When it comes to creating an incredible company culture, team appreciation shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be a focal point.
The numbers don’t lie: 63% of employees who are recognized are unlikely to seek a new job. For one, this means employees who feel appreciated are happier and more engaged in their work. But it also means that the cost of hiring and training replacement staff drops significantly in organizations where team appreciation is a priority.
So, what can you do to ensure your employees feel recognized at work? Check out these 28 team appreciation ideas to get you on the right track.
1. Write a Letter of Appreciation
One of the easiest and most effective methods of team appreciation is to write an appreciation letter when an employee does great work.
When you write this letter, be specific about exactly what the person did and how it impacted your business. Call out specific skills they use and thank them for their time and effort.
You can even mention that their efforts will be brought to the attention of your company’s senior leadership.
2. Virtual Reality Day
As Virtual Reality grows in popularity and accessibility, consider rewarding your team for their hard work with a VR Day. There are a ton of local companies that offer this kind of event, so do a quick Google search for VR games providers in your area.
3. Offer Personal Project Time
Sometimes, the best team appreciation idea is to give the gift of time. Offer your employees a few hours, or even a full day, to do a personal project or task that they want to achieve.
4. Give a Half Day Off
Speaking of giving the gift of time, simply offering a half-day off work is a great team appreciation idea. It can be used for anything and everything that your employees desire and they’ll appreciate the break from their busy work week.
5. Invite a Guest Speaker
Another great option is to hire a guest speaker that your team will be excited by. This could be an industry expert, an influencer, or some other kind of interesting person–whatever fits best with your group. The added benefit here is that your employees might even learn something in the process that they can apply to their work.
6. Ice Cream Day
Who doesn’t love a cold, sweet treat? When it’s time for some employee recognition, take your team out for ice cream or bring some in for them to enjoy at the office. Here’s a pro tip: make sure to check if there are any dietary restrictions so you can be sure everyone gets something they can enjoy.
7. Movie Day
Let your team kick back and relax with an afternoon movie showing on a Friday. You could consider bringing in a projector and some comfy seats as well as some snacks and refreshments. Alternatively, you could reward your team with movie tickets or gift cards to use at their leisure.
8. Board Game Social Day
Playing board games is a ton of fun, and there’s also a whole lot to choose from. Host a team appreciation social afternoon, bring in drinks and snacks, and let your team play board games together. Some of our favorites include Catan, Monopoly, Codenames, Risk, and Scrabble.
9. Let Them Be Boss For a Day
Let your employees take charge and make decisions for a day. Give them greater responsibilities and higher standards to live up to. You may be surprised by how well they handle their new duties – something to recognize in itself.
10. Send Small Gifts
Consider recognizing your employees with fun small gifts. This can be things like coffee gift cards and travel mugs or journals and day planners. The price tag doesn’t have to be hefty. It’s the thought that will matter most to them.
11. Recognize Employees Online
Public recognition means a lot to people. So, think about recognizing your employees on social media or on your website so that customers, clients, and colleagues can share in their victory. This could be a post on your social channels, a quick spotlight on your blog, or a write-up in your internal or external newsletter. The key is simply to share with the world just how great your employees are.
12. Donate to a Cause or Charity
There’s a sensation known as “helper’s high” and it refers to the kick of endorphins we get when we do something good for someone else. You can help your employees experience by recognizing their outstanding work by making a donation or contribution to a cause or charity of their choice.
13 Let Team Choose an Activity
You can take the guesswork out of your team appreciation initiatives by simply letting your employees choose an activity. One good way to do this is by outlining a budget, identifying a handful of ideas that fit within that budget, and letting your staff pick from a shortlist.
14. Give the Gift of a Subscription
While this might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of team appreciation ideas, subscriptions are a great way to give a gift that keeps on giving. This could be something like an Audible membership so your employees can listen to audiobooks, a magazine subscription, or even a streaming movie or music service.
15. Invest in Their Growth
If you want to show your employees that you care about them, invest in their growth. This can be both personal or professional and can include things like training and development programs or even financial literacy. Equipping them with skills they can use to succeed is a great way to recognize their hard work and show you care about them personally.
16. Create a Vision Board
Create a vision board for your entire organization, and let your team members contribute to it. Get them to think about where they’d like to see the company go in the future. Let them post pictures on the vision board. Discuss goals and visions together.
17. Bring in a Comedian
Laughter is good for the soul, so consider bringing in a comedian to perform for your team or taking your employees out to a sketch or stand-up comedy show as a thank you for their hard work.
18. Organize Guided Meditation Sessions
Meditation is great for your mind and overall well-being. So, you can bring in a yoga or meditation instructor to take your team through a guided session, take them to a yoga or meditation studio, or simply give them gift cards to book for themselves when they want.
19. Start a Certificate Program
People love to have goals to strive towards, and that’s what makes a certificate program such a great team appreciation idea. For each department or role, create milestones for employees to reach and reward them with certificates once they have. You can further incentivize this by rewarding them in a bigger way once they’ve attained a certain number of certificates.
20. Celebrate Team Birthdays
Remembering and celebrating your team members’ birthday is a must-do. You may even want to create a birthday committee or appoint someone to spearhead birthday celebrations, even if it’s something as simple as some cupcakes and a birthday card.
21. Host an Off-Site Day
Getting out of the office and enjoying a change of pace and scenery is a great way to recognize your employees and to let them kick back, relax, and spend time with one another. Whether it’s a training seminar at a hotel banquet hall or even just a nice team lunch, heading away from the office will be a well-received reward.
22. Recognize Daily Wins
Don’t wait for big successes to recognize your employees. Call out and celebrate daily wins as they happen. That way, people will get recognition in real time. This could be something as simple as sending a company-wide email or starting a meeting with a few special shout-outs. The key is simply to do it on an as-it-happen basis.
23. Create a Wall of Fame
Immortalize the successes of your team by creating a dedicated Wall of Fame in your office. When your employee has a big win, take their photo, frame it, and place it on the wall with a date and details about the achievement. That way, they (and their colleagues) will get to reminisce on their great work every time they walk past.
24. Implement a Peer to Peer Recognition Program
Team appreciation doesn’t always have to come from leadership. Sometimes, the most impactful recognition comes from peers. This type of recognition is also great for interpersonal relationships. This can be something as simple as having recognition cards that people can fill out when a colleague has done something awesome, then reading them aloud at the beginning of each week.
25. Take the Team Out to Lunch
Simple and effective, taking your team out for lunch is a great way to recognize their outstanding work. Head out to a great local restaurant, share a delicious meal, and let your team simply relax and enjoy each other’s company.
26. Encourage Mentoring
Mentoring is a wonderful two-way street. If done right, mentoring programs afford experienced staff a place of importance and authority, and new staff a sense of caring and security. When done correctly and is a cyclical program where the mentored someday become the mentors, it’s a way of showing your staff you trust and appreciate them.
27. Recognize Achievements Outside of Work
Team appreciation ideas don’t have to be limited to professional accomplishments. Take some time to recognize your employees’ personal achievements as well. For instance, if someone on your team runs a marathon, take a minute to shout them out in a meeting. Or, if someone has purchased a house, send them a housewarming gift and congratulate them with the extended team. Recognizing personal wins will show your employees that you care about them both professionally and personally.
28. Keep an Anonymous Suggestion Box
Sometimes feedback isn’t always easy to give directly, and sometimes people are shy to recognize one another. So, having a suggestion box is a powerful tool that lets people communicate their thoughts and feelings in a safe and secure way. Doing so shows your employees that you appreciate them by empowering them to speak their mind and communicate honestly and comfortably.
The strongest businesses prioritize employee recognition. So, if you don’t do so already, consider incorporating one of these team appreciation ideas into your company culture.
And if you’d like to learn why a flexible workspace will benefit your employees, get in touch today. Our team is here to speak with you.