Employee Appreciation Day - Helping Small Businesses Thrive Employee Appreciation Day - Helping Small Businesses Thrive

Employee Appreciation Day

Your employees help drive the success of your small business. Employee Appreciation Day, held annually on the first Friday in March, is a perfect opportunity to let them know how important they are to you and your business.


Here are ideas to celebrate the day.

Chair Massages

Hire a masseuse to visit your office and give your employees chair massages.  National companies like Soothe offer this service or go with a local masseuse and support another small business in your community.

Bring Breakfast or Lunch

Free food is always appreciated! Take a survey to determine the type of food your employees enjoy and bring in a caterer to serve this meal. If it’s in your budget, take your team to a special lunch out at a fun local restaurant.

Get Out

Hold a picnic in a local park or plan an out-of-the office excursion to a unique or interesting location. Fresh air and a creative event can reenergize your staff.

Gift Cards

Everyone loves cash! A Visa or American Express gift card can be used almost anywhere and show your employees that you’re glad they are on your team.

Continuing Education

This day is a great opportunity to introduce a program to help your employees improve their skills. According to Forbes, lack of growth opportunities is one of the key reasons for employee turnover, and 87% of millennials say professional development is important in a job.

Happy Hour

Knock off early on this Friday and host an in-office happy hour. Drinks, snacks and music can create a relaxed atmosphere and send your employees into the weekend less stressed.

Paid Time Off

Offer your employees a bonus paid personal day. This helps your team to relax and recharge, increasing job satisfaction and production.

Remote Days

If your office is set up for virtual work, allow employees to work remotely for a day or two. Skipping the morning and evening commute is always a morale booster. 

Casual Dress Day

If you have a professional dress code, allow your employees to bring it down a notch and dress comfortably and casually.

Scavenger Hunt

This one takes some planning but can be a really fun activity for the whole office. Review this article for how-to guidance: Office Scavenger Hunt – 7 Simple Suggestions 

For more information about working with employees and keeping them happy, read these posts from the SmartBiz Small Business Blog:

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Small Business Employees Happy

Strategies to Retain Your Small Business Employees

Stressed Employees? 4 Tips to Lighten the Burden

Gift Suggestions for Small Business Employees


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