3 Actionable Employee Appreciation Ideas

Written by: Mary Best

Creative, Engaging and Actionable Employee Appreciation Ideas

Employee Appreciation day is coming! And it’s so close (this Friday, March 2nd to be exact). Managers are super busy, but they should be asking you, “How can I celebrate my team?” Fear not! We have the answer: a “YOU ROCK!” themed day you can create in your office. This is an easy way to ensure employees feel appreciated – especially this Friday.

Keep it simple:

The trick is to sprinkle in fun activities or stations around the office for employees to enjoy throughout the day. Small gifts, cute signage, and pops of color can go a long way.

Step by Step:

  • Start the day by having managers place a rock with googly eyes, rock candy or pop rocks on each employee’s desk. Add a little note that simply says “YOU ROCK!”
  • Mid-day have the team get creative and build a desk terrarium.
    • Small containers, rocks, succulents and some moss will do.
    • Roll out paper to keep the table clean
    • Add in small trinkets for extra fun!
  • Wrap up the day with a happy hour “on the rocks”  
  • Make it extra special: Print these posters and hang them around your office!


Go for gold! The ceremonies have wrapped up but the Olympic torch is still on fire in your office–break up the workday with Olympic events!

It’s super easy and very flexible if you need to have teams come and go from events.

  1. Grab different colored sweatbands.
  2. Break the team up into small groups (or if you’d like, have them create new countries that they will represent for the day). Break up departments to get your coworkers to build rapport with different people.
  3. Create events that are both physically and mentally challenging
    1. Puzzles. Bonus points if you get a custom puzzle made of your company logo or a photo of your team.
    2. Obstacle course–you can get some fun and hilarious ideas from the amazing co-workers at WebDAM.
    3. Minute to win it style games (the cooky team at Telarus posted a great montage of their favorite office Olympic games).
  4. Make a schedule of events–either on a big whiteboard or as individual electronic calendar requests. Or both.
  5. Rotate your events among different parts of your office. Really explore the space. Hold events in the conference room, the hallway, the reception desk, mailroom and even the storage room where you go to be by yourself sometimes.
  6. Do not forget open and closing ceremonies. Medals are key!  Grab those off Amazon or replicate Pam Beasley’s yogurt lid and paper clip medals from The Office’s original Office Olympics. Someone should sing the national anthem (preferably not Fergie).

Go all out and bring the Olympics to the cafeteria, celebrate international diversity and harmony. Line up a few different food trucks to come to your parking lot. For smaller teams, order in from a handful of restaurants with a sampling of their delicious offerings–Chinese, Mexican, Greek, Italian, American, etc. All that competition will make your team hungry!

No theme, no problem. Get crafty with these other, simple ideas to spark joy with your co-workers.

  • Make a streamer backdrop photo booth. Have the team make Boomerangs and post them to your social media! Great for future hires to see how much you love your employees! (Pro tip: Make sure to hang the streamers high enough to not see the tape in the video.)
  • Put balloons in things – inspired by Oh Happy Day! Throw balloons in elevators, refrigerators, cabinets, conference rooms and the entryway. No helium needed, just let them pile up! Nothing spreads joy faster than hundreds of balloons.
  • Use that Celebration Station and have the team celebrate each other!