12 Ideas for Employee Appreciation Day 2023

Employee appreciation day 2023 is coming up soon. If you’re a boss, business owner, or leader, you need to start preparing so you can treat your employees and show them how much you care. Employee appreciation day is the perfect opportunity to give employees the thanks and recognition they deserve for their hard work. 

Besides being a nice gesture for your employees, employee appreciation day can also be beneficial for your business. It can boost morale, strengthen relationships, and increase employee retention. 

So when is employee appreciation day 2023? Why should you celebrate it? How should you prepare? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article, that way you are ready to give your employees the best employee appreciation day ever. 

When is Employee Appreciation Day 2023?

National employee appreciation day 2023 will be on March 3rd. Though it’s coming up soon, you still have enough time to get ready for a great celebration. But first, let’s take a look at some of the history behind employee appreciation day so you know what the holiday is supposed to be about. 

History of Employee Appreciation Day

Employee appreciation day was created by Dr. Bob Nelson, and the first celebration was in 1995. Originally, it was a one-off event to coincide with the release of his book 1,001 Ways to Reward Employees as a way to remind employers to appreciate their employees. 

However, Nelson soon decided that the holiday should be an annual endeavor on the first Friday of March. He worked with Workman Publishing to get the holiday included on workplace calendars, slowly causing the holiday to become widespread in the US. Employee appreciation day has also caught on abroad, becoming a worldwide celebration of employees and their hard work. 

Why You Should Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

Though many businesses might think employee appreciation day isn’t worth the time and effort, there are numerous reasons why you should celebrate it. In this section, we’ll cover the main reasons why you should celebrate.

1. Because they deserve it. 

First and foremost, your employees deserve to be appreciated and feel special. Even if there weren’t business and financial benefits, this reason alone should justify the expense. Your employees work hard every day to make your business successful. Without their work, your business wouldn’t be able to function. They deserve to feel noticed, cared about, and appreciated for all that they do. 

It’s also important to remember that your employees should be appreciated year round. Though employee appreciation day is an opportunity to go above and beyond, your employees should feel like their efforts are recognized all year. Have fun celebrating their work on employee appreciation day, but keep it up throughout the year too. 

2. Morale and motivation.

Another reason to celebrate employee appreciation day is morale and motivation. Employee appreciation day is designed to be an opportunity to show your employees how thankful you are for their efforts. As expected, giving employees recognition can have numerous benefits. 

Motivation and morale are incredibly important parts of a successful team. If your team members are feeling positive, excited, and motivated about their work, they are going to produce better results. Conversely, a team with low morale is going to be slower, make more mistakes, and ultimately do a worse job. 

Employee appreciation day can be a great way to improve morale. An activity like our Music Tour Bus can show employee appreciation and boost morale at the same time. In this event, we will take your teams to different locations on a bus. Centered around the seach for the band’s lead singer, your team will encounter challenging puzzles, zany activities, and a hilarious original story as they work together to crack the case. 

3. Team bonding.

Team bonding is another reason why you should celebrate employee appreciation day. It’s no surprise that teams who are close and have strong relationships work better and more efficiently than those who aren’t.

For example, our food focused team building events are a perfect way to show appreciation and help your team develop their relationships simultaneously. By cooking and indulging in delicious food while working together, it becomes a dual-purpose activity that combines both celebration and team building.

employee appreciation day

4. Retention.

One final, but certainly not the last reason you should celebrate employee appreciation day is retention. This is probably the biggest financial benefit, so it’s not something you should overlook. Giving your employees recognition can encourage them to stay with your company longer. 

A Glassdoor study found that 53% of those surveyed would stay with their company longer if their boss showed more appreciation. It also found that 81% of employees will work harder if they feel their boss appreciates their work. Increased retention and increased motivation both have huge benefits to your business, so it’s clear that celebrating employee appreciation day is a must. 

How to Plan for a Successful Employee Appreciation Day

Before we move onto ideas for employee appreciation day, let’s cover how to plan for a successful celebration. Planning is incredibly important to ensure your event is successful, so here are a couple basics to keep in mind. 

Know Your Team

If you want to properly appreciate your employees, you need to know what they respond to best. Some employees may prefer direct acknowledgment of their work and efforts. Others may prefer something like a fun party or events. Or some employees may rather have a half-day off or a small gift. Whatever your employees prefer, it’s your job to figure that out. 

Plan the Day Out 

This might seem obvious, but planning out the day is the next big step. You need to figure out what events you want to have, if you want to make the day a half day, give out gifts, or host a meeting. Make sure you have a schedule that you can follow to ensure everything goes smoothly. 

Also, double check that everything is good to go. If you’re having a catered lunch, make sure the space is ready and the caterers are coming at the right time. If you’re doing one of our game shows for work, make sure to coordinate with your event planner so they know where to set up. Double checking and testing may not be fun, but it will prevent unwanted surprises on the day of. 

Ideas for National Employee Appreciation Day 2023

If you aren’t sure how to celebrate employee appreciation day, don’t fret; here are a dozen different ways you can celebrate employee appreciation day. Feel free to mix and match these ideas to make an unforgettable celebration, and don’t be afraid to come up with your own ideas too. 

1. Half Day Off.

Giving your employees a half (or full) day off is one of the simplest and most effective ways to show appreciation. Everyone likes getting some extra time off, so don’t underestimate the effectiveness of this option. A half day off works great when coupled with other ideas and activities too. 

2. Culinary Events.

Who doesn’t love food? Show appreciation to your employees by organizing a culinary event. Events like our food truck challenge let your employees work together to make incredible food, which of course everyone gets to enjoy at the end. 

3. Development Activities .

Development activities are another great choice for employee appreciation day. An event such as Team PechaKucha can show your employees you care about their futures and skills, all while having fun. 

4. Work Field Trip.

Take your team somewhere new and fun! Whether it’s a local aquarium, museum, hiking spot, or something else, a field trip is a great way to treat your team and spend time with them. 

celebrate employee appreciation day

5. Personalized Gifts.

Finding the right gift for your team members may be tricky, but it’s a great way to show how much you appreciate their efforts. Our chocolate tasting boxes are a fun and delicious gift that can also work for remote employees.

6. Health and Wellness Events.

Take interest in your employees’ health and wellness. Setting up a health and wellness event like laughter yoga or meditainment is a great opportunity to help your employees lower stress, feel better, and foster new creativity.

7. Escape Rooms.

Escape rooms have gotten very popular in the past few years, and they’re a great choice for employee appreciation day. There are now virtual escape rooms too, so even your remote employees can get in on the fun. 

8. Team Games.

Something as simple as playing team games can show your appreciation for your employees. Whether you play softball together, do a team game event, or come up with something yourself, playing a game together is a good choice for employee appreciation day. 

9. Happy Hour.

We all know how stressful work can be, so treat your team to a happy hour. You can do this in-house or out at an establishment. Either way, have some fun celebrating with your team and spending quality time together. 

10. Team building.

Team building is a staple of employee appreciation day. Show how much you care about them by doing some fun activities that also strengthen their teamwork skills. Many of our most popular events focus on team building, so find one that sounds like a good fit for your team.

11. Awards ceremony.

What better way to celebrate your team than by handing out awards? Try having an award ceremony for your team where everyone receives an award. Fun, custom, awards are a great way to appreciate your team. 

12. Care package for remote workers.

Showing appreciation for remote workers can be a bit challenging, but care packages are a simple and effective option. Figure out what you think your team members would like most and send them something that shows how much you care. 

Appreciate Your Employees With TeamBonding

Celebrate employee appreciation day this year with TeamBonding. We have a wide variety of events that are perfect for showing how much you care about your employees, all while bettering morale, boosting motivation, and increasing retention. 

Don’t be the boss that ignores their employees; get in touch with us today and make your employee appreciation day one to remember!

Anna Webber

Team Contributor


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