4 Simple Employee Appreciation Ideas

By Kaitlin Hurtado on April 30, 2021

Showing your employees some well-deserved appreciation is a win-win situation for everyone involved. For your employees, it shows them that their work and efforts are valued, and definitely are not going unnoticed. For you and management, it’s putting effort into keeping your employees happy with the work they are doing and in turn, keeping them satisfied in their jobs.

A survey by SurveyMonkey and Bonusly found that 63% of employees who were “always” or “usually” recognized said that they are “very unlikely” to job hunt in the three to six months. Another survey by OGO found that lack of recognition has a negative impact on how employees feel about their job. The survey discovered that 82% of American professionals found that they aren’t adequately recognized for their contribution. With those statistics in mind, why wouldn’t you want to put more effort into making sure your employees feel appreciated and recognized for their work?

Not sure where to start on showing your employees appreciation? Check out these employee appreciation ideas for some inspiration.

Photo: Pexels

Treat your employees to lunch 

Give your team a break from leftovers eaten at their desk or the break room and treat the team to lunch or dinner. If you are committed to making it a regular thing, appoint someone different to choose the designated lunch spot every month. This way, you can help cater to each team member’s tastes.

If the coronavirus pandemic has left your team working from home indefinitely, send your employees a gift card to a service like Ubereats, Postmates, or Doordash. Have everyone order lunch in. Arrange a time where you can have a virtual “lunch” with your employees to take a much-needed break from speaking about whatever project the team’s focused on.

Go public with your appreciation

Showing your employees appreciation doesn’t have to break your team’s budget in one go. Don’t be afraid to be cheesy with your appreciation efforts. What could be considered cheesy could be the most genuine. Having a wall of fame, a team trophy, or designating an employee of the month can be just as appreciated by your employees.

For example, you can start choosing a designated employee of the month or week. You can make the perks that come with an employee of the month be as elaborate as you want them to be. It can be as simple as having their photo spotlighted in the break room or surprising them by decorating their cubicle for the week/month. Create your very own “Employee of the Month” trophy that is passed to each team member as they are recognized every month. Incorporate a speech into your regular team meetings to spotlight the team member and their efforts.

If an employee is chosen as employee of the month — offer them a gift. It can be a lunch paid for by you, or a reserved parking spot just steps away from the office’s entrance.

Create a suggestion box 

How else can you show your employees that they are appreciated in the workplace? Making sure they know that their voices are heard by management. An easy way to bring this practice into the workplace is by setting up a suggestion box in the office. A suggestion box may sound a bit lame in comparison to other ideas on how to show appreciation but could be a great way to incorporate your employees’ ideas and opinions in the workplace.

The suggestion box could be for employees’ concerns with work and offer a safe, anonymous way to express their concerns or their hopes for future change. You can use it to get ideas on how employees would like to be shown appreciation. Or, you can open it up to more lighthearted topics, like what snack they’d like to see stocked in the break room next.

Don’t forget the birthdays and anniversaries

You may not forget the birthdays and anniversaries in your personal life, but you might be forgetting about them when it comes to your employees. Depending on how large your team is, you can choose to celebrate individual birthdays or break them up by months. For larger teams, celebrate your employees’ birthdays by the month.

Dedicate a wall in your breakroom to spotlight employees who have birthdays in the month. Choose a day where you can gather the team and celebrate birthdays with a catered lunch and cake.

Just like you can show your employees some appreciation on their birthday, celebrate their work anniversaries to show your appreciation for them. Don’t let your employees’ commitment to the job go unnoticed and uncelebrated. Shout them out on their special day — celebrate their anniversary with the team and spotlight the kind of things they have accomplished within the time they’ve been a part of your team.

These are just a few ways to get started on showing your employees much-needed appreciation. Thinking you need some more time to plan out your displays of appreciation? Start out by making a conscious effort to say a simple “Thank You” more — good luck!

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