Do you need employee appreciation ideas this year? Don’t worry, we got you covered with only the best. Read on.
We’re nearing the end of a rough, long year – and what better way to cap it all off than to launch a series of employee appreciation ideas for you and your business!
Companies aren’t built off the ideas of one person – they’re a collective, contributive effort, where the ideas, hours, and accumulated knowledge of every team member play a role in bringing fortune and success.
Even sole proprietors have other people to thank for their success, and gratitude to show for their greatest friends, supporters, partners, mentors, rivals, and loved ones.
But for businesses with multiple employees, making sure every member of the team feels like it’s been a good year is quite hard, especially in this year. 2021 has been tumultuous, to say the least, and some of us were hit hard by it. But here’s why it matters.
The Importance of Employee Appreciation in 2021
The people you work with are their own individuals, with unique stories, experiences, and contributions to those around them. They have their own ideas of how things are, and how they should be. But they’ve all come together, in some shape or form, to contribute to the company.
In years prior, it was easy to convey that your opinion mattered and that you were an important part of the team – all you had to do was feel accepted, listened to, and integrated into a greater company culture. But with the pandemic and the necessary spread of remote work, it became harder and harder to help employees feel like they’re part of that kind of team. The distance can and does erode team spirit and make it harder for a company culture to thrive.
So, this year, in particular, managers and company heads should take the time to tell their employees how they’re appreciated and celebrate a year of important milestones and survival – despite potentially dire circumstances.
Some ideas are straightforward, and important: a personalized letter, a Christmas bonus, or an individualized gift. Even just taking the time out of your day to call an employee and give them a heartfelt thank you can make a huge difference!
However, you should go the extra mile to not just reward individual employees but help boost team cohesion, especially in this frayed time.
Employee Appreciation Ideas
Many workers are tired of the same daily staff meetings and Zoom calls, and might not respond well to video calls, even on a holiday occasion, between co-workers. Try to find other ways to spend time together virtually.
1. Game Night
If there’s a video game everyone at the office either already plays or can get into, consider a holiday tournament with a little fun prize (like a box of the best cookies in town, or another Christmas-themed treat). A big round of Mario Party, your favorite fighting game, or the newest Halo can bring everyone together, and create unforgettable virtual experiences.
If you’re not a big fan of video games, try out other virtual games. Hosting a tabletop adventure game together, playing a few rounds of chess, or even just good old Monopoly can create some amazing memories this year.
2. Try Out a Remote Secret Santa
Tis is the season of gift-giving, after all, and there are studies that show that giving gifts feels even better than receiving them. The rules are simple! Everyone gets to know who they’re giving gifts to, but no one tells each other.
The gift receivers can attach a theme or request to their name, nothing ostentatious, usually with a set budget. Everyone gets ample time to prepare and send their gifts or use a Secret Santa service. You can add a touch of personalization by asking everyone to write a special card attached to each gift.
3. Bring a Touch of Home to Your Gifts
A virtual Secret Santa can be spiced up (and made much less stressful) by giving everyone a gift theme. For example, you can decide to limit gifts to creating a bit of a travel package based on your hometown, or the city or region you live in.
If you were born in another country, see if you can gather a box of some of your favorite snacks from your childhood. Or, give some of your colleagues out in the East Coast a taste of the West Coast. Perfect for remote teams!
4. Movie Night
Another simple yet effective idea is to have a movie night together. Better yet, turn it into a marathon! Add a few fun trivia games between episodes or movies, refreshment breaks, ad-lib ad break satire, and you’ve got yourself a little virtual bash.
5. Put a Twist on the Virtual Happy Hour
Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is get together and hang out. There might not be enough time to organize a movie night, game night, or longer event. Instead, consider hosting a short little call after the last workday to wish everyone happy holidays, and share some holiday tradition ideas – whether cultural or just part of the family ethos.
6. The Holiday Party
Nothing beats the holiday party – even if it’s going to have to be a bit subdued this year. Open offices in states that allow small get-togethers are having parties for their employees this year, as are many coworking spaces around the country.
However, regardless of what the regulations are in your state, it’s important to place safety first. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, and some of your employees might feel it’s reckless to launch a holiday party regardless of what the numbers say. Test visitors, check of vaccinations, or consider hosting an outdoor afternoon grill party by a nice campfire.
At the end of the day, employee appreciation is about two things: making sure your employees are happy and making sure they feel at home in the workplace, even if that home feels remote at times. Money helps, but so does providing an inclusive and unforgettable experience.
What are your favorite ideas for the holidays? Let us know!