazing company you have today. These are the people who are putting in the hustle and grind every day to make the best experience and products for the company and your customers. We aren’t saying you have to give away a trip (although, it would be pretty special if you did!), but there are simple little gestures you can do as a boss, team leader or manager to let your employees know that you are grateful and THANKFUL for all their hard work throughout the year. Take a look below for 99 creative ways to say thanks:

How will you be celebrating #EmployeeAppreciationDay? Here are 99 ways to say THANK YOU to your employees. Create an attitude of gratitude!Tweet This!

  1. Spoken words. Sometimes a genuine thank you in a face-to-face setting can be all the appreciation someone needs!
  2. Bonuses. While bonuses are taxed at a higher rate than standard pay, they can still let your employees know they are appreciated!
  3. Gift cards. Give the gift of shopping or pampering to an employee who really deserves it.
  4. Cash rewards. Get some healthy competition going in your workplace with cash rewards.
  5. Written words. A handwritten thank you note can go a long way toward making an employee, or a boss, feel really appreciated.
  6. Sweet treats. Whether it’s a favorite candy bar on their desk, or a stack of Girl Scout Cookies for your highest performing team, the way to an employee’s heart can often be through their stomach.
  7. Company swag. T-shirts, mugs, stress balls or branded chargers - you could probably make a pretty sweet gift basket from your branded swag. This is especially impactful for new team members!
  8. T-shirts. One of the easiest ways to create teamwork is by getting everyone in the same uniform. While branded swag is fun for the company, getting t-shirts your employees will wear in the workplace is a fun way to build camaraderie!
  9. Blankets. Whether your office is in sunny Florida or frigid North Dakota, chances are at least half your employees (the female half) are shivering at their desks. Keep them toasty warm with a fun blanket.
  10. Hoodies. Is your workplace casual? If so, sport your Mark Zuckerberg style with branded hoodies.
  11. Honors. Employee of the month, a company awards banquet, engraved plaques or mini “Oscars” - employees love being recognized in front of their peers. Double points for thoughtfully engraved plaques or certificates.
  12. New laptop. Sometimes employees struggle with outdated technology that often makes it difficult to do their jobs. Show your appreciation by giving them a tech upgrade!
  13. New desk or chair. Has your underappreciated admin been pining for a standup desk? Your boomer sales VP been hinting about a stability ball chair? Give them the environment they need to be productive!
  14. Better parking spot. Get your star employee to work a few minutes earlier and show your appreciation with a parking space just a hop, skip and a jump from the front door!
  15. Wellness. Healthy employees are happy employees. Whether you choose a yoga membership, an onsite gym or a subscription to a meditation class, show your appreciation with wellness perks!
  16. Free lunch. Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Not you! Take your hard working employees out for a delicious lunch, courtesy of their hard work and your gratitude.
  17. Office comforts. Your office can always be more comfortable. Soft couches, a new espresso machine, an exercise desk or a swing! Depending on your office style, choose which make sense for you.
  18. Cheers! An engraved bottle of wine, a case of champagne or a selection of craft beers can make your employees feel really cheerful about their hard work.
  19. Stock up. Fill up the break room with healthy snacks and drinks, and give your employees free reign. Providing this valuable perk will make employees feel right at home.
  20. Fruit basket. There’s nothing quite like a fresh fruit basket or edible arrangement to make an employee feel like a million bucks!
  21. Cookie buckets. No one said every gesture of appreciation needed to be 100% healthy.
  22. Magazine subscription. Everyone has a hobby or extracurricular activity they love, whether you have an avid outdoorswoman or an employee addicted to home renovation, you can subsidize a year of your employees’ interests for a very small price tag.
  23. Spotify/Hulu subscription. One of the greatest gifts you can give your hardworking employees is a subscription to the music or entertainment they love. Bonus: earbuds!
  24. Amazon Prime. Your employees will probably realize how much you appreciate their hard work while they’re enjoying Amazon Prime’s famed 2-day shipping and free entertainment options!
  25. Concert tickets. Free or discounted concert tickets will certainly get your employees to sing your company’s praises!
  26. Sports tickets. Get your team together and take in a game!
  27. Company trip. Depending on the size of your team, a retreat or trip may be just the way to say, “Thanks for your hard work!”
  28. Picnic basket. A basket filled with gourmet food, wine and all the accoutrements they’ll need for a fun picnic works best right before a holiday weekend!
  29. Pizza party. No matter how old we are, pizza is still a reason to celebrate! Make sure to get vegan and veggie versions for your employees with allergies or dietary restrictions!
  30. Movie day. Remember that feeling when the teacher would wheel in the TV? Make your employees remember the joy of an unplanned day off by taking everyone to a matinee!
  31. Social thank you. Great bosses often give shoutouts on company social pages, but make sure to recognize multiple employees so there are no hard feelings!
  32. Thank you video. Is your boss far away from your workers? Create a video from the executives in the organization to play during lunch!
  33. Spa day. Pamper away. Your employees will surely feel appreciated when receiving a relaxing massage or pedicure.
  34. Paid day off. Who doesn’t enjoy a day off? Especially a PAID day off. It’s basically free money for your employees.
  35. Shopping vouchers. Did someone say shopping? Give the gift of a shopping spree! Everyone deserves a new shirt or shoes every once in awhile.
  36. Appreciation jar. Have each employee write a little something about each of their team members and put it in personal jars. A heartfelt note can make a world of difference.
  37. Collectors item. New hobby? This could be ongoing fun as you help build a new collection for your employees and continue to add to it throughout the year!
  38. Ice cream truck to the office. Remember hearing that jingle as the ice cream truck approached your neighborhood? Don’t let adulthood fool you, it’s still just as exciting when you’re at the office, if not more so than when you were a kid.
  39. Breakfast club. Have a nearby restaurant cater a delicious in-office breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
  40. Dessert hour. You can have your cake and eat it, too. Literally. Bring in ALL the desserts while you work. A little sugar rush will make the day fly by.
  41. Wine and dine. You do this with clients, why not offer it to your employees? Cater in or dine out with a gourmet meal and a nice bottle of wine to top it off.
  42. Bring your pet to work day. Sign us up! This one could be tricky, but definitely not impossible! Just remember, those pups need bathroom breaks too!
  43. Work from home day. PJ’s and a comfy couch are calling your name. Work from the comfort of your home and all the goodies that your kitchen has to offer.
  44. Sun leave. Gorgeous day out? Let the office out early to soak up some Vitamin D!
  45. Casual dress day. Break out those comfy jeans or jeggings and rock your fav t-shirt to work. Who doesn’t love a casual day?
  46. Custom coffee mug. A work day isn’t complete without your daily dose of caffeine. Why not enjoy it with your employees’ favorite quote, meme or name on it?
  47. Phone chargers. It seems to be a common problem - every time your phone dies you can never find a charger! Get your employees the gift of battery life in the office.
  48. Desk plant. Brighten up the office with some greens on their desks. Try getting plants that don’t require a lot of attention, but bring some life (and improved air quality!) into the building!
  49. New tie. New tie, new guy! Nothing strikes up a great convo than a funny new tie.
  50. Game day. In-office board games, pool, darts, ping pong. A little friendly competition never hurt anybody! Get your employees engaged and relaxed with a game day!
  51. Wine and paint class. Wine and creativity. Two magical things in life that can produce the best ideas. Get your employees’ creativity flowing outside the office!
  52. Office karaoke. Bad karaoke has a way of bringing people together. Loosen up the tension in the office with some Livin’ On a Prayer or Bohemian Rhapsody.
  53. Birthdays off. Nothing says “Happy Birthday” like a day off to relax and enjoy your day of birth! Your employees will feel the love with this one for sure!
  54. Flowers. Let's be honest, everyone feels special when they receive a beautiful arrangement of colorful flowers. Plus, it makes for great desk decor!
  55. Guest speaker. Inspire and motivate your employees with a guest speaker! Get them pumped up for the next quarter with a little help from an outside perspective.
  56. Office walk. Leisurely walks around the office neighborhood? YES! This is a great way to get employees to decompress for a bit and get outside to enjoy the weather and the company of their fellow coworkers.
  57. Caricatures. You’ve seen the hilarious face cartoons at the carnival and you’ve secretly always wanted one, we know you do. Invite an artist into the office for the day!
  58. Donate. Offer to donate to each of your employees favorite charity or organization in their name.
  59. Bowling. STRIKE! Time to dust off the bowling balls and take an evening or day to rent out a bowling alley for your employees and get your bowling league on.
  60. Office murder mystery party. Whodunit? Maybe your cubicle buddy? Or was it Susan from down the hall? This is a fun way to get the whole office involved and engaged with each other throughout the day or week!
  61. Company newsletter. Employee spotlight! Add some shoutouts to your monthly company newsletter to honor those who have put in the extra mile!
  62. Field trip. No need for a parental signature! Who remembers the thrill of going on a field trip instead of going to school? Bring that thrill back with an office field trip to a local brewery or vineyard!
  63. Company softball game. Batter up! Bases loaded. Get your swing ready for this one! Offer your departments a chance to challenge against each other in a softball game.
  64. BBQ. Food always wins. Host a company BBQ for your employees and their families to enjoy!
  65. Vision boards. Aspire to do great things with the help of a vision board. Allow time for your employees to sit down with you and create vision boards to hang in the office.
  66. Comedian in the office. They say laughing is the best exercise. So give the gift of laughter and fitness all in one comedy day!
  67. Mediation hour. Give your employees a chance to center themselves with a break in the middle of the day for some zen.
  68. Contest. Get your employees excited with a contest. Whether a raffle or a trivia break, they’ll welcome the change of pace!
  69. Sundae bar. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! A few gallons of delicious ice cream, some toppings, a few bananas and a LOT of napkins will have everyone licking their lips all day!
  70. Bring in a masseuse for the day. It’s March, which means we’re all a little tense. It’s winter, it’s tax season, we’re not even to Spring yet. But a masseuse for hire can help your employees chill for a little while.
  71. Order in coffee. Ditch the Keurig or coffee pot and cater in a delicious local brew.
  72. Appreciation wall. Want to memorialize the amazing people on your team? Draw or write out all their achievements on a wall in your office and add to it all year long!
  73. Zoo day. How long has it been since you enjoyed a day at the zoo? Wide open spaces, lots of fun things to explore and on a weekday in early March… the zoo will be practically deserted!
  74. Office awards ceremony. Give your employees the award-winning moment they deserve with your own in-office award ceremony. You can even invite everyone to dress up!
  75. Personal desk gifts. A leather folio with their name embossed, a card holder or nameplate, all these things can make a desk feel like an extension of home.
  76. Fitness trackers. Wellness is as wellness does. Get your employees to start focusing on movement with a portable fitness tracker.
  77. Personal project. Give time to your team to stop their work projects and work on something they are passionate about. Make sure to be clear about the parameters so they’re not left wondering how much time is too much time.
  78. Office revamp. Get up and move the desks around! Give your office a makeover by changing it up a little bit. It can inspire new ideas and creativity, and give employees a chance to clean up their desks.
  79. Extended break times. How about a long lunch? An early leave time? Any time you can give back to employees is a welcome gift.
  80. Give volunteering hours. Let your employees show their kindness in the community by offering volunteer hours at your office.
  81. Live entertainment. Let your imagination run wild. You could get a magician, a comedian or even an artist to come in and give your employees that WOW factor.
  82. Thank you jars. A simple jar filled with an employee’s favorite candy and a heartfelt note can work wonders.
  83. Lottery tickets. Let Lady Luck show your appreciation. Just don’t get mad if one of your coworkers actually WINS!
  84. Family day. Host a company outing that is available for employees’ families to attend.
  85. Voucher for cleaning service. Everyone needs a break from the mundane household chores we all have. Show them you think they’re worth it with a free house cleaning!
  86. Company retreat. Camp for adults anyone? Let your company go wild (figuratively) with a company retreat.
  87. Paid trip to national conferences or lectures. Continuous learning is something every employee wants, yet very few receive. Break the cycle with a learning stipend to help them grow in their field.
  88. Office Garden. Have each employee plant a seed or plant in a little office garden. Take turns caring for your community garden.
  89. Personalized travel tumbler. Have fridge wars in your office? Does every mug look the same? Well, create personalized tumblers for your team and their beverage will always be piping hot (or frosty cold).
  90. Be the Boss Day. Are your employees chomping at the bit to run the show? Give them a chance with Be the Boss Day!
  91. Promotion. If an employee is deserving a promotion, what better way to say thank you than to make it official on #EmployeeAppreciationDay?
  92. Company-wide email. Keep note of who does a stellar job and say thank you!
  93. Work remotely day. Don’t offer flex or WFH options normally? Let your employees choose where they want to work for the day.
  94. Candles. Giving your employees a lovely candle to let them know you care about them is thoughtful and makes the office smell great (but be careful to make sure it’s not a fire hazard).
  95. New watch. There’s a reason the golden watch is retirement lore. It meant something then, and means something now. Show them their time is valuable.
  96. New headshots. Bring in a photographer to take new professional headshots for each employee. Give them ample notice so they can prepare.
  97. Cupcake tower. A sweet surprise that’s as cool-looking as it is delicious!
  98. Laptop case or bag. Everyone needs a bag to handle all their laptop chargers, phone cases, pens, pads and of course, laptop.
  99. Personalized keychain or lunchbox. Don’t have a lot to spend? Show you’re paying attention with a customized gift.

From candy bars to gift cards, we’ve got 99 ways to say thank you to your colleagues! #EmployeeAppreciationDay is right around the corner. Discover a myriad of ways to say THANK YOU to your employees this year: Tweet This!

With these 99 ways to say THANK YOU on Employee Appreciation Day, your employees will definitely feel the love. It doesn’t matter the size or price of your token of appreciation, even a simple and genuine acknowledgement will always go further than you think.

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