10 Employee Appreciation Ideas Your Employees Will Love
- 3 Min Read
It’s one thing to say, “Thank you” for a job well done, but actions speak so much louder than words. When you find the right way to show appreciation to your team or department, those gestures go a long way to creating a happier workplace, and building goodwill among your staff.
At ezCater, our love language is food, of course, and providing free, catered meals (or snacks!) to your workforce is definitely one great way to say “Job well done!” In fact, in a recent ezCater survey, 67% of workers said they feel appreciated when their company provides them with a catered meal.
In addition to food-based “thank yous,” we’ve come up with a list of the 10 best employee appreciation ideas that have been shared with us. Hopefully these will inspire you, whether it’s Employee Appreciation Day, or any day that you want to say “Nice work!” and “We appreciate you.”
1. Surprise employees with a celebration just for them
Your employees might be expecting a celebration in March for Employee Appreciation Day, but how about celebrating an employee’s particular milestones, personally or professionally?
Surprise your employees all year by setting aside time for small “pop-up parties.” Put a normal meeting on the schedule, but surprise them with a party in the meeting room. Have food from a caterer, decorations and a small speech about the target employee (or employees), so they’re not only surprised but find out all the good things people are recognizing them for. Shower them with gifts, too — try gift cards for an extra perk (it’s a write-off for you, too). Make it extra-special by treating them and their team to a catered lunch.
2. Office makeovers
If your employees have their own offices or cubicles, why not encourage a better work environment by performing office makeovers? You can even make it like a television show, bringing in people to spruce up the space in just a few hours.
To make this effective, take a survey about the things each employee would love to have in their space. Then, take the target employee out to lunch and surprise them with a new office chair, headset or other items to make them more comfortable while they work when they return.
3. Enhance your break room
A beautiful break room makes your employees feel appreciated every day. Create space for different activities in your revamp. Board games and video game consoles provide opportunities for employees to connect spontaneously. Comfortable couches allow staff to unwind as they eat lunch. Partition off a quiet area for meditation or a power nap. Keep your new and improved break room stocked with nourishing snacks and beverages that they can have throughout the day so they’re always fueled up for whatever comes their way.
4. Employee Appreciation Breakfast
Every employee deserves a chance to eat something delicious. Serving breakfast can put a smile on your employees’ faces from the start of the day. Not only that, it also helps them boost their energy levels, especially if it’s a tough day ahead.
Make sure to include a variety of menu items, like eggs, donuts, breakfast sandwiches and vegan options, so no one’s diet is left out. For extra help, book with a caterer to get the foods delivered hot and fresh.
5. Take a break with team building
Team building activities might sound like they’re just developmental, but they can be supportive and encourage appreciation of what each person does in the workplace. As one option, consider having a team building exercise where team members post positive feedback about coworkers on a community board. At the end of the week, hold a short meeting to go over the positive feedback, or send out an email that reviews all the good things that happened. Doing these things makes your staff members feel more positive, and it also encourages people to continue being helpful and supportive of one another.
6. Give back to your workplace community
Employees who’ve been with you a long time are bound to have things they want or need. Maybe you know one employee recently lost a loved one and could use extra financial support, or you may be aware that another employee recently had a child. Give back to your work community by hosting volunteer opportunities to help those who are working with you. Take donations to help a widow, or host a baby shower for a loved and trusted employee about to go on maternity leave. By doing these things, you show your employees that they matter and that they have a community that supports them.
7. Encourage employee health and wellness
Your employees’ health and well-being is something you can play a role in. Consider bringing in a massage therapist to offer hand and arm or head and neck massages to people who may need a break and some time to relax. Offer free sessions at a local spa so your employees can go out for a day and feel pampered. Encouraging mental health breaks and overall health and wellness in this way shows you do care about their health and will take steps to keep them feeling their best.
8. Celebrate your employees every day
One great way to make the most of your time with your employees is to celebrate them daily. If everyone gets off work at 5 p.m., consider holding a meeting during the last half-hour and celebrating positive things your employees have done. Alternatively, send out an email that thanks everyone for their hard work. Even though this happens regularly, it’s a great reminder that the people working with you are appreciated for their hard work and effort.
9. Give hard workers an extra day off
Encourage your staff to take their vacation days and time off for sickness or personal tasks. If they’ve worked a lot of overtime finishing a project, consider giving them an extra day off or two (paid, if you’re feeling extra-generous). Time away from work helps prevent burnout and gives your employees a chance to catch up on errands, spend a weekend away or just crash on their couch and binge Netflix.
10. Have lunch on the company’s dime
Free lunch is a great motivator for employees. When ezCater surveyed 1,000 employees, we found that 44% ranked free lunch in their top two perks. The Lunch Report also showed that free, catered lunches are a big incentive to working in the office. The majority of those surveyed said they’d plan their on-site work days based on lunch being offered. Catered lunches don’t have to break the bank to be delicious, and any meal will show employees you value their work.
No matter how you show your appreciation, the right food can make it better. Contact ezCater to arrange catering for your next staff appreciation event.
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