At Baudville, we annually celebrate Employee Appreciation Day on the first Friday in March because recognition events are an important part of our program strategy – and we like to have fun! The day is carefully planned by our Spirit Team (you can read about them on our blog) who spend weeks brainstorming creative ideas and implementing them.
Last year, our theme was Baudville Winter Olympics. Staff were divided into six teams and competed in a series of events to earn points. The three teams with the most points after completing all the events received medals. The event was such a success that some of our staff claimed it was the best Employee Appreciation Day ever! You can see photos and video from the event on our Facebook page.
To wow your employees on Employee Appreciation Day, follow our key takeaways from our Winter Olympic games:
Travel mugs make memorable Employee Appreciation Day gifts.
Get everyone involved. Our Winter Olympics were a success because every employee had a chance to participate. That’s not easy in our busy environment! Since teams were composed of employees from every department, individuals took turns being away from their desks and the phones. The Employee Appreciation Day events were designed to get the entire team involved, too, with some requiring 100% participation.
Give a gift. The Baudville Winter Olympic games are still being talked about today in part thanks to the mementos each employee received. Teams were designated by color, and employees received a bandana in their team color early in the week. On the day of the games, every employee received a travel mug customized with the Baudville Olympic rings. The mug’s insert could be removed for team members to autograph.
Complement your culture. To be effective, your Employee Appreciation Day activity should fit your organization’s culture. At Baudville, we have a “work hard, play hard” culture, so our employees were instantly excited about the games, like office chair luge and ID card curling. How would you describe your culture? Is it one of appreciation where a peer recognition activity would thrive? Or is it more independent where manager to employee note cards would be most appreciated? Design your Employee Appreciation Day activities to complement your culture, and at the end of the day, employees will be even more engaged in your organization!
If your Employee Appreciation Day celebration incorporates these key takeaways, your employees will be talking about your events for months, too. By getting everyone involved, giving a gift, and complementing your culture, you’ll show employees you care about them as individuals as well as workers.
Theme ideas for Employee Appreciation Day.
Making a Difference…and a Daiquiri. Give your employees a tropical escape by combining our Making a Difference Starfish theme with your favorite tropical locations. Virgin daiquiris, piña coladas, and smoothies make perfect afternoon snacks! Give everyone a Squeezable Praise Starfish to help them hold on to the tropical feeling.
Strengthen Teams and Communities. Build your team and help your community on Employee Appreciation Day with the Together We Can Make a Difference theme. Host a blood drive or collect canned goods for a food pantry. Recognize your team’s efforts with a Character Pin award.
Star Treatment. Give your employees the star treatment they desire with the Star Performer theme for your Employee Appreciation Day activities. On the heels of the Academy Awards, have a movie trivia game and give out movie tickets as prizes. Treat everyone to fresh popcorn to end the day.
Fallowing are our favorite ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. Pick one of these or do them all to celebrate your employees!
- Handwritten notes from managers to employees.
- Catered lunch (or breakfast!) that the team can enjoy together.
- Team events and competitions, like our Winter Olympic games.
- Afternoon snacks delivered by the CEO.
- Casual day!
- Peer recognition activities.