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Creative Ideas to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is observed on the first Friday of March each year. It attempts to dedicate an entire day to appreciating employees and celebrating their achievements.

In 2024, Employee Appreciation Day is on Friday, the 1st of March

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

4 Best Teambuilding Activities for Employee Engagement

The concept of Employee Appreciation Day was created by Bob Nelson, one of the founding board members of Recognition Professionals International.

Nelson collaborated with his publishing company, Workman Publishing, to ensure that the holiday appeared prominently on workplace calendars from 1995 onwards.

Since then, many organizations worldwide have leveraged this occasion to appreciate their employees.

What is the Importance of Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Benefits

Most organizations understand that employees are their greatest assets, and appreciating them strengthens their sense of belonging and engagement.

Studies have shown that when employees are assured that their company cares for their well-being, their engagement level increases by 38% and they are 18% more likely to go an extra mile for ensuring business success.

What are the Innovative and Creative Ideas for Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day?

Regular employee recognition ideas might not work too well for this occasion.

So, we have put together a few creative and innovative ideas for ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. Here goes:

Innovative and Creative Ideas to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

1. Launch a New HR Program/ Policy

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Organizations can leverage this occasion to launch a new HR program such as employee recognition or benefits.

It sends out a positive message to the workforce that they are valued and their efforts and achievements are appreciated.

The announcement can be made by the senior leadership through a virtual town hall or digital communication platforms.

2. Hold a Virtual Employee Recognition Ceremony


The organization could conduct virtual employee recognition ceremonies on Employee Appreciation Day to further accentuate the importance of employee recognition.

In these ceremonies, the organization could recognize employees in different categories for their performance and the values displayed.

Furthermore, they could leverage digital platforms for these ceremonies.

In addition, gift vouchers or other virtual gifts to all employees on this occasion.

3. Organize Virtual Team Events and Contests

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Team events, games, and contests from online karaoke competitions to interesting quizzes provide a fun and exciting way of celebrating the unique and diverse talents of employees.

They offer an easy and convenient means of involving both on-site and remote employees in something exciting and interactive.

These events and contests can help employees showcase their creativity and talent, hitherto unknown to their co-workers. 

Hence, these can help know and appreciate employees as people, not just co-workers.

4. Organize Candid Talks by Senior Management

traction for employee recognition programs

Getting top management and high performers in the organization to talk about their corporate journeys, challenges and stories on digital platforms or offline might be a good idea.

The younger workforce members are inspired by such success stories and develop role models for themselves.

5. Celebrate it Offline

Workplace celebrations

Besides the above methods of celebrating the day virtually, organizations may also consider on-site celebration ideas, if possible.

These may include workplace decoration, lunches, outings, parties with unusual themes and dress codes, rewarding random acts of kindness at the workplace, or simply cheering the entire workforce by the management.

It acts as a golden opportunity to set the tone of organizational culture and serves as an annual reminder to reinforce that culture.

Also read: 10 Best Creative and Low-Cost Ways to Reward Employees


Organizations should put effort into celebrating Employee Appreciation Day to ensure a memorable and inspiring experience for their employees.

It can go a long way in building a culture of appreciation within the organization and enhance the motivation and engagement of the workforce.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurship experience. In the past, Sagar has worked in leadership roles with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.