The complete guide to hosting a memorable staff appreciation week

Thomas Paris
July 20, 2022
The complete guide to hosting a memorable staff appreciation week

Appreciation matters in the workplace. It’s great to consistently express your thanks through simple methods that are woven into a company culture of recognition, but going the extra mile with a grand gesture of gratitude can demonstrate to your team how much you appreciate their hard work. Celebrating their efforts in a staff appreciation week over several days is a wonderful way to accomplish this goal.

According to a survey from HubSpot, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Another survey reports that 53% of workers admit they would stay longer at their job if they felt more appreciation from their boss. Employee engagement is key to any strong business, and these statistics underscore how showing gratitude leads to a happier workplace.

In this guide, we examine creative ways to host a memorable staff appreciation week. You know how integral your employees are to the success of your company, so you can never go wrong with celebrating their hard work!

14 creative ideas for your staff appreciation week

1. Reward them with fun experiences

Your team has been grinding to do a great job, so offer them a chance to unwind with some fun away-from-work experiences they’ll enjoy. Escape rooms and scavenger hunts are among the most popular options, and these activities even work well virtually if your team is filled with remote employees. These experiences allow your team to relax while having fun with their co-workers, which can also serve your company well in terms of team-building camaraderie going forward.

2. Host an office game night

Office game nights are another epic staff appreciation week idea. There are so many great party games to choose from for your event, such as team trivia, charades, icebreakers, classic board games, or even spoofing a beloved TV show. With a countless amount of options, you can plan different themed events during your week of festivities if you’re hoping to stage multiple game nights. Not only do these evenings let your team unwind, but they also promote friendly competition and group bonding that can strengthen your company.

3. Do themed outfits each day

man holding disco ball against yellow background

Unlike the ordinary work outfit routine that can feel repetitive over time, consider spicing up your office by encouraging everyone to dress up in various themed ensembles for each day of staff appreciation week. Go beyond the traditional ‘Casual Friday’ concept, and let your team come up with a wild list of ideas planned for every day. This concept also develops a sense of togetherness among your employees, which is even more important when it comes to forging unity with remote teams.

4. Allow personal project time

Your staff invest much of their time in order to help you, so why not reward their efforts with some free time to work on something for themselves? Let them enjoy a small amount of time each day where they aren’t thinking about work. These breaks can be used however they want, perhaps for individual passion projects, researching about stuff they’re interested in, or even quick breaks where they can simply turn their brain off from work-related stress.

5. Wrap up work early

If you don’t want to schedule a personal break during the day but still want to reward your staff with extra time for themselves, another great option is to wrap up work early. No matter if it’s working a half-day or letting people leave an hour earlier than usual, getting out of work before you expect is always an exciting feeling for any employee. This idea will boost the morale of every member of your team, and it’s a perfect way to wrap up your staff appreciation week on a positive note.

6. Treat them to a week of lunches

woman holding fork and spoon against pink background

Nothing says thank you quite like buying someone a delicious meal. So why not show gratitude to your employees by treating them to a week of catered virtual lunches? There are many different staff appreciation week food ideas for you to choose from, and the beauty of doing it for an entire week means that you can pick different food themes for each day.

It’s extremely hard catering meals for people spread out remotely, but Hoppier can solve these issues. We provide you with virtual cards to send to your workers, which can be used to purchase food from a long list of vendors that will deliver the items to each person’s location. Our system is an easy solution to the hassle of catering, and it’s even more helpful if you’re coordinating a week’s worth of lunches.

7. Offer a daily assortment of snacks

Similar to how you can offer your staff catered lunches, you can also give thanks by letting them pick out some office snacks to enjoy during the day. Enabling people to savor sweet treats is always a fun way to lift their spirits at work. You can also promote nutritious values by offering healthy alternatives.

It’s not as easy to simply bring in snacks to the office anymore due to COVID-19 concerns and the rise of remote working, which is why Hoppier works perfectly in a post-pandemic world. When you’re letting them order lunch, encourage them to also select some snacks to enjoy throughout the afternoon. It’s a creative way for your team to enjoy treats, while saving you from delivery-planning stress.

8. Buy them coffee or alcohol

Going out for workday coffee breaks or organizing after-work drinks are two established office traditions. COVID-19 has limited the frequency of those fun activities, but you can reward your employees by organizing a modern spin on these classic events. Consider planning (and paying for) virtual coffee breaks or virtual happy hour drinks as a way to show your appreciation, while letting them unwind through customary office rituals that can bring people closer together.

9. Support mentorship opportunities

Ambitious workers always cherish the opportunity to learn from people, so offering mentorship opportunities would be a wonderful inclusion during your staff appreciation week. Consider hosting a mentoring mixer one day for your team, which could connect them with people who can help them grow professionally. And if your company doesn’t have a mentorship program established, creating one would lead to positive employee experiences that last well beyond staff appreciation week.

10. Give out custom awards

As much as staff appreciation week should be dedicated to your team as a whole, it’s also important to focus on your employees as individuals. Giving out customized awards is a unique way to spotlight each member of your team, and it can make for a fun ceremony as people cheer for their colleagues and laugh throughout the event. This idea not only presents an opportunity to dish out personal praise, but it also unites your staff even further through team-bonding in a jovial situation.

11. Send them gift cards

happy man with gift card on green background

If you want to give thanks to your team but aren’t sure what to get them, sending gift cards is always a safe choice. When evaluating staff appreciation week gifts, it’s often better to let your employees pick something themselves as opposed to buying a specific item that they might not want. It’s best if you provide them with a gift card to a store or service that they’ll enjoy, so do some research into what interests your workers may have ahead of time.

12. Provide them with wellness boxes

Wellness boxes are another reliable staff appreciation week gift. The entire week is meant to be about demonstrating to your team how much you care about them, and what’s a better corporate gifting idea to show you care than prioritizing their well-being? Even if they don’t use each item from your wellness package, there will always be something useful for them. Recognizing the importance of your staff’s health and well-being can also play a significant role in building long-term loyalty with your employees.

13. Show how they have helped

It can be challenging to understand how much of an impact you had on something at work, so try coming up with clever ways to show your staff why their hard work mattered. Perhaps do a photo slideshow highlighting the steps your team took in completing a big project, or maybe spotlight some client success stories to reinforce how important your work has been. Visually observing how crucial their job is can give people a strong sense of pride, which bodes well for sustaining employee engagement.

14. Make personalized thank you letters

As cool as it is for people to get gifts or rewards for doing a good job, don’t underestimate the power of personalized thank you letters. There’s just something special about reading a note made just for you. It may take time to craft the right words, but it’s easy to deliver them either in-person or virtually. And best of all, thank you letters are almost free to make! So if you’re looking for inexpensive employee appreciation gifts, thank you letters are a perfect inclusion.


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How to plan a staff appreciation week

1. Brainstorm different ideas

Planning several days of staff appreciation week ideas is not easy, so you should spend plenty of time brainstorming. Once you come up with a general list of ideas, then it’s time to organize a schedule of events that spreads out fun over the course of five days. Going over possible activities, gifts, and themes in advance will help you structure a memorable week-long experience for your employees.

2. Get input from your staff

Don’t assume that your ideas align with what your team wants. Ask your employees how they would like to be celebrated during staff appreciation week, or if there are any particular activities and events they really want to see happen over the festivities. And remember that even though there’s nothing wrong with small surprises, it’s key to get your staff’s input first before making any grand gestures.

3. Set the budget

girl holding a budget clipboard on a blue background

Now that you have a team-approved schedule in place, it’s time to plan the week’s finances. Making the decision to hold a week-long staff appreciation week means that you can’t blow the entire budget on Day 1. Put together a schedule and evaluate how much money will be needed to execute each idea, while also looking for inexpensive options to use wherever possible to keep costs down.

4. Craft a flexible schedule

Just because you have an idea of a daily schedule doesn’t mean that things will follow through exactly as planned. First of all, there’s always a chance that work can get in the way and prevent you from doing all of the planned activities. Additionally, certain events will run longer or shorter than you expect, so keeping your schedule flexible throughout the week ensures that you’ll always be prepared for changes.

5. Deliver dynamic invitations

As everyone in the working world knows, first impressions matter. If you want people to get excited for your staff appreciation week plans, send a message (literally) to capture their attention and generate buzz. Dress up your invitations with interactive features to wow your employees. It’s also important to keep office buzz going after the invites are sent, so be sure to hype up the week’s activities in advance.

6. Start and end every day strong

It’s crucial to keep your team engaged during staff appreciation week, so aim to start and end each day of the festivities with something that puts a smile on their face. Those first few moments of work can set a tone for the entire day, so capitalize on that by making everyone feel happy early. And finishing every workday with a great gift or fun activity can help carry over those strong positive vibes into the next one.

7. Put in effort to impress your team

Most importantly, show your team that you put in effort to make their week special. Planning and orchestrating a memorable staff appreciation week demonstrates how truly thankful you are for their hard work. After all, these employees are being honored because of their daily efforts to help your company, so you should reciprocate that effort in order to genuinely acknowledge your gratitude.

Hoppier: a unique tool to show appreciation to your staff

As mentioned earlier, Hoppier is a great way to spice up your staff appreciation week food ideas. Whether you’re planning to provide full meals or just snacks throughout the week, our simple system makes it easy to keep your employees well-fed. All you have to do is create an account, then you can distribute Hoppier virtual cards to each of your workers.

Our wide variety of vendors gives your team plenty of catering options, meaning Hoppier can even be a one-stop shop approach if you want to use our system to provide delicious yet different meals each day of the week. And feel free to put as much money on the virtual cards as you think is needed, because we’ll offer refunds or future credits for any money left over.

Hoppier can also be used as a convenient prize or giveaway for any staff games that you play. Offering bonus virtual cards as rewards can help keep your employees motivated with friendly competition, while also being a welcome gift for all people involved.

Planning a staff appreciation week is worth the effort

When it comes to showing gratitude for your team’s efforts, putting together a staff appreciation week is a meaningful gesture that reveals how much you value their hard work. Employee engagement and maintaining a positive office atmosphere are extremely important to any business, so recognizing your staff’s performance (through both daily voicings of appreciation and a week-long recognition event) can go a long way in keeping them driven to succeed.

Staff appreciation week is just one way to thank your employees for their efforts. To learn other ways of displaying your gratitude, check out our seminar on the 6 secret ingredients for a ridiculously fun holiday party, or read our article on the best virtual celebration ideas to host an unforgettable team event.

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