It can be really easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of running
your small business, but remember to take a step back and recognize the
employees helping you make your dream a reality. While “Employee Appreciation
Day” is technically the first Friday in March, there’s no wrong time to show
support and reward your team. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Pick a Theme
A theme lets everyone know you are ready to
have fun. If your team loves music, you can host a “Rock On” day with musical
video games set up around the office. Do you run a team of coffee lovers?
Perhaps a celebration with personalized coffee mugs and fresh ground beans are
in order. Whatever theme you pick, make sure it represents your full team.
Change the Dress Code
If you typically dress up in the
office, use this as a chance to let your employees dress down (within reason).
Send out an email alerting everyone of the big day and any new rules around your
one-day dress code. Keep the guidelines light — this is supposed to be a fun
day, right? — and related to the theme like “Hawaiian dresses and shorts
You’d be surprised at just how
far a free lunch can go in the minds of your staff. Have a favorite local
restaurant bring the food to you with a full catered lunch. Taco buffets and
pre-made subs are popular. If your team is small enough, you can all head out
for lunch, too. (Who doesn’t like to get out of the office from time to time?)
You can also open up the food choices to a vote!
Bring Some Fun
Get people away from their computer
monitors and get them involved in some team-building fun. You can try some
ice-breakers like “What was your dream job as a child” or “Share one thing few
people know about you.” Trivia games are also fun, or you can plan an
office-related scavenger hunt. If you have an outdoor space, think three-legged
or sack races, water-balloon toss and volleyball.
Give a Gift
Depending on the size of your team and your
overall event budget, you might be able to swing a nice token of appreciation,
like a leather
journal or chocolates.
For larger teams, set up a candy
station with everyone’s favorite. Then, give out plastic bags for everyone to
fill up and take home. Or reward everyone with an early leave for the day.
Say “Thank You”
Take the time to tell your team how much
you appreciate their dedication and hard work. You can give a speech during
lunch or hand out personalized handwritten “thank
you” notes. You can also present personalized
awards to each member of the team like the “Born Leader Award” or “Team
Spirit Award.” However you do it, make sure it’s genuine and comes from the