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6 Last-Minute Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

February 28, 2014

rewarding employees for Employee Appreciation Day

March 3 is Employee Appreciation Day. How are you planning on rewarding your employees? If it slipped your mind, don’t worry: Here are some quick last-minute ideas. If you don’t have time to pull it together for the official holiday, you can announce these perks for a day later in the week that makes sense, like Friday.

  • Take them out to lunch or order in for a little party. But don’t stop at offering them food: Reward your team for a job well done with formal recognition. While they are eating, give a speech calling out their good work on a recent project. Make sure to have specific examples of what they did well and what you’d like them to do again. If you can acknowledge each team member individually, and then also as a team for their cooperation and teamwork, that is ideal.
  • Time off. Even if you can’t offer them a full day, you can offer a longer lunch hour or leaving early on a Friday. Unexpected time off can really boost morale.
  • Gift cards. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Choose something that shows you appreciate them. Simply saying: “Thank you for your hard work on X Project. I’d like to buy you coffee” with a $5 gift card for the local coffee shop works.
  • Schedule a fun activity. This could be as simple as playing a game or showing a movie during lunch, or it could be more involved like a bowling night. Make sure you pick up the tab.
  • Offer them  a free perk for a day that they have been asking for. Perhaps they would prefer a more casual dress code: offer dress-down Friday. Is there a task an employee hates doing? Maybe you can take it off their plate for the day.
  • Offer employees training or another chance to develop their skills. One of the best ways to reward your employees is to invest in their careers. You can do this by getting them additional training. There are other ways to do this including offering a mentor, opportunities to shadow a manager so they learn more about strategy, or giving them a stretch project where they learn new skills. Context is everything here, so make sure if you’re offering a stretch project that you position it as an opportunity for them to experiment and learn new skills, not simply as extra work.
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About The Author

Christina Parisi is Director of Digital Content at the American Management Association. Previously she was an Executive Editor at AMACOM Books and the Director of AMA Self-Studies.

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