Use this ultimate list of employee appreciation ideas to recognize the stars in your office!
There's no denying it.
Your office has the best employees around, who go above and beyond to excel in their work and make every day shine a little brighter.
They inspire you to achieve the best in you, so they deserve to be recognized in the best ways possible.
There are so many ways that you can show employee appreciation in the office, so we gathered the greatest and most effective ideas for you to read.
Take a look at these 55 ways to show employee appreciation and see how you can make a difference in your office!
Is your office full of superstars? Then they deserve something a little more flashy!
This one is surprisingly affordable, either pick up blank trophies from a thrift store or find a trophy store in your area.
Come up with some award titles and have them engraved with your employees names so they can display them with pride!
You can’t go wrong with a handwritten thank you card to remind your team how much you value them.
Write some employee appreciation cards that are poetic, caring, musical, or have something funny to bring a smile to their face!
Here's some tips from The Balance Careers when writing employee thank you cards!
Okay, everyone will love you if you bring snacks into the office, no matter what!
Some might find them corny, but handing out certificates can really give an employees a sense of pride and accomplishment.
You can even make your own for awards up, such as;
Looking for printable award templates? Here’s a list of professional designs that you can use for your colleagues.
Hard-working employees tend to put in extra time in and out of the office, which means that they have to be efficient with their other chores in life.
One new trend in office work perks is house cleaning services to save employees time and money.
Imagine your employee coming home from the office after a long day at work to a fresh and clean house...
That’s real employee appreciation right there!
There is no better way to show your workplace love than to celebrate their achievements than with a work party at the office!
That's right, it’s finally time to form your office party planning committee and decorate with streamers, balloons, music, (maybe skip the confetti) and a few healthy snacks.
Plan a few employee appreciation activities and office games to keep everyone occupied, and pass around a few gifts if you want to make it really special.
Getting personalized gifts for coworkers can work tremendously well, but can also send the wrong message if you aren't careful.
Buying everyone in the office the same thing is a little passé, and if it isn’t something a person likes then your gift just turns into more clutter.
Try asking around to see what interests your employees have, or even go to them directly. Sure, they lose a bit of the surprise, but then you know whatever they receive will be something they enjoy!
Read through these lists of fun office gifts that your team will love!
Not every office is located in the downtown core. It can be hard for employees to access quality lunches that are out in the boonies, so why not bring the delicious lunches to the office?
Food truck catering is a great way to shake up the office lunch routine; drawing everyone out of their cubicles and into the daylight with each other, chatting while waiting for culinary bliss. From Korean fusion to gourmet grilled cheese, food trucks also run a wide, whimsical spectrum of tastes - making lunch feel a lot more like a field trip than a catered utility.
If you need help picking the best truck for your team, check out Roaming Hunger, who'll help you book food truck catering for any company occasion (no matter the office tastes - or dietary restrictions).
They have over 15,700 food trucks across Canada and the US, and can connect you with the perfect truck to fit your needs. They even offer a 120% money-back guarantee if anything falls through. It's the risk-free way to take a risk (and get immediately rewarded, too).
It’s time to “dapper up” your office with some classy painting, and who better to start with than your own darling employees?
Seriously, imagine how awesome it would be to hang up a series of fancy custom portraits of your team?
There’s no need to track down the next Michelangelo, you can find artists who can portray your office’s inner Downton Abbey for very affordable prices here.
Want to really show your heartfelt appreciation for employees?
Try penning a poem for them and focusing on the special qualities that make them great. No need to go crazy though, after all “Brevity is the soul of wit.”
Whether they drink coffee, tea, or any other beverage in the office, a mug is the perfect gift to show your employee appreciation!
You can get an almost infinite variety of mug designs online, so it’s easy to match them to your teammates interests and hobbies.
What gift do you get someone when you don’t know what they like?
Cold, hard cash can feel a little impersonal. If you can get a vague idea about what your employees like then a gift card allows them to decide how to spend it best!
If you’re still having a hard time, then GiftCards.com is a great resource for office managers with a huge variety of cards to choose from.
You can’t go wrong!
We all need to let loose sometimes, and your office may not be the best space to entertain everyone.
Pool halls are a classic spot for workers to hangout and take part in some casual competition. Pay for a couple of tables and watch your team cut loose!
Another great way to win hearts and stomachs is by taking the office out to lunch!
Seriously, people love trying out new restaurants around town, and if you ask around beforehand you’ll have a whole list of popular spots to visit (or avoid)!
Even a quick social media blast can make all the difference to your employees. Include their names, picture, and why you are proud of them for a huge boost to their self esteem!
Choose an employee appreciation day to post hourly updates about your wonderful office team!
Okay, we’re not saying you need to get employees to start competing against one another (we’ve all seen how bad that can go).
However, when your employees complete outstanding tasks showcasing their profile in your reception or work area is a fantastic reward. Choose a different winner every month so that every employee feels recognized.
Identify a good location to dedicate a Wall of Fame to hang pictures and award titles for your colleagues. A quick social media blast or ceremony wouldn’t hurt either!
Keep in mind that your company is a whole made up of smaller parts, and those teams are working in cohesion to bring big wins to your business.
Remember to show your appreciation to individual departments for being able to pull off those larger projects.
If you're wondering how to celebrate team success at your office this list can be a great starting point for larger groups.
Don’t let people convince you that this simple action isn’t powerful. Taking the time to write an appreciation letter to employees about why you are thankful is a wonderful habit to get into.
Here are a few ways you can voice your employee appreciation:
It’s no secret that employees like to save their vacation days for one or a few special trips throughout the year, but it’s easy to let those extra days fall through the cracks if their workload increases.
Offering an extra week or two of vacation time as a reward for stellar performance means that employee can enjoy a few more days on the beach, or take that extended weekend get-away!
Call it an Employee Appreciation Week and you will see much it helps to boost office morale!
Who doesn’t love a little extra cash? If paid time off or gifts don’t seem to fit, a bonus is an appropriate workplace incentive to reward success.
Wagepoint is payroll software designed specifically for small businesses that knows how challenging it can be to tweak an existing payroll system. Check out their fantastic guide on how businesses of all sizes can give out work bonuses to their employees!
Get ready, because you might find that your employees are going to spin into a flurry of activity to make their bonus!
Employees that work hard usually have their future in mind. Helping them reach their career goals is likely the best way to instill loyalty to your business and improve your employee’s performance in the meantime.
Many companies now budget for employee education, and there are plenty of online courses geared towards beginner, intermediate, and subject matter experts in every industry.
Check out this site that includes skills like marketing, computer engineering, management, graphic design, and more!
Here’s a great way to encourage local city pride in your office!
Whether or not your office has any sports buffs in it, tickets to a football, baseball, or hockey game give your team an excuse to take part in a fun community activity.
We’re offering a lot of awesome ideas here, but it can be difficult to decide which ones are the right fit for your office.
Setting up an employee suggestion program for perks or changes to the work space gives your office the chance to anonymously voice their thoughts and feelings.
Set up a suggestion box once a month and review the suggestions publicly so that your team knows they are being heard. Now you know what they really-really want!
After working together for a long period of time an office starts to feel more like a community than a workforce.
Sure, they’re your colleagues, but they also become your friends along the way.
Make a memory with a framed team photo of everyone in your office and hang it where everyone can see.
Consider making a copy for everyone to keep at their desk or home as a reminder of how much they are appreciated!
Sometimes an employee needs an extra helping hand to dig themselves out of a slump. If they are interested in networking with industry experts, an employee mentoring program is a superb idea!
Organize a lunch meeting, or a series of conference calls with an industry professional that is willing to chat and coach an employee and share their insights.
Pet daycare can be expensive, and (barring allergies) who doesn’t love a few cute animals running around the office?
Be the cool office on the block and set up a pet-friendly office so that employees can bring their furry family members into the workplace every now and then!
Read this resource and see the best practices for introducing a pet-friendly policy to your office.
Everyone loves having their own employee appreciation days, especially when they’ve been pouring their hearts out into a large-scale project.
Recognizing that your office needs some time to recharge shows understanding and respect for their talents.
Consider offering extra paid time off for teams that have shown their commitment to avoid burn-out in the office.
Beep-boop-beep...hey, we’re not robots over here! People have families and many employees are proud to show them where they work (especially if they know they are appreciated there)!
Coordinate a “Take Your Child to Work Day” so that your office can feel a little more personal with families getting to know one another and what their parents do!
Make it a party and have departments give presentations on what they have accomplished, and by the end of the day, everyone will go home with a smile on their face, guaranteed!
It’s the most FRUSTRATING time of the year! Tax season always makes offices groan, but it doesn’t have to be this hard!
As a perk for a year of hard work, offer a tax-assistance benefit to employees who want some help crunching the numbers. They might find they can save more money than they realized!
There’s no better feeling than seeing your team wearing a shirt, sweater, or hat with your company’s branding on it, not because they have to, but because they want to.
Get a graphic designer to create really cool company swag, and hand it out to employees and new hires. If it looks awesome, trust us, people will wear it proudly.
We’re not talking post-it notes here. If you’ve ever seen that episode of The Office where Jim and Pam fight over what office supplies they should get, you know how serious this can be.
As a way to show employee appreciation give top performers a chance to upgrade their workspace with a variety of new office supplies.
You can invest in new chairs with lumbar support, standing desks, computers, and whichever type of decor ideas they might have in mind.
If you’re tight on a budget, here’s a list of office decor ideas that will surely spark joy in any office!
Definitely a pricier option, but it is worth the cost to create a space that will foster creativity and a productive mindset for years to come!
Investing in the space that your employees spend most of their time will demonstrate how much management values their state of mind.
Here’s a list of different ways you can design a workspace to suit your office culture!
Not every office has the luxury of free parking, and this can be a real frustration for employees who need to drive on their commute Monday to Friday.
If paying for your employees parking indefinitely is too much to budget for, try offering it as a performance perk and a reward for positive attitudes.
Rotate it among your teams throughout the work year so every has a chance to enjoy it.
Don’t forget to include those who use public transit either!
“Speech! Speeeeeeeech!” Listen, people want leadership.
A strong leader helps guide groups through changes and solidifies a sense of shared community.
Team leads, department heads, and C-level executives should take time to address their workforce with a thank you speech, letting them know how their efforts have made a difference to the success of the company.
Here's a resource that teaches you how to give a great motivational speech!
*Earth to office managers!*
It’s important to recognize that your employees have thoughts, ideas, and opinions of their own. You can help fuel their creative process by offering them an opportunity open their minds.
Periodically pick up a few books that your team is interested in and dedicate an office library corner!
Here are some of our favourites;
Psst! If you catch people reading, that means it’s working.
If you are stuck for ideas to show employee appreciation then this one is a quick fix.
Stickers used to be dinky little stars and rainbows that fell off your notebook after a week or two.
Now, every laptop owner worth their bytes has plastered every inch of their computers with long-lasting (and really cool) stickers from all over the world.
Order some high quality stickers that can decorate your laptop, desk, or empty corner of the office!
Some people choose to wear their flair, either on their bag or on their person.
Pins and buttons are pretty punk rock, and they are growing popular again with millennial employees. 🤘
You can order these online, or find them at local fairs and pop-up shops (the weirder the better) and hand them out at the office.
This is a great way to connect with your employees and let them know you appreciate their individuality!
Grab the popcorn and get comfy because it’s movie night!
It’s easy to set up a fun and friendly hangout with your team in the office; just move around some furniture, set up a projector, grab the snacks and you can enjoy your own personal office theater.
If your office is a little small for that, then find a new release that everyone is dying to see and book tickets for everyone.
Got a big team and a big budget? If you can afford it, reach out to a local cinema and book the whole theatr!
It’ll be an experience that your employees won’t soon forget! ACTION!
Okay, this one is really unique!
You can go online and create life-like figurines of your employees in a wide variety of poses, costumes, and materials.
Since they are quite affordable, gift it to an employee on their birthday, or to a whole department to celebrate a success.
There’s something very calming about painting, and it can be a huge source of pride to recreate something from your imagination on canvas.
Don’t worry, your office doesn’t need to be full of artists to do this activity. Many venues offer weekly or monthly paint nights where a talented artist will lead a group through a tutorial.
Your team can bond with one another and walk away with a beautiful piece of art for the office!
True employee appreciation comes from being proud of each and every member for the work that they accomplish. Most companies will include a meet the team page on their website, like we do here!
Take some professional headshots, include their title, hype up their job description, and include a fun fact about them!
Everyone needs stress relief from time to time. Games offer a break from long periods of intense focus and can inspire new ideas.
Take the initiative in your office and providing games that help to recenter attention and promote teamwork among colleagues.
From board games to gaming consoles, to even simpler games like ‘Two Truths & A Lie’ every office should incorporate games into their daily activities.
Check out the Social and Fun Apps for Slack!
There’s a ton of games on there that employees can play for a quick break at work!
With all this talk about showing appreciation for your employee’s stress levels, it’s important to look after their overall health.
If you are already offering employees healthy office snacks then go another step further and introduce a gym plan to your company benefits.
Pay for local gym memberships outright, or offer an incentive in the form of a subsidy to encourage your employees to stay active!
Your employee’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. While your office’s healthcare benefits plan might cover therapy and counselling, there are other ways that you can help your employees with more manageable forms of mental care.
Making a company-wide announcement that employees can take ‘mental health’ days as sick days will allow them to feel more comfortable taking them.
Even setting up an informal lunchtime schedule that everyone is invited to will give shy employees a place to feel welcome.
Take the time to introduce good mental health in the workplace, and your team will see that management really does care about them!
Field trips were the best part about school and really, not much has changed since then!
If your team needs a break from the weekly grind, organize a trip to a local museum, zoo/aquarium, or heritage area and have a tour guide lead you through a day full of activities.
You can call it ‘educational’ if you need to sell it to your boss! 😉
While two weeks (or more) for vacation sounds nice, many trips that require airfare or long-distance travel can really break the bank.
If a team member has really improved the position of the company, then an employee travel program would really help cover the costs for their next vacation.
Be open to some flexibility when it comes down to the details, and just think about how excited they will be when you tell them their dream vacation is going to come true! 😍 ✈️ 🌎
Instead of making up a trophy, why not nominate your employees for a real one?
Winning an industry award (or even being nominated) shows employees that they do more than make a difference at your company - they are changing the way the business works.
It is a huge boost to their self confidence and work quality, not to mention that any company with award-winning talent will automatically increase their reputation!
Do some research to see what awards your team might qualify for depending on your industry, and get ready to roll out the red carpet!
Sometimes you are so proud of your employees accomplishments that you just want the world to know!
Well, maybe not the world. But certainly everyone in the office!
If the company is large enough, there should be weekly wins happening that you can share with all departments.
An internal newsletter is a great way to stay up-to-date on company changes, and to consistently show employee appreciation!
A lot of offices are small enough to celebrate birthdays as they happen. Candles, singing, a bit of cake in the breakroom, and then back to work.
When you start having a birthday every week or sooner...it can be a little much.
If your workplace is starting to get sick of leftover cake, then consider implementing a monthly birthday celebration!
Exactly the same as any office birthday party, only now people get to celebrate with their birthday-buddies!
Commuting to work isn’t as easy for some as it is for others. For many a two hour commute each day is the norm, which means they have less time for their personal lives.
Employees will sometimes reach out to management and request to work remotely, but many workplaces have been resistant to the idea.
A no-frills way to show employee appreciation is by exercising trust in their ability to do their jobs without constant supervision.
Try giving them one day a week, or four days a month, to work from home (they should schedule them ahead of time) and see if it positively improves their work performance and well-being!
“Say it in flowers!” 💐🌸🌻
Who doesn’t love a floral arrangement? It doesn’t need to be Valentine’s Day to pick up a bouquet for your hard-working employees.
They’ll appreciate the thought and will now have a beautiful desk accessory to brighten their day!
Here’s a creative way to show employee appreciation! Work out those office aches and pains with a professional masseuse that can come to the workplace.
The concept isn’t new, and many massage practices will have a mobile unit ready for home and office visits.
Many people never take the time to go for a massage but it feels amazing and can provide long-lasting relief from chronic pain!
A fun way to get to know your colleagues is to invite them to share their favourite office potluck ideas!
Have your team members bring in a meal they enjoy cooking and share them at a mini lunchtime party.
You’ll be surprised at the delicious homemade food your colleagues are able to make, bonding over the family recipes and tasty variations!
Allowing employees to share an intimate part of their home life reminds them that you see them as more than a worker. Plus, free food!
An employee reward system can motivate employees to stay diligent in their tasks, but can be hard for an office manager to set up by themselves.
Several employee reward programs have emerged to help track employee achievements, one of the popular options is Bonus.ly, which allows employees to award points to their peers that add up to cool prizes!
Allowing peer-to-peer recognition means managers don’t have to spend their time tracking work, and it also rewards positive social interactions.
By now, every office should realize that a team retreat is more than worth the cost of closing the office for a few days.
With team-building exercises, fun learning activities and time to cut loose and relax, team retreats help build a sense of community and highlights the importance of a work/life balance.
Show your employee appreciation with an extended camping trip, visit to another city, or hop on a plane and treat the office to a resort!
Recognizing the hard work that your office is doing is an important part of managing a successful workplace.
While there are many ways to show your employee appreciation, you want to choose the ones that will suit your team the best.
Think you’re ready to try out some of these employee appreciation ideas?
There’s no time like the present! Pick a few of your favourites on this list and test them out in your office.