Building and maintaining a strong relationship with your employees lays the foundation for a successful business. Employee Appreciation Day is an annual event for employers to show gratitude toward employees to boost team morale and strengthen internal work culture. Here are some ideas for celebrating Employee Appreciation Day and recognizing the value your employees offer your business.
What is Employee Appreciation Day?
This national event is for employers to show gratitude to their employees. Since 1995, it has served as an annual opportunity for managers, company leadership, and human resource professionals to let team members know how valued their contributions are. Offering tangible rewards makes employees feel important, and many companies show their appreciation with rewards like time off or expensed meals.
Employee Appreciation Day 2024 is Friday, March 1st. This annual event is always observed on the first Friday in March, as Friday is often a more casual or relaxed day in many corporate workplaces.
Why celebrate Employee Appreciation Day?
Employees who feel valued are more likely to enjoy their work and are more productive as a result. Showing employee appreciation is an essential component in both recruitment and retention — and also contributes to job satisfaction and a strong company culture. While celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is enjoyable for employees, it is also rewarding for employers to treat their staff and strengthen the bonds within their team. Celebrating this annual corporate observance is a chance to get to know staff, build relationships, and have fun.
9 fun and engaging Employee Appreciation Day ideas
Conveying gratitude to employees doesn't need to be complicated or expensive. Here are some creative ways to celebrate National Employee Appreciation Day 2024 with your team.
1. Give employees time off
Everyone loves a little me-time, so give employees some extra time off to spend how they want. Since Employee Appreciation Day falls on a Friday each year, allowing employees to leave work early, or take the day off, is a great way to show appreciation. If March 1st isn't convenient, offer employees the flexibility to take time off on another day.
2. Buy a team meal
Offering your team a one-time or recurring expensed meal saves them time and money. With DoorDash for Business, employees can order an individual meal to fit their schedule, location, taste, and dietary preferences, with no added paperwork or administrative work for your company. To celebrate and show appreciation, host a group lunch, whether in-office or virtual, or offer meal credits to be used individually. Either way, all team members will enjoy the opportunity to have a meal of their choice delivered.
3. Throw a virtual party
To include all team members, including remote or hybrid employees, throw a virtual party. Virtual party games are an excellent way to engage everyone, get to know one another, and build company culture in an inclusive way.
4. Purchase a gift for the office
Purchasing something to enhance your team’s in-office environment is a wonderful gesture to show appreciation. Whether it’s a plant that brightens up the room, a new painting for a community area, or a comfy chair, demonstrating care about the shared office space makes employees feel valued. Be sure to ask around before purchasing to ensure a group gift is something the team will collectively enjoy. Another option is giving individual gifts like trendy water bottles or new headphones to make employees' jobs easier or more enjoyable.
5. Reward employees with customized gift cards
Gift cards are particularly popular employee rewards due to their flexibility. Selecting gift cards for local stores and services allows employees the opportunity to explore rewards unique to their interests. DoorDash gift cards allow employees to treat themselves or their friends/family to a meal or snack of their choice from a local restaurant.
6. Invest in ongoing corporate perks
Offering corporate perks like meal allowances, complimentary snacks, continuing education, fitness programs, flexible time off, or paid volunteer time demonstrates investment in the lifestyle of employees. Consistent employee benefits are effective at increasing employee engagement and investment. Ongoing perks like DashPass for Employees allow your team members to receive a discount on regular meal deliveries, reducing stress and ensuring they're well-fed.
7. Write a personalized note
Showing appreciation for a personal attribute or achievement, and expressing gratitude, makes employees feel seen in their roles. Leadership teams can take this opportunity to show gratitude and appreciation for one another, as well as their employees, by sending thoughtful notes.
8. Celebrate employees all year long
A special day each year to celebrate your employees is important, but to build a strong company culture year-round, it's essential to keep the gratitude going. Brainstorm employee appreciation ideas for in-office and virtual employees throughout the year for team-building initiatives to show employees you value their work.
9. Prioritize employee wellness programs in your workplace
Make your corporate culture a healthy one to ensure the longevity and strength of your business. Recognizing the value of overall wellness in your workplace shows employees you value their health and happiness. Use this Employee Wellness Checklist to ensure you're prioritizing employee health and wellness not just on Employee Appreciation Day, but every day.
Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is good for business
Appreciation is essential to employee satisfaction — some of the top reasons employees are leaving jobs include wanting to feel valued and seeking better management relationships. Employee Appreciation Day is an important opportunity to prove the value your leaders have for employees through simple gestures, rewards, and recognition.
It's easy to give DoorDash gift cards to treat your team to their favorite meals — simply order them in bulk for all employees, whether in-office, hybrid, or remote. Saving them time, money, and the mental load of meal planning is sure to make your team members feel valued.