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30 Engaging Ways To Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

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It's imperative to show respect to your employees for their hard work. It is they who bring the desired progress and goodwill to your organization. And for acknowledging their immense contribution every year, the first Friday of March is celebrated as the "National Employee Appreciation Day".

The concept of Employee Appreciation Day was created by Bob Nelson, one of the founding board members of Recognition Professionals International. Nelson popularised this day together with his publishing company "Workman Publishing" in 1995. And soon after that, organizations across the United States and other parts of the world started observing this day to show gratitude towards their workforce.

Employees like it when their efforts are acknowledged and appreciated. They feel motivated to do much better as it uplifts their morale in the workplace. As well as, practicing employee recognition frequently lays the foundation for a strong workplace relationship and a great corporate culture.

Thus, the first Friday of March every year is a reminder for every organization to realize the importance of employee recognition.

Here in this article, I'm sharing with you some ideas on how you can celebrate appreciation day 2023 with your employees.

Let’s begin!

The 30 Creative Employee Appreciation Day Celebration Ideas

1. Hosting Employee Award Ceremony

(via Vantage Rewards)

There can't be a better way of showing employees their importance than awarding them for their great work. Employees feel happy when they are acknowledged for their work in front of everyone. It uplifts their morale and provides them with a lasting sense of job satisfaction.

Moreover, here all your other employees get inspired by their colleagues who are awarded. Also, you can plan to make your workplace award ceremony more fun with some goofy employee award titles.

2. Social Media Shoutouts


Everyone's on social media nowadays, thanks to its hyper-engaging features letting the users share their joyful moments with others. Giving a shoutout to all your employees on social media is one thing that you can do. It is also another way of recognizing your employees in front of a huge crowd.
Further, it enhances the company’s brand image which is a prime factor for attracting the best talents onboard your team.

3. Organizing Lucky Draws

You can also get your employees excited on this day by organizing lucky draws. Based on your preference, you can gift your employees anything you like to make them happy. Also, you can add more fun to it by keeping multiple surprises up for grabs and making it more engaging.

4. Take them for Team Lunch

Someone has said it right-

If you want to make someone happy, then take them out to eat.

Similarly, even you can take your employees out on a team lunch this appreciation day. Often going out for team lunch is a great way to strengthen your workplace camaraderie. Here, you can make these lunch sessions even more fun by adding some team-building activities.

Further, if you would like to spice up the celebration, you can also throw in team happy hours.

5. Giving away Gift Cards

(via Vantage Perks)

Another great way to show your team how important they are is to let them pick their own rewards. Here, you can offer a wide range of different gift cards to your employees to purchase their desired rewards. And one of the easiest ways to do the same would be by using an employee benefits platform. Such a platform allows employers to provide lucrative perks to their employees with complete flexibility.

6. Gift Them an Experience

(Source: Team Vantage Circle's Day Excursion)

Amidst today's hectic schedule, employees often miss out on a lot of things going around. Most working individuals hardly ever get time some quality time for themselves. And with this happening, they miss out on a lot of moments and experiences. Hence, on this employee appreciation day, you can definitely gift your employees a truly engaging experience.

It may be anything like baking or cooking workshops, trekking in the hills, or going out fishing together. Your employees will cherish these experiences for a long time and would feel satisfied with their jobs.

7. Playing Team Games

(Source: Team Vantage Circle's Day Excursion)

Sports and games have always been a catalyst for inspiring sportsmanship within an individual. You can also celebrate your employee appreciation day by organizing various team games. Such events in the workplace make everyone remember the importance of teamwork and increase employee engagement.

8. Encourage Volunteering

Giving back to society is an important aspect of our lives irrespective of who we are or what we do. It not only signifies the humility of the volunteering individual but also spreads the message of positivity. And as an employer, you should take up the responsibility of encouraging the spirit of volunteering within your employees.

Therefore, to show employees your appreciation and create awareness about various causes, you can arrange a volunteer drive involving your employees.

9. Go ahead with Company Swags

Giving away company swags to your employees is always going to work whenever it comes to cheering them up. Similarly, to mark the upcoming appreciation day, you can distribute customized company swags amongst your workforce.

10. In-house Health Challenges

(via Vantage Fit's Leaderboard)

In today’s date keeping track of your health has become vital for keeping ourselves fit and active. As such, committing to healthy habits amidst a busy schedule becomes very important. So, to help your employees embrace a healthy lifestyle you can organize in-house health challenges. Such campaigns encourage the employees to keep moving and drive them towards an active and healthy lifestyle.

Here, a note to all the employers would be to make it a point to incentivize their employees who complete such activities. Doing this would inspire everyone to participate in large numbers and is the perfect opportunity to boost employee experience.

11. Going Out on a Field Trip

This is probably the most fun idea that I’m suggesting to you to do with your employees this National Employee Appreciation Day 2023.

You can create a day-out plan to go to someplace that you believe your employees would love. Do make sure that it’s a learning experience for your employees. However, while planning anything similar, please do follow all the COVID-19 appropriate rules laid by the authorities.

12. Bring the Dessert Bar

This appreciation day 2023 you can definitely bring sweetness to your celebrations in the workplace by hosting a dessert bar for all. To make it even more memorable, you can even let them take as much as they want back home to share it with their loved ones.

13. Speak Your Mind

The time we are living in right now is filled with uncertainties and it has impacted all our lives in one way or another. Your employees would also have a lot going on their minds which they might hardly share. So, you can also plan on organizing an Open Mic session for everyone where they can share their feelings and lighten up their mood.

14. Meditation Session

Talking of helping your employees free up their minds in the above point, you can complement it by organizing a meditation session. Thus, giving your employees an overall holistic mental peace that is very essential to stay ahead in today’s competitive environment.

15. Self Care Package

Gifting your employees a self-care package this National Employee Appreciation 2023 would be a great choice. You can include various personal sanitization kits along with other amenities that you think would entice your employees.

16. Primo Parking

If you reserve the best parking spots for the higher executives in your workplace then you can open up those spaces for your other employees to mark the occasion and make them feel special.

17. Let Them Be the Educator for the Week

You can plan on making the entire week before Employee Appreciation Day a meaningful one by letting your senior employees share their learnings with the new employees. In the end, i.e., on the main event day, you can recognize their contributions by hosting a grand award ceremony.

18. Hand Written Thank You Letters

In times when emails and text messages have bought us much closer with just a few clicks, receiving a handwritten letter still cheers us up. So, if you are willing to make the extra effort, then go ahead and pen down your thoughts to share with your team members.

19. Get the Ice Cream Truck

There’s always a special place in our hearts when it comes to ice cream. Well, then you may just say the words, “Ice cream on the house” and get the ice cream truck to excite your employees with some sweet delights.

20. Access to E-Learning Platforms

With the ever-increasing competition in the corporate world, it has become very important to upskill and reskill your existing talent. Moreover, employees now prioritize being part of an organization where L&D is an integral part of the company culture.

So, to fulfill their wish to keep up with the latest knowledge and at the same time give your business a competitive edge, you can facilitate your employees with easy access to E-Learning platforms.

21. Uber Ride Credits for the Week

If most of your employees have to travel a long distance to reach the workplace, then gifting them Uber ride credits or other such services for the week could be another meaningful way to celebrate National Employee Appreciation Day.

22. Pitch and Earn

Your employees might be holding up the next big idea and it’s on you to inspire them to make it work so that it benefits both. Here, you can make it part of your employee appreciation day celebrations by hosting Pitch and Earn sessions throughout the week.

On the main day, you can appreciate everyone who took part in it and reward the ones with the best ideas.

23. Feature Employees on Company Website

If your team is relatively small once, i.e., below 100, then you can also plan to create an employee appreciation section on your company website. This will not only gain your employees the recognition they deserve but would also boast about your people-first company culture.

24. Upgrade their Tools and Other Resources

Everyone wants to work with the latest technology and methods at the workplace that acts as catalysts for enhancing productivity. If your employees are still using outdated equipment, then you can upgrade and present it to them on the upcoming appreciation day.

25. Supplementary Day Offs

Off days from work are nothing less than a blessing for the employees anytime. So, to help your office staff maintain a healthy work-life balance you can credit additional day-offs in their leave quota this appreciation day 2023.

26. It’s Pet Days Out

If most of your team members own a pet, then this employee appreciation day you can allow them to bring their lovely pets to work. Additionally, you can also arrange for a free pet check-up camp to show your care for your employees' happiness.

27. Visit to Amusement Park

Going ahead with the ideas to help you celebrate employee appreciation day, you can take your employees to an amusement park where they can just be the way they are and have fun to the fullest. However, don’t forget to abide by the local COVID-19 rules and regulations.

28. Host a Concert

Hosting a concert by calling in some good musicians will be like the cherry on the top in your employee appreciation day celebrations. Also, don’t forget to include your own employees who can sing and play instruments and get them all together to rock on the stage.

29. Movie Day

You can make it a half-day at work on Friday, the 4th of March, and delight your employees with some entertainment by taking them out for a movie. Or if you wish, you can screen it at your workplace only by getting a good projector system and a screen, with unlimited popcorn on the house.

30. Create the Classic Wall of Fame

The upcoming employee appreciation day would be the perfect opportunity for you to introduce a Classic Wall of Fame if you don’t have one yet. This would be a great addition to your employee recognition program and definitely, it’ll elevate the employee experience since now their efforts are acknowledged publicly.

So, these were a few ways of how you can observe the national employee appreciation day. You can implement any one or combine some of these activities together to give your employees a surprising experience.

Also, do tell us how you would like to celebrate this day with your employees and share your experiences over social media platforms.

Next stop Administrative Professionals Day on April 27, 2023.

Working as a SEO Analyst and Content Marketer at Vantage Circle, Angshuman always stays curious and is passionate about learning new things. Got any question? Drop a mail at

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