5 ways to celebrate your team on Employee Appreciation Day (and every day)

February 24, 2017

The following article was contributed by Carol Wood, People Operations Director at Homebase. Read more employee management posts from Homebase and other Staffing & Human Resources articles here on the Clover blog.

On Employee Appreciation Day, business owners and managers around the country do something a little extra to show their employees how much they appreciate their hard work.

If you haven’t decided how you’ll celebrate yet, we’ve got a few ideas you can deploy on this day, and whenever else you want to do a little more to show your employees how important they are to you and your business:

1. Order (or cook) some food and serve your employees

If you’re short on time, it’s okay to keep it simple. Throw a pizza party after work (or before, if you’re running a restaurant), or cook something special for your team. Does your mom have the best mac and cheese recipe in the world? Or the best brownies? Show your employees you care–and show off your unique talents in the kitchen–by sharing something personal with them.

Another approach: partner with fellow local business and plan a family meal or gift card swap. That way, they can learn about your business, you can learn about theirs, and everyone feels like they are appreciated. A true win/win.

Either cooking, ordering in, or restaurant swapping, sharing food is a great opportunity to serve your team with the same enthusiasm they serve customers every day.

2. Plan a team-building activity, like an escape room.

A fun team activity is a great choice, especially if you’ve got younger employees. Escape rooms, bowling nights, batting cages or laser tag tournaments are some options your team is sure to love, and help to increase employee satisfaction and team bonding. Depending on your budget, you may even consider inviting your employees’ family members to join in on the fun.

3. Help your team reach their goals with some fun “continuing education.”

Plan a wine tasting, a butchery class, or the like — it’s a fun way to broaden the horizons of your employees, and it could even help your business. Maybe there’s a budding sommelier or butcher on your team!

4. Volunteer together.

Find a local cause your team supports, and plan a day of giving back. It’s a free team building activity that also helps your community. Consider setting up a group volunteer trip to a local animal shelter, food bank, or nursing home. And don’t feel shy about sharing your good work on social media — your customers will probably appreciate knowing that you give back.

5. Showcase your team’s special talents and make them the star.

Maybe your cashier is also a yogi and can host a yoga class for your other employees. Or maybe your server does woodworking on the side and can teach the basics. It’ll take a bit of research, but most likely, members of your team have some unique talents beyond being great employees.

If you’ve got one or two employees willing to showcase their talents, plan an afternoon around them. If the talents aren’t quite teachable, or if you’ve just got a whole lot of employees to feature, host a talent show.

No matter how you choose to celebrate your staff on Employee Appreciation Day, we know they’ll appreciate it. But start planning now — Employee Appreciation Day is March 3rd.

Carol is People Operations Director at Homebase. With free online tools and mobile apps for managers and employees, Homebase eliminates the paperwork and headaches of scheduling, payroll, and team communication for local business.

At Homebase, Carol focuses on providing thought leadership, tips and tricks, and scalable HR solutions for the 50,000 businesses that Homebase serves. Prior to Homebase, Carol focused on helping small and medium businesses navigate the tricky waters of human resources, working with companies across the retail, food service, oil and gas, and healthcare industries through her roles as HR Director at Fuddruckers and Achilles Group, a Houston Based HR consulting firm. In her free time, Carol enjoys spending time with her son Dayton, and watching Alabama football (RTR).

[image: The bar at El Camino’s on Main by Ruth Hartnup on flickr]

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