Plan Now for Employee Appreciation Day 2023

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Employee Appreciation Day is traditionally observed on the first Friday in March. But employee appreciation can and should take place anytime! 

Your company endured the Great Resignation of 2020-2021 and Quiet Quitting of 2022. For 2023, let’s change the narrative. Take your Employee Appreciation Day celebration to the next level with a strategically planned, budget-friendly Employee Appreciation Week.

Planning Your Employee Appreciation Week

Employee appreciation doesn’t have to be expensive. Yes, there should be a reasonable investment, but we’re not talking about five straight days of high-dollar activities and costly gifts. Here are some tips to help you plan a rewarding week within budget.

Stress Reduction and Wellness Activities

Sponsoring stress reduction and wellness activities can provide a great return on investment for many companies. Anything an employer can do to promote employee health and well-being can pay off in improved employee attitudes, reduced absenteeism, reduced utilization of company health plans, and significant gains in productivity.

  • Bring in a team of massage therapists for chair massages. These focus effectively on necks, shoulders, arms, and backs. 
  • Bring in a yoga instructor. Hire one that offers different types of yoga classes. This can allow employees to relax, relieve stress, and improve overall fitness.
  • Promote a group fitness plan. Most of us enjoy having a workout partner. Encourage break-time walking groups and after-work exercise groups. 
  • Provide a healthy, catered lunch. If it’s locally sourced, all the better! The fact that your employees won’t have to bring their lunch is a stress-reducer in itself.

Give Unique, Meaningful Gifts

Avoid giving out cheap items that, to be honest, are likely to get thrown into a desk drawer or trash can. Choose something custom that symbolizes your organization’s culture and history – which they are a part of. Branded jackets, tee shirts, and caps are always good choices.

One way to ensure the gifts you give are meaningful to the recipient is to use an employee rewards platform (such as Xceleration’s RewardStation®)  that lets employees choose what they want most from a curated list. Using a rewards platform also gives you the option for handing out achievement points during appreciation week that high-performing employees can use to access an alternative curated list of premium selections.

Play Team-Based Games

Gamification makes everything fun, and team games are a terrific source of employee bonding. Examples include

  • Scavenger hunts
  • Blind drawings
  • Blindfolded obstacle course
  • Two truths and a lie
  • Paper toss basketball
  • Bingo
  • Water balloon toss
  • Tug-of-war
  • Department show and tell

While some view these games as silly or pointless, that is the idea. Allowing your employees to play and have mindless fun is great for their mental health and gives them a welcome change from their work routine.

Take a Field Trip

Visit a local museum, park, botanical garden, factory, brewery, or winery tour. This lets employees get to know their community better and learn something meaningful. It might also spark some new ideas at work!

Sponsor Health and Well-Being Perks

Invite a physical therapist to come out and give tips on more ergonomic ways to work. Employees constantly hunched over their computers or on their feet all day can usually benefit greatly from expert advice on minimizing strain, correcting posture, and improving comfort while working.

You could also give each employee a fitness activity tracker such as Fitbit if it’s within your budget. Then, encourage them to challenge each other daily, which helps cultivate more profound personal relationships.

Use a Recognition Platform

Consider using a fully comprehensive recognition and rewards program to implement ongoing rewards and remind people to recognize their peers frequently and genuinely. There’s no better time to announce this new (or expanded) program than employee appreciation week. 

A good recognition platform offers a points-based system in which employees accumulate points for their achievements at work. They can then spend those points to choose from rewards that are meaningful to them from those available on the platform.  This creates a personalized recognition experience that your employees will value.

Make Every Day an Appreciation Day

Having a day dedicated to celebrating employee achievement helps increase engagement, enable recruitment, and reduce turnover. However, to be truly effective, you must prioritize making your employees feel appreciated all year long. 

After all, your employees accomplish great things for the company daily. And as you likely know, recognition must be regular and timely to achieve the most impact possible.

Xceleration’s RewardStation® software offers a full suite of features to help you recognize, engage, and motivate your company’s most valuable asset. For experienced help in meeting your recognition and engagement goals and budget, get started with Xceleration today.

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