Mahalo Card for Employees

The Ultimate Guide to Employee Appreciation Day

March is just around the corner and with it comes National Employee Appreciation Day. This year the anticipated day falls on Friday, March 1st, 2024. There’s no better time to recognize your employees’ achievements, share gratitude for their hard work, and celebrate the endurance, tenacity, and grit they’ve demonstrated over the last year. 

Leaders and managers, are you ready? To help you stay ahead and get creative, we’re sharing best practices to consider and examples from ProService Hawaii’s very own Employee Appreciation Days of years past. Start showing employees how much they genuinely matter with these tips and ideas.

1. Recognize all employees – in-office, remote, and hybrid!

Whether your employees are in-office, remote, or a bit of both (hybrid), think of celebration ideas that include everyone. Brainstorm a theme and/or main celebratory attraction and adapt it for various locations or types of workers. For example, one of the ways ProService celebrated Employee Appreciation Day in 2023 was with tasty treats. Employees at our Hawaii Kai headquarters got to start the day off with a coffee bar from Kope Coffee, along with pastries and juice. To include our neighbor island and remote staff, we mailed a special package to each employee and allowed them to expense a coffee on us!

As you think about your 2024 plans, think about the specific things you can do to engage remote employees as well as your in-office staff. What can you do as a unified organization to foster thanks and gratitude as a core part of your culture?

2. Celebrate with creative ideas for any budget

Employee Appreciation Day doesn't have to break the bank. Of course, everyone loves fancy offsite celebrations (think spa day, a round of golf, etc.), but let’s face it, not every business has that kind of budget – especially the little guys! Fear not. You can do plenty of creative things to celebrate employees for $30 or less. What about no budget? You’re in luck too! Fortunately, there’s no price tag to gratitude. A handwritten thank you card, or personalized email acknowledging an employee’s contributions over the last year can be hugely meaningful.

3. Share a special message with employees

As you approach Employee Appreciation Day, don’t underestimate the impact of a special message to employees from your CEO or other key leadership figures. While we think it’s always important for workers to hear from those leading the charge, communication is especially important during difficult times, times of change or transition, and growth!  Reach out to your leaders in advance and have them craft thoughtful messages about what they appreciate most about their employees. These messages can be written and shared amongst teams. Or, it can be recorded and strung together to create a meaningful video shared with workers on Employee Appreciation Day. If you’re able, watch the video live with your whole company! This is precisely what ProService did a few years ago to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day 2021. Watch it here!

4. Enable your team to say ‘thanks’ across your organization 

Employee Appreciation Day doesn't have to be an isolated event. At ProService, we believe gratitude can transform workplaces. We think it is a critical practice that should be integrated into daily, weekly, and monthly workplace routines. But this culture of gratitude has to begin at the top and trickle down to employees. Use this upcoming Employee Appreciation Day to rally leaders around gratitude as an employee engagement idea and brainstorm ways both leaders and employees can give kudos to their colleagues and peers regularly. 

Want more great employee appreciation ideas? Download our Manager's Pocket Guide to Employee Engagement with 18 quick tips to engage your team.

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