50 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation
It’s a struggle that doesn't have to be: Add positivity to your work environment, show appreciation to your employees, and keep them engaged with 50 ideas for employee appreciation!
Your employees have been through a lot in the last couple of years, and 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 your company and customers - all while balancing work, families, a global pandemic, and a myriad of other world issues. Phew! They deserve some appreciation!
Here are some simple little gestures you can do as a boss, team leader, or manager to keep employees engaged and reward them for their efforts. Let them know that you are grateful and THANKFUL for all their hard work with a few of these creative ways to say thanks. Pick one, two, or even three from every category! (Pst, did you hear that, boss?)Show your staff you’re grateful AND increase engagement! Check out these 50 ways to show #EmployeeAppreciation from @CyberGrants: Click to Tweet
Give Some Gratitude:
Spoken words. A genuine thank you in a face-to-face or face-to-video conference setting can feel monumental when you think your work is going unnoticed.
Written words. We wish more people took the time, to be honest. A handwritten thank you note can go a long way toward making an employee feel really appreciated.
Honors. An 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.
Recognition Company-wide. Keep note of who does a stellar job and say thank you! At CyberGrants, we have an employee peer recognition program we use through the CyberGrants platform called “High Five.” Employees (and managers) can recognize the work of employees which is shared company-wide.
Social thank you. Great bosses often give shoutouts on company social pages, that way employees, clients, family, and friends can all provide congrats as well!
Company newsletter. Everybody enjoys a well-done Employee Spotlight! Add a shoutout section to your monthly company newsletter to honor those who have put in the extra mile and include a little about them for their coworkers to enjoy.
Thank you video. Is your management team miles away from employees? Create a video from the executives in the organization to play during a team call!
The Reliable Go-To’s:
Company swag. Mugs, water bottles, notebooks, 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 but even the veterans enjoy some updated goodies!
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!
Blankets. Whether your office is in sunny Florida or frigid North Dakota, chances are at least half your employees are shivering at their desks or in their basement home office. Keep them toasty warm with a fun company-branded blanket.
Flowers. Let's be honest, everyone feels special when they receive a beautiful arrangement of colorful flowers. Plus, it makes for great desk decor!
Food & Drink:
Sweet treats. Whether it’s a favorite candy bar or cookies for your highest performing team, the way to an employee’s heart can often be through their sweet tooth.
Snack boxes. There are some fantastic theme-based snack boxes you can send to your remote workforce to let them know you are thinking about them.
Free lunch. Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Not you! Cater in OR send remote employees a lunch via Grubhub or DoorDash. Gift cards are also a great option so everyone can choose their own taste.
Stock up. Are some of your employees returning to the office? Fill up the break room with assorted snacks and drinks, and give your employees free reign. Providing this valuable perk will make employees feel right at home.
Fruit basket. There’s nothing quite like a fresh fruit basket or edible arrangement to make an employee feel like a million bucks! Or, go decadent and send a brownie basket, candy bouquet, or box of cupcakes. YUM.
Cheers! An engraved bottle of wine, champagne, or a selection of craft beers can make your employees feel really cheerful about their hard work.
Picnic basket. A basket filled with gourmet food, wine, and all the accouterments they’ll need for a fun picnic works GREAT right before the weekend!
Spruce Up the Office:
New laptop. Is outdated technology coming up a lot lately? Show your appreciation by giving them a tech upgrade!
New desk or chair. Has your underappreciated admin been pining for a standup desk? Your Sales VP has been hinting about a stability ball chair? Give them the environment they need to be productive!
Home Office comforts. Home offices can always be more comfortable. Branded pillow, a new espresso machine, headphones to tune out the world, or a plant may spruce up your employee's home workspace.
Personal desk gifts. A leather folio with their name embossed, a cardholder or nameplate, all these things can make a desk feel just like the office as employees work from home.
Kids at home? For busy parents whose kids may be home from daycare or homeschooling, provide some activities to keep the little ones entertained - like small toys, puzzles, art supplies, or board games. The kids will be occupied which means parents can focus on work that much longer- it’s a win-win.
From #EmployeeAppreciationDay and beyond, here are 50 ways you can say thanks from @CyberGrants:Click to Tweet
Downtime on the Office Dime:
Give volunteering hours. Let your employees show their kindness in the community by offering volunteer hours doing a service project at home. Philanthropy is good for the soul.
Online Office Game. Get your Zoom on and gather your team for some virtual competition and fun - from trivia to charades, there is something for everyone.
Birthday or Work Anniversary off. Nothing says “Happy Birthday”or “Happy Work Anniversary” like a day off to relax and enjoy the day! Your employees will feel the love with this one for sure!
Vision boards. Help employees aspire to 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.
Meditation hour. Give your employees a chance to center themselves with a break in the middle of the day for some zen.
Set up virtual volunteering opportunities. Find skills-based volunteer opportunities that the entire team can join, even for the remote office!
Personal project. Give time to your team to stop their work projects and work on something they are passionate about within your industry! Make sure to be clear about the parameters so they’re not left wondering how much time is too much time.
Contest. Get your employees excited with a contest. Whether a raffle or a trivia break, they’ll welcome the change of pace!
Prizes and rewards. Get some healthy competition going in your workplace with prizes or rewards for competitions or reaching team goals!
Gift Self Care:
Focus on Experiences. Want to get your team together and share an experience? Check out AirBnB’s experience section and sign up for cooking classes, mixology, or dance lessons together.
Wine and paint class. Wine and creativity. This wondrous combination can produce the best ideas. Get your employees’ creativity flowing outside the office and it’s bound to come out in the office as well.
Wellness. Healthy employees are happy employees. Whether you choose a yoga membership, an online gym, or a subscription to a meditation class, show your appreciation with wellness perks!
Meditation. Try offering a subscription to Headspace or Calm to clear their minds and lift their spirits.
Start a book club. Vote on the first 6 books and mail them to your employees. Schedule a time to meet and discuss and watch the conversations take flight.
Create healthy habits challenges. Support your remote workers in building healthy habits by setting up weekly or monthly workout or nutrition challenges and award prizes!
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.
Spotify/Apple music subscription. Who doesn’t like working to some background music? Give your hardworking employees a subscription to the music or entertainment they love. (Bonus points if headphones are included!)
Meal kits. I assure you, all of your employees will be grateful for a fast, healthy meal. Send them a limited subscription to Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, or Dinnerly.
Subscription Boxes. Go industry-specific or something more generic that everyone will love! Here’s a list of the best subscription gifts your employees are sure to love.
Say Thank You Where it Counts:
Bonuses. While bonuses are taxed at a higher rate than standard pay, they’re also extra appreciated.
Pay Raise. Employee retention on the brain? Bonuses are great, but a pay raise is forever.
Promotion. If an employee is deserving of a promotion, what better way to say thank you than to make it official?
Extended break times. Whether you’re offering a long lunch or an hour off at the end of the day, any time you can give back to employees is a welcome gift. Allow your employees some flexibility in their schedule and they’ll be more fulfilled when they return.
Sun-leave. Gorgeous day out? Call it a “Sun-day!” Encourage your team to leave early and get outside to soak up some Vitamin D!
Paid day off. Who doesn’t enjoy a day off? Especially a PAID day off. This one needs little explanation.
Donate to a charity they care about. Does your employee volunteer at a local food bank or animal shelter? Donate to that organization on their behalf or match their next donation.
Shopping vouchers/gift cards. Did someone say shopping? Give gift cards that support local or small businesses where the employee lives.
With these 50 ways to send appreciation and gratitude to your hard-working virtual and on-site employees, they will definitely feel the love. It doesn’t matter the size or price of your token of appreciation, even a simple and genuine acknowledgment will always go further than you think. But happy and engaged employees are the most successful employees, and that’s good for everyone.