38 Employee Appreciation Ideas to Show that You Care [2020]

Posted on September 1, 2020 // HR, Staff Appreciation Ideas

Who doesn’t want to feel appreciated and included, especially in an ever-changing work environment?

In this list, you’ll find 38 creative employee recognition ideas to help you show that you really care.

Here are some of the ideas you’ll find inside:

  • Establishing an employee appreciation day
  • Creating a breakroom
  • Giving company swag

Let’s get right into it.

Employee Appreciation Ideas

Idea #1: Establish an Employee Appreciation Day

Idea #2: Build a Wall of Fame

Idea #3: Start an Employee Recognition Program

Idea #4: Create a Breakroom

Idea #5: Shout Out Your Appreciation on Social Media

Idea #6: Reward Employees – Establish a Rewards Program

Idea #7: Give Away Employee Treats

Idea #8: Celebrate Work Anniversaries

Idea #9: Care About Your Employees’ Wellbeing – Actively!

Idea #10: Have an Office Happy Hour

Idea #11: Take Your Employees to Lunch

Idea #12: Promote and Support Lifelong Learning

Idea #13: Build a Mentoring Program

Idea #14: Provide Perks

Idea #15: Give Thoughtful New Hire Kits

Idea #16: Run Team Building Sessions

Idea #17: Give Gifts on Holidays

Idea #18: Give Company Swag

Idea #19: Remember and Celebrate Employees’ Birthdays

Idea #20: Write LinkedIn Recommendations for Your Employees

Idea #21: Celebrate Hard Work With a Food Truck 

Idea #22: Collect Employee Opinions With a Suggestion Box

Idea #23: Make Team Meetings Fun

Idea #24: Provide Office Supplies

Idea #25: Decorate the Workplace

Idea #26: Create a Workout Room

Idea #27: Provide Mental Health Support

Idea #28: Show That You Care About Individual Interests

Idea #29: Support Nonprofit Organizations as a Team

Idea #30: Drink To Life Milestones

Idea #31: Establish a Work From Home Day

Idea #32: Recognize Great Work With a Special Parking Spot

Idea #33: Hang an Appreciation Bulletin Board

Idea #34: Find Fun Ways to Teach and Train Your Staff

Idea #35: Run Giveaways

Idea #36: Organize Field Trips to Show Your Appreciation

Idea #37: Boost Employee Morale

Idea #38: Send ‘Thank You’ Cards 

We Can Help You Show That You Care

Idea #1: Establish an Employee Appreciation Day

The first employee appreciation idea I’d like to share with you is the establishment of an employee appreciation day. 

Image Source: Glassdoor

In detail, save one day every six months when you will celebrate employee engagement and dedication to the company.

This could be a party at the office, for example.

Let’s move on to the second employee appreciation idea.

Idea #2: Build a Wall of Fame

The second idea in terms of showing your appreciation to your staff is to build a wall of fame.

Such a wall can be a space within the company’s offices where beautifully framed pictures of your most hard working employees can be hanging.

A wall of fame helps a company celebrate the employee of the month as well as all the valuable team members, while making them feel proud of themselves and like they’re an essential part of the team.

Idea #3: Start an Employee Recognition Program

The third idea I’d like to propose to you is to start an employee recognition program.

An employee recognition program might include a series of activities and treats – that I’m going to be discussing in this post – that will be offered to those that go the extra mile at work.

It’s highly recommended to plan your recognition program and make sure that you’re taking the right steps for expressing your appreciation to your employees.

Idea #4: Create a Break Room

A great employee appreciation idea to show that you care is to create a break room in the workspace.

I’m not talking about a dark, tiny, and boring space where people are not really able to relax and get ready for work after their break.

Have a look at this fantastic nap room:

Nap Room Canadian Offices

Image Source: CTV News

It’s extremely important that companies pay attention to their break rooms as they can have a very positive impact on employees.

In other words, create nice and cozy spaces that help people get some rest, communicate with others, as well as unplug from the stress that work might be causing them.

Idea #5: Shout Out Your Appreciation on Social Media

Another idea I have for you is to shout out your appreciation on social media.

The Champlain College dedicates a landing page to regularly updated employee shout-outs.

Champlain College Employee Shout Outs

Image Source: Champlain

Public recognition of hard work helps boost employees’ engagement because it makes them feel proud of themselves.

Companies should consider posting appreciation posts on social media to express their gratitude publicly and show to members of staff that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Idea #6: Reward Employees – Establish a Rewards Program

Similar to a previous appreciation idea, this idea is about starting a reward program.

Rewards boost employee morale and are very successful in expressing that a company cares about their employees.

In a few words, always try to reward those employees that give their best self to your company.

Idea #7: Give Away Employee Treats

The idea #7 I have for you is to give away employee treats.

Employee treats can vary from a pizza lunch to freshly made donuts after meetings.

These little gestures will show that you care about the workplace and you try your best to make it a nice place for employees to work happily.

Idea #8: Celebrate Work Anniversaries

This employee appreciation idea is a very important step in showing that you care about your staff and it’s to do with celebrating work anniversaries.

Work anniversaries are work milestones that people are usually very proud of.

By celebrating work anniversaries, a company shows how much it cares about employee retention.

Also, it says that you value your employees and consider them an integral part of the overall success and growth of the business.

Idea #9: Care About Your Employees’ Well Being – Actively!

This idea is about showing your employees that you care about their wellbeing and actually doing something about it.

Employee Well Being - Group Exercise In The Park

Photo by Alex Simpson on Unsplash

This may include organizing office workout activities or giving employees workout equipment gifts with the company logo, such as yoga mats, resistance bands, etc.

Additionally, you could create a space designated for meditation where people can go and practice breathing techniques that will help them feel and work better.

Moving on to the 10th employee appreciation idea I have for your business.

Idea #10: An Office Happy Hour

The 10th appreciation idea I’d like to share with you is to plan happy hours at work every once in a while.

Office Happy Hour

Image Source: Medium

People love the idea of going to a bar when it’s happy hour; it gives them the opportunity to have a drink at a lower price than usual and have fun with their friends.

Why not bring this great feeling in the office then?

Ideally, plan it for after work on a Friday and give your employees a fun start for the weekend.  

Idea #11: Take Your Employees to Lunch

You should definitely consider taking your employees to lunch as a way of showing that you care about them.

Check out this interesting study on the correlation between employee engagement and the lunch break ritual.

Forbes Study - Benefits Of Lunch Time With Your Team

Image Source: Forbes

Moreover, employee lunches help your members of staff bond with each other.

It also shows that a company values its employees’ hard work and wants them to relax with a great lunch.

Idea #12: Promote and Support Lifelong Learning

This section is to do with promoting lifelong learning.

The promotion and support of lifelong learning might include seminars that cover a variety of social, environmental, and business topics.

It can also be about organizing or participating in conferences that relate to what the company does.

Employees are more likely to be happy in a workplace when they learn new things and are able to evolve year after year.

Author’s note: There’s a long list of free online platforms that give access to a wide range of online courses.

Idea #13: Build a Mentoring Program

Employee appreciation idea number 13 is to build a mentoring program.

Mentoring programs can be highly beneficial within a workplace.

They help both old members of staff feel valued and appreciated by giving them the special responsibility of mentoring someone new, whilst making new members of staff feel that they can rely on the company as well as their colleagues.

Idea #14: Provide Perks

Another great appreciation idea is to give perks.

It doesn’t have to be something huge or expensive to make an employee feel happy and appreciated.

You could consider giving your employees small perks that everyone will love, such as coffee shop gift cards or discount coupons for a restaurant nearby work.

Idea #15: Give Thoughtful New Hire Welcome Kits

Giving thoughtful new hire welcome kits is a great way to show that you care about the new members of staff.

Tax Jar Welcome Kit

Image Source: Instagram

A welcome kit makes new employees feel welcome and part of the team whilst giving them some handy items.

Author’s tip: Read our previous blog post on welcome kit items to make sure that your welcome kits will put a smile on your new hires’ faces.

Idea #16: Run Team Building Sessions

Another idea in terms of showing that you care about your employees and how they feel is to run team building sessions.

Bring a team building consultant or organize casual team building sessions that will help members of staff bond and communicate with each other.

This will make them feel more comfortable in their workplace.  

Author’s note: If you want to escape from the regular company gatherings you might want to consider doing something adventurous as a team, like going to an escape room.

Idea #17: Give Gifts on Holidays

A nice and simple employee appreciation idea is to give employees gifts on holidays.

Mothers Day Mark Jackson LinkedIn Post showing a custom phone case custom travel tumbler custom tote bag and custom throw pillow

Image Source: Linkedin

People appreciate it when someone gives them Christmas or other holiday gifts.

Make a calendar with all important dates – it can be Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Woman’s Day, etc. –  and make sure that your employees get nice gifts on those days.

They’ll really appreciate it.

Idea #18: Give Company Swag

Another good idea for showing appreciation for your employees’ devotion to the company is to give them company swag.

PRG Amplify Your Swag Image showing custom t-shirt, hat. bottle, lanyard, custom mug, pen, socks and notepad.

There’s a wide variety of company swag that you can choose from, starting from t-shirts and mugs, to swag packs and garden friendly promotional products.

If you need help choosing the right company swag for your awesome team, make sure to get in touch with us!

Author’s tip: Remember that company swag reflects company culture so try to give high quality items.

Idea #19: Remember and Celebrate Employees’ Birthdays

A nice way to show that you care about your employees is to remember and celebrate their birthdays.

I believe this one’s self-explanatory.

Just give the birthday person a nice gift that will show them how much you care about this special day of their life.

Moving on to the 20th employee appreciation idea I want to share with you.

Idea #20: Write LinkedIn Recommendations for Your Employees

Similar to expressing your appreciation on social media, writing Linkedin recommendations for your employees is also a nice way to show that you care about them.

Showing on a professional platform how much you value their work will make them feel appreciated and happy.

Idea #21: Celebrate Hard Work With a Food Truck

A nice gesture to express appreciation to your employees is to celebrate hard work with a food truck.

Montreal Food Trucks

Image Source: Mtl

Your employees will love to have some fun at the office with their colleagues and you’ll show them how deeply you value their hard work.

Author’s tip: There’s a wide variety of food trucks in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal. Your staff will love them!

Idea #22: Screen a Movie

Another thing that’s fun to do in regards to showing that you care about how your staff feel at work is to screen a movie.

In other words, you show that you care about your employees by organizing a fun and relaxing afternoon for them.

They’ll appreciate it!

Idea #23: Make Team Meetings Fun

Appreciation idea number 23 is to make team meetings fun.

There are lots of creative ways that you could go in an attempt to make team meetings pleasant and fun for all members of staff that work so hard – one of them could be to bring donuts to the meetings.

Idea #24: Provide Office Supplies

A move that will show your employees that you look after them is a very simple one; to provide them with all the necessary office supplies they might need at work.

It’s as simple as giving people cool company pens and desk accessories but everyone loves little gifts that they can use.

Author’s tip: You might want to consider giving personalized office supplies, for example pens with the employees’ name on them.

Idea #25: Decorate the Workplace

An employee appreciation expression companies should definitely consider is to decorate the workplace.

Beautifully decorated spaces are more likely to inspire people to work better.

Additionally, such spaces make them feel more comfortable and motivated working for a company that cares enough to take care of their work environment.

Idea #26: Create a Workout Room

A nice suggestion in terms of expressing employee appreciation is to create a workout room.

Work Out Room

Photo by Risen Wang on Unsplash

If the available space allows you to create a workout room, then definitely go for it.

Your employees will love it.

Idea #27: Provide Mental Health Support

Following on from the creation of a workout room, providing mental health support will also show your employees that you care about them.

Check out the services that CAMH is offering in terms of workplace consulting:

CAMH Website - Workplace Education and Consulting for Mental Health located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Image Source: CAMH

Showing people that you care about them might include looking after their mental health and making sure that they feel strong and safe at work.

Mental health support can really make a difference within a working place.

Idea #28: Show That You Care About Individual Interests

A great way of expressing your appreciation to the people that work for is to show that you care about their individual interests.

This might include organizing events in relation to individual interests and hobbies you know that some members of your team might have, donating to their charities or giving them rewards and gifts that are based on what they like.

Moving on to another appreciation idea I’d like to draw your attention to.

Idea #29: Support Nonprofit Organizations As a Team

This suggestion’s to do with supporting non-profit organizations as a team.

PBC is a fantastic example of an company taking care of environmental issues:

RBC Environmental Donations

Image Source: RBC 

Out of work activities, such as supporting nonprofit organizations as a company or volunteering, can be great for creating a friendly atmosphere within a group of colleagues.

It’ll also show your employees that the company cares about doing social work that tries to make this world a better place.

This feeling makes people happy and proud to work with you.

Author’s note: A move as simple as a Google search will reveal tons of organizations that might need your help.

Idea #30: Drink To Life Milestones

We’ve made it to no.30, that’s to drink to life milestones.

Apart from celebrating work milestones that your employees achieve, they will highly appreciate it if you show that you care about them in terms of their lives out of the office.

Remember to celebrate employees getting married, having a child, or getting a foreign language certificate.

This will show them how much you appreciate them as human beings and not just as employees.

Idea #31: Establish a Dress-Up Day

Another good idea is to establish a dress-up day.

Today’s fast paced life can be stressful.

Fun activities at work can make it less stressful.

Even if your company operates mostly remotely, make sure that you implement some dress-up days throughout the year.

This will bring a fresh tone to your employees’ work routine.

Idea #32: Recognize Great Work With a Special Parking Spot

A fun way to go in terms of showing your employees appreciation is to recognize great work with a special parking spot.

In other words, you could consider giving the best employee, or employee of the month, a VIP parking spot for a few weeks.

Idea #33: Hang an Appreciation Bulletin Board

Hanging an appreciation bulletin board can also work towards showing your staff that you care.

Appreciation Board - Felt Board With Letters

Photo by Emma Matthews Digital Content Production on Unsplash

Consider putting it in a place where people are likely to spend time in, like the kitchen or the break room.

Hang appreciation quotes or give your employees the opportunity to use it as a peer recognition platform where they can praise each other’s hard work in writing.  

Idea #34: Find Fun Ways to Teach and Train Your Staff

This idea is about finding fun ways to teach and train your staff.

Staff Training With Virtual Reality Headsets

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Explore alternative and creative ways to train your staff through virtual training, games, interactive conversations, etc.

Idea #35: Run Giveaways

A fun idea to keep your employees engaged and show them that you want to include them in activities and projects that the company organizes is to run giveaways.

You could give away handy items and gadgets that everyone likes to own and run the giveaways on the company’s social media exclusively for employees.

Idea #36: Organize Field Trips to Show Your Appreciation

A nice and thoughtful gesture is to organize field trips.

Such a gesture promotes team building and friendly behavior between team members as well as helping employees relax.

Idea #37: Boost Employee Morale

The second to last idea is to boost employee morale.

This means that you should always try to show that your employees’ work doesn’t go unnoticed.

On the contrary, show that you highly appreciate it and that the company is always willing to shout out appreciation, reward hard work, and express their admiration to employee achievements.

Idea #38: Send ‘Thank You’ Cards

The last employee appreciation idea I have for you is following the very simple way of sending ‘thank you’ cards.

Send Thank You Card

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The practice of giving someone a piece of paper to thank them for their hard work and dedication to the company can have a very positive impact on them.

I can reassure you that your employees will appreciate this manifestation of appreciation.

We Can Help You Show That You Care

In this post, we’ve discussed 38 appreciation ideas that will help you express that you care about your employees.

There’s a wide range of things you could do to show that you care, from establishing an employee appreciation day to giving away company swag.

The bottom line is that you should always try to make sure that good work gets rewarded and appreciated.

For over 25 years we’ve been helping companies with swag ideation; we know how important it is to have the best corporate and branded swag.

If you want to show your appreciation with treats and branded goodies, contact us and we’ll make sure that you get exactly what you need.  

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