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10 employee appreciation ideas: Your team will love

Published: Wednesday 14th April 2021

It pays to be great at employee recognition and employee appreciation. Businesses with a solid staff recognition and rewards strategy enjoy stronger employee engagement, increased employee morale, and lower turnover. With serious return on investment, acknowledging team achievements could mean up to 50% higher productivity and up to 20% increase in business outcomes. Therefore, putting employee appreciation ideas in place is vital. 

However, you need to find the right employee recognition program and employee appreciation ideas for your company. To help you with that we have made a list of the top 10 employee appreciation ideas that your team will love! 

Deliver personalized employee appreciation gifts

Plan and deliver unforgettable recognition rewards that are relevant to your employees right now. If you want your employee recognition programs to make a positive impact on motivation, appreciation, retention, and company culture, you have to personalize recognition to the individual needs of your staff. Do a survey and find out what matters most to your employees. Appreciation ideas could include gift cards and vouchers, for example.  

Celebrate birthdays

Some people prefer not to draw attention to themselves, but if you think it would be well received, go ahead and celebrate the birthdays of your staff. A few ways to make an employee’s birthday special could be to bring in a cake or allow the employee to take their birthday off. You could also ask all team members to contribute $5 for a gift for the birthday star and decorate the person’s desk. Birthdays are an excellent opportunity to show staff they’re appreciated. So take the time to think about what your staff would like to receive.

Celebrating a colleague's birthday in the office. Employee appreciation ideas and employee recognition.

Summer Fridays are among the top employee appreciation ideas

When it’s summer and it’s beautiful outside, your employees will love the opportunity to have an early finish and enjoy themselves or spend quality time with their loved ones. From entire Fridays off to just a couple hours every week, this is a perk that your team members will definitely appreciate.

Publicly acknowledge their success

Go one step further than providing traditional in-house praise as part of your employee appreciation ideas. If the employee is comfortable with it, let your customers and online following know by posting on social media. Take a photo and explain what they did to earn this recognition, and why you appreciate what they did for the company. 

Encourage professional development 

This is something that’s often overlooked by managers, but it’s imperative. When you show you’re willing to invest time and money into the continual education of your staff, you inadvertently communicate that their job role is essential to the company and that it’s worth nurturing.

Write a LinkedIn recommendation

A LinkedIn recommendation is one of the best employee appreciation ideas. It’s personal, meaningful, and an endorsement for someone’s hard work. It’s an underrated gesture that communicates your appreciation of a team member, but also that you care about their future success! Plus, it’s free. 

Friendly business team congratulating colleague making surprise present, smiling woman giving excited coworker or boss gift box, employees group greeting man wishing happy birthday in office concept

Include shout outs in your employee appreciation ideas strategy

End a meeting on a high note by giving shout-outs to your awesome colleagues, or have a public recognition feed that showcases everyone’s achievements. Employee appreciation is so important for employee engagement, and shout-outs are a great way to make your employees feel appreciated. 

Special treats

Desserts, cupcakes, donuts are a common token of appreciation. But take your employee appreciation ideas a step further by keeping track of your employees’ favorites. Why bring in cupcakes when a team member prefers donuts? Instead of a box of chocolates, how about a bag of sour gummies?

Plan a lunch out

If your employee isn’t one for public recognition, opt for a private lunch with just the two of you instead. This will foster meaningful one-on-one conversation and give you a quiet space to share in person how much you appreciate the hard work.

Organize wellness days

Employee wellness is a hot topic right now. A great way to address this is by making it part of your employee appreciation ideas. So, bring self-care activities to the office. You can organize on-site massages, mindfulness sessions, or fitness classes for the team.

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