Creative Ideas for Employee Appreciation Week: A Guide

Introduction

Whether you’re a manager, human resources representative or an office supply manager, employee appreciation weeks are an excellent opportunity to express to your co-workers are to you and the company as a whole.

And as such, it’s no wonder that many large corporations set specific dates for annual employee appreciation weeks.

It’s a chance to let everyone know that they’re more than just their position title; everyone is an individual with plenty of ideas and creative solutions to offer.

A company’s employees are always its greatest resource.

But when it comes to organizing an employee appreciation week, it can be tough to know how to get started.

That’s why we’ve created this list of creative ideas for employee appreciation week. So go ahead and review the ideas below, and feel free to add your own spin to each.

If you’re looking for ways to make the office even better overall, check out this helpful article.

Treating the Office to Lunch

Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Sure, it’s true most of the time, but during employee appreciation week, you could buck convention by providing your employees with a delicious meal.

If you plan to make an office-wide lunch a surprise, then you should try to order food that will please everyone, regardless of personal preferences and individual dietary restrictions.

But it may be much easier to announce the plan early in the week and accept input when it comes to what you’ll be ordering and from where.

You can let employees vote on a favorite restaurant or even order from multiple restaurants for the same day.

employee appreciation

This idea can certainly be a bit expensive, especially if you work in a large office. But your employees will be sure to appreciate the thought.

And sharing lunch together in the same room will give everyone a chance to chat casually and take a break from the workday.

Dress Code Theme Days

Most offices have a dress code in lieu of an actual uniform. And while these dress codes don’t tend to be very strict, they do limit what employees can wear to work.

You certainly don’t have to abandon the idea of a dress code entirely, but for the duration of employee appreciation week, feel free to put a hold on dress code regulations.

Schedule out theme days for each workday or employee appreciation week.

For example, you could make Monday an island-themed day where employees can wear flip flops and Hawaiian shirts.

Some other ideas for theme days are hat day, formal day, 80s day, etc. Be creative with it and ask your employees for input.

If the idea of specific theme days isn’t especially popular, then you can simply let employees dress down all week long, within reason.

Personalized Thank You Letters

One of the simplest and most sincere ways to thank each of your employees for the work they do all year is to write personalized thank you notes to your staff.

Creative Ideas for Employee Appreciation Week

If you happen to oversee a large staff (20+ individuals), then you should get started on these letters long before employee appreciation week comes around.

The idea itself doesn’t need much explanation. Just sit down and write a personalized message to each employee.

Remain professional throughout, and use the opportunity to highlight each employee’s high points over the past year.

Maybe you’d like to remind a specific employee of a big sale or a moment when they went above and beyond in the workplace.

Employee thank you letters are NOT the time or the place to offer criticism of employees or suggestions for improvement.

It’s also not the time to express personal feelings about your employees, whether positive or negative.

It’s just a chance to make it clear to each person that you’re happy they work with the company, and that you look forward to the wonderful things they’ll accomplish in the months and years to come.

Movies at Lunchtime

Depending on company deadlines and the office environment in general, you may want to show movies during lunchtime for the length of employee appreciation week.

Build up to employee appreciation week by having employees vote on some of their favorite movies.

Creative Ideas for Employee Appreciation Week

Now, of course, it will be very important to place some basic restrictions on what kind of movies employees can nominate for office viewing.

R-rated movies should not be eligible. Movies should also be limited to 90 minutes, as anything longer would require a significant extension of a normal lunch break.

Then you can tally the results and decide on five different movies that you’ll show during employee appreciation week.

Before showing each movie, give the employee who first nominated it a chance to present the movie to the group, explaining why they chose it and how they first encountered the movie.

Telling Origin Stories

If your office already holds weekly status meetings, then you can set aside some time during this meeting to have a discussion of origin stories.

Basically, in this context, the phrase is used to mean the story of how each employee ended up working for the company.

Creative Ideas for Employee Appreciation Week

This is a great opportunity to reminisce with your employees. And in the process, you may even hear some interesting stories you were previously unaware of.

Few people plan to work for a specific company ahead of time. Most of the time, fate plays a large role in the decision.

It will also give your employees an opportunity to take a look back at where they started and how far they’ve come since then.

Decorating Desks

Decorating employees’ desks and workspaces is a fun way to kick off employee appreciation week.

Just be sure that the decorations aren’t overwhelming and that they don’t interfere with normal work routines.

You’ll most likely have to do the decorating early in the morning before employees start to arrive, or in the evening, after employees have left for the day.

If you’re having trouble coming up with decoration ideas for each employee, consider sending out a brief questionnaire ahead of time, with questions like “What is your favorite color?” or “Where did you go to college?”

The decorations will brighten the workday a bit and may even motivate employees to dedicate themselves more fully to their work.