27 Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day 2024

Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

Employee Appreciation illustration as badge

The work-from-home revolution has brought many benefits to employees and businesses alike. Employees have greater flexibility and a better work-life balance, while business owners enjoy lower operational costs. However, virtual roles can be a pretty lonely way to work. Even if colleagues are communicating regularly, a lack of employee appreciation can curb productivity and compromise long-term loyalty. 

National Employee Appreciation Day is the perfect opportunity to make recognition an integral part of your action plan for employee engagement. Not sure what to do for Employee Appreciation Day? Read on for everything you need to know about this annual event, along with some suggestions on how you can celebrate it. 

National Employee Appreciation Day 2024: When Is It? 

National Employee Appreciation Day is held annually in March, on the first Friday of the month. In 2024, National Employee Appreciation Day will be celebrated on March 1. 

What’s National Employee Appreciation Day All About?

National Employee Appreciation Day began life in 1995. The event is the brainchild of Dr. Bob Nelson, who was one of the founding members of the National Association of Employee Recognition (NAER), which has since rebranded as Recognition Professionals International (RPI). 

The annual event was conceived as a way for business owners to express their thanks and recognition to their workforce. There are no hard and fast rules about how employees should recognize the contributions of their employees. Some choose to award employees with extra vacation days or an early finish on the day itself. Others host one-off events and unique experiences. 

Why You Should Be Celebrating National Employee Appreciation Day

Even if your company culture spotlights employee contributions and goes the extra mile to reward hard work, National Employee Appreciation Day should still be recognized. The event forces business owners, senior leaders, and HR departments to rethink the way they recognize achievement, often leading to new initiatives that can enrich employer branding and reputation

If your business operates virtually, remote team engagement is particularly important. With fragmented communication and few chances for social interaction, creating a homogenous and harmonious workforce is difficult. This can curb productivity, especially if employee wellness and recognition are overlooked.  

Even if your efforts are consigned to a single Friday every March, the results generated from acts of appreciation can be significant. When employees feel as though they’re valued, they’re more likely to remain in a position for longer. 

By increasing engagement with virtual team-building sessions and showing appreciation for your employees, you can build a stronger company culture that holds true to your core mission statement and values. While you’ll want to up your game on March 1, make sure appreciation and recognition initiatives become a staple of your employee engagement calendar.

27 Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day

Searching for virtual employee appreciation ideas to engage a remote team? Try some of these on for size: 

1. Thank You Video

A sincere thank you video from a CEO or senior leader can go a long way in boosting employee loyalty and bridging the gap between entry-level employees and C-suite executives. 

2. Invest In Their Growth

Without career development avenues, employees aren’t going to stick around for long. Think about what advancement opportunities you can introduce to retain staff for longer. 

3. Extended Lunch Break

A supersized lunch hour on March 1 is a low-impact way of letting employees know they’re appreciated. 

4. Kudoboard

Use online tools like Kudoboard to create custom cards that sum up your sentiments on National Employee Appreciation Day. 

5. Virtual Talent Show

Why not treat your teams to an early finish and fill the afternoon with a virtual talent show? Invite employees to showcase their secret skills and hold a vote to find everyone’s favorite. 

6. Meditation

Let everyone down tools early on the first Friday in March for an instructor-led meditation class. Perfect for reducing company-wide stress levels and boosting employee wellness. 

7. Take Over Their Tasks

You can learn a lot by walking in someone else’s shoes for a day. Employee appreciation gets taken to a whole new level when business leaders take over the duties of their workforce for a day. 

8. Use Communication Tools for Internal Recognition

Recognizing the input of employees should be a daily occurrence. Use your communication tools of choice to give shout-outs to staff when they’re performing well or exceeding expectations. 

9. Movie Matinee 

Take a break from daily tasks for a couple of hours and treat your teams to an afternoon of movie magic. Choose movies and a streaming platform everyone has access to if you want to do this virtually. 

10. Surprise Celebration

Rather than make your plans known, why not spring a surprise on your workforce on March 1? 

11. Public Shout-Outs

Public shout-outs are perfect for driving employee engagement and boosting productivity levels. 

12. Company Contests 

Does your corporate logo need a new look? Perhaps you want to retool your company slogan? Spark creativity by turning things into a company-wide contest. 

13. Gift Giving 

Treat remote teams to desk accessories, tech, and other essentials that will help them with their daily workflows.  

14. Personalized Thank You Emails

Often, all it takes is a short email to say thank you to secure employee loyalty. 

15. Magazine Subscription

A budget-friendly way to express employee appreciation, you can offer your teams a choice of magazine subscriptions to choose from. 

16. Board Game Day

Pick out a few virtual versions of classic board games and clear a slot in your schedule for game time

17. Use Social Media 

Use social media to connect with and appreciate employees. As well as increasing engagement, it can boost your reputation as an employer. 

18. Collaborative Vision Board

What kind of future do your employees envisage for the company? Use virtual vision boards so everyone can share their two cents. 

19. Company Newsletter

If you send out a regular company newsletter, keep a section free for a note of thanks to a standout employee or department. 

20. Celebrate Wins Outside of Work

Has an employee recently achieved a personal goal? Shine a spotlight on their achievements within your organization to show your workforce you see them as real people. 

21. Digital Thank-You Cards

Traditional greeting cards might be out of the question, but digital versions are perfect for promoting appreciation within a virtual organization. 

22. Allocate Time for Personal Projects 

Inspire creativity and innovation by giving employees the green light to work on personal projects and assignments for a few hours every week. 

23. Phone Call

An appreciation email will always be well received, but a phone call brings that much-needed personal touch. 

24. Comedy Gig

Let employees kick back and enjoy a few laughs with an impromptu gig from a stand-up comedian. 

25. Sweet Treats 

Forget about the usual fork lunch and lay out a calorific banquet of delicious desserts, baked goods, and confectionery. 

26. Half-Day Vacation 

Shutting down shop for a full Friday isn’t really feasible, but you can let employees start their weekend at lunchtime instead. 

27. Virtual Awards Ceremony

Why not bring some glitz and glam to National Employee Appreciation Day with a virtual awards ceremony? Decide categories and contenders, hold a jury vote, and award prizes. 

Excite Your Team This Employee Appreciation Day with Gloww! 

Ready to see what a little bit of appreciation can do you for business? Whether it’s a team-building session or a virtual awards show to celebrate your best and brightest, you’ll need the right tools to recognize Employee Appreciation Day in style. With Gloww, you’ll find a first-rate conferencing platform with a host of features that will take your online get-togethers to the next level. 

If you’re eager to begin planning for March 1, you can get started with Gloww today. Want to access Gloww’s advanced features? You might want to consider our premium pricing tiers. Got a question about what else Gloww can do for you? Send us your query via the online contact form

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ben aflalo
ben aflalo

Ben Aflalo heads Gloww's product team with over two decades of leadership experience. Passionate about leveraging innovative technology, he is committed to building products for the greater good.

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