As employees toil day after day to make your company successful and appreciate being noticed. An employee appreciation event allows you to express your gratitude in a number of different ways. For most companies, employee appreciation events occur once a year, often during the winter holidays, and may include the standard dinner and speeches by company execs. Others use the official Employee Appreciation Day on the first Friday in March as their time to treat employees. Whether you rent a lavish restaurant or bring goodies into the office, consider some unique themes to spice up your appreciation event.
Elaborate gifts and expensive dinners are great when the economy is rising and your business is booming. When you find yourself tightening your belt, you still should make an effort to show how much you appreciate your employees with less expensive alternatives. Bring in non-alcoholic bubbly and snacks and host your own Oscar ceremony. Get some plastic statuettes and place employees’ names on them. Give awards for the messiest desk, the most glamorous supervisor, the best supporting techie, the best one-liner around the water cooler or any other goofy award you can think of. Try to cover everyone with a special designation. You’ll have fun while giving employees a little time off from the daily grind.
Cater in lunch and clear the hallways so that you can hold your own appreciation Olympics. This is an especially appropriate idea when the real Olympic games are going on and everyone is in the mood. Office chair races can be particularly fun and rowdy for your group. Have a staple contest that pits contestants against each to see who can staple the most copies in one minute. If it’s summer, go out in the parking lot for a shot-put competition using stress balls. In the winter, you might bring in a hunk of ice and let the team go about creating a sculpture. Games can bring an added benefit of team building to an employee appreciation gathering.
If you are in a position to host a more traditional formal dinner, make it interesting by choosing a theme each year and ask employees to dress for the occasion. A retro theme could work nicely if your business is celebrating an important milestone or anniversary. The 1950s and 1960s are hot in the media in the 21st century as well as on the runways. Employees can find a slew of clothes to dress the part of whatever year you choose to celebrate at local retailers or thrift shops.
Instead of waiting until after a project is completed, consider showing your appreciation for employees at the kick-off of a new project or on the first day of a new year at work. Thank employees in advance by hosting a breakfast with a theme based on “starting the year out with a bang,” or “kicking off a successful project.” Breakfast is usually less expensive and won’t require employees to be away from their families for yet another work-related event. Use decorations and place settings to reflect your theme.