Create Your Own Employee Appreciation Day


Employee Appreciation Programs Reinforce Good Behavior and Develop a Happy, Healthy Work Environment. Employees are your business’ most valuable assets. They determine your short-term and long-term success. Utilizing positive reinforcement, you can create an environment where teamwork thrives, personal goals are a welcome challenge and success is celebrated. One of the best ways to do this is with employee appreciation programs.

These programs allow you to publicly recognize and thank your employees. They can be structured to let you staff recognize one another. And, they can be used to continue to reinforce good behavior. While employee appreciation programs come in all different shapes and sizes, themed employee appreciation days are a fun way to celebrate your staff. Here are a few examples:


Create Your Own Employee Appreciation Day


Office Olympics

Create several teams to compete in everything from a three-legged race to flag football or bag tossing. Give the winners from each event gold, silver and bronze medals. And, give everyone a commemorative coffee mug or beer stein. By forming teams with members from multiple departments, this is one of those themed employee appreciation programs that can help bolster cross-department collaboration.


Red Carpet Treatment –

Roll out the red carpet for your business’ stars – your employees! Exchange black carpet runners for red ones. Decorate the office with gold stars. And host a movie trivia game. You might even host a movie screening.


Dessert Buffet –

Dessert buffets have taken the event world by storm. While they are often found at weddings and showers, your employees will love them, too. Create a large inner-office dessert buffet with treats your staff loves. To reinforce your business, look for candies in your company’s brand colors which you can display in clear, glass bowls.

Out of This World

Keep up the positive reinforcement with a theme that continues to tell your employees how out of this world amazing they are. Project silent Star Wars movies on a blank wall. Decorate the office with stars and space pictures. Hold a Chewbacca impersonation contest. Bring in foam light sabers for those employees who want to reenact any of the dueling scenes.

Take a Load Off

Hire a massage therapist for a few hours of the whole day to provide massages for your employees.

Appreciation Station

Ask each employee to trace their hand on brightly colored paper and label it with their name. Post the hand-prints on a bulletin board in a common area and allow coworkers to record the reasons they appreciate their coworkers on the hand prints.

Skip Day

Skip day didn’t stop being fun because you’re no longer a senior in high school. Organize a skip day to let your employees know their time and hard work means a lot to you. Let them go home early. Alert them not to come into work for the day. Tell them to take an extra long lunch break. Or close the office early and head to a local happy hour for cocktails.

No matter what kind of employee appreciation programs you plan it’s important to remember, your recognition needs to be:

  • Genuine
  • Specific
  • Personal


The power of positive reinforcement is only achieved when your employees are given a clear understanding of why they are being recognized. Pinpoint a specific project, day or instant for each employee when their work was exemplary. Make sure to tell them what they did and why it mattered. Depending on the nature of the instance, you can do this privately or publicly.