Friday, March 2, is Employee Appreciation Day. Have you made plans to show your employees you care?


If you think appreciation isn’t a big deal to your team, think again. In one study, 22 percent of managers didn’t think employee recognition had a big effect on their staffs—but 70 percent of employees said their motivation and morale would “massively” improve if managers provided regular recognition.


Unfortunately, employee recognition is often absent from the workplace. Almost half (45 percent) of 2,700 US workers in a study by Globoforce say they haven’t been recognized at work in six months or more. Worse yet, 16 percent say they have never been recognized at work.


If you recognize your own workplace in some of those statistics, don’t worry: It’s not too late to change. Here are 11 ways you can show employees your appreciation on Employee Appreciation Day (or any other day):63538296_s.jpg


  1. Throw a party: Hold a party at work or better yet, pick an outside venue and enjoy catering.
  2. Show employees you value their health: Give everyone a free fitness monitor so they can track their steps or set alerts to remind them to get up and stretch.
  3. Feed them: Surprise your team with free food – it’s always a great way to celebrate and show how much you appreciate them. You could set up an ice-cream sundae bar or cookie buffet around 3 PM when everyone’s flagging. Bringing in breakfast is also a nice surprise – and everyone loves pizza lunches.
  4. Put it in writing: Craft a hand-written note to each employee thanking them for their hard work, and share something specific that you appreciate about them. For example, “I appreciate how you always step up to take a leadership role,” or “I appreciate how your attention to detail helps make our shipments more accurate.”
  5. Give gift cards: Gift cards are always the number-one seller at holiday time, and your employees will love them any time of year. Look for gift cards that everyone can use, or tailor them to specific employees’ interests if you’re aware of them.
  6. Go to the movies: With the price of movie tickets constantly rising, just about every employee will appreciate the gift of free movie tickets.
  7. Pamper them: Bring in a local massage therapist to give everyone shoulder and neck massages in the office. Or hire a yoga instructor to lead a class.
  8. Give the gift of time: Give your employees Employee Appreciation Day off with pay or let them leave work early. (With Employee Appreciation Day falling on a Friday this year, what better way to show your appreciation than a three-day weekend?)
  9. Upgrade their workstations: Show your employees your appreciation with new, ergonomic desk chairs, new computers, mobile devices or other tools to make their work lives easier.
  10. Offer a choice: Why not let employees choose their own appreciation rewards? Set a dollar limit and within that amount, let each employee buy something they want.
  11. Put it to a vote: Come up with a few different ideas to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. Share them with the employees, then take a vote and let the majority decide.


No matter what you decide to do for Employee Appreciation Day, be sure to follow the most important rule: Don’t make showing your appreciation a once-a-year event. Make a plan for regularly, consistently reaching out to show your employees how much you value their hard work. The results will be well worth it.


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About Rieva LesonskyRieva Lesonsky Headshot.png

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.


Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.


Web: or Twitter: @Rieva

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