Employee Appreciation Day is right around the corner. Held annually on the first Friday in March – which is March 6th this year – this is a day of showing appreciation and thanks to our nation’s hard-working men and women. With less than two months until Employee Appreciation Day, many companies are scrambling to make those last-minute preparations.
There’s really no wrong way to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day – assuming you focus on the underlying principle of this day, which is to show appreciation to employees. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas for this meaningful event, see below for a list of popular activities:
- Order breakfast, snacks and/or lunch for employees.
- Host a party during which you can call out and recognize individual employees for their hard work.
- Reward employees with personalized plaques, trophies, or other awards.
- Check out our previous blog post for more Employee Appreciation Day ideas.
- Take photos of the event and publish on your company’s social media page to further spread the word about Employee Appreciation Day.
History of Employee Appreciation Day
2015 marks the 20-year anniversary of the annual Employee Appreciation Day. Dr. Bob Nelson, one of the founding members of Recognition Professionals International (RPI), is credited with the starting this now-popular day. Dr. Nelson wanted to celebrate the launch of his book, 1001 Ways To Reward Employees, so he designated the first Friday in March as Employee Appreciation Day. Only a small group of companies initially observed Dr. Nelson’s newly created day, but it quickly spread throughout the country. Today, Employee Appreciation Day is observed and celebrated by thousands of companies from all industries and sectors.
“Ideally, employees should be valued all year round, especially when they have performed well, but the first step is raising awareness about the importance of recognition on the part of every manager,” said Dr. Nelson. “Employee Appreciation Day has helped serve that purpose,” he added.
Of course, you don’t have to wait until Employee Appreciation Day to recognize workers for their hard work and dedication. As Dr. Nelson noted, employees should be recognized and appreciated all year round. Stopping to tell employees “thanks for the hard work” or “good job” will go a long ways in creating a positive working environment.