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Are You Ready for National Employee Appreciation Day

coffee shop
Buying coffee for employee appreciation day

During these times where businesses have had to adjust with employees working from home, employee appreciation has changed. The hand-written thank you, team lunches, even just having coffee ready every morning are gone. Our employees are at home, we cannot get together for meetings, we have no time for water-cooler chats, and there is no stopping by their cubicle. Our business lives are spent alone in our houses or sitting on Zooms where we hear, “unmute yourself” more than “thank you” or “you are doing a great job!”

As a consultant for Generate 360, one of my focuses is helping businesses remember that employee appreciation is key to inspire their people. One of the most basic ways to inspire someone is by offering praise and appreciation. I want to ask all those managers and leaders out there, do your employees feel appreciated and recognized?

With National Employee Appreciation Day on March 5, 2021, I wanted to share four ideas that you may use or the very least get you to think how you plan to appreciate your employees. Which is not a one time a year effort, but you do not want to miss National Employee Appreciation Day.

GIFT CARD AND THANK YOU NOTE (mailed to their house):

Send a gift card and a note saying thank you for working hard, being a part of the team, and working from home. Whether they are in loungewear or work attire, they are helping you achieve your team goals. Maybe send a gift card to Starbucks or Caribou and say, “we usually have a pot of coffee ready when you get to the office, so tomorrow, coffee is on me!”

PERSONAL NOTE TO FAMILY (mailed to house):

Take the time to write a personal note to your employee's family. Tell them how much you appreciate their support of your employee during these times. Let the family know how you understand having your employee working from home can cause undue stress in the house. Maybe you know they have children who are at home. Express how keeping the kids quiet or away from your employee while they are working is very much appreciated. In some cases, your company may have reduced their work hours or implemented some pay cuts affecting the employee and their family. Recognize their sacrifices and that you appreciate their efforts. It must be personal and genuine. Thanking their families will go a long way.


Set up a Zoom meeting and make it mandatory, maybe the subject is about budgets or a current project. Then once you have everyone on the call, change it to a team-building event. You could preplan and send everyone a bingo card and call bingo for prizes that you can mail to them later. Or, play scavenger hunt and pick things in a house that everyone would have. The person who can produce the scavenger hunt items the fastest wins. Example: first person to show me a tube of Colgate Toothpaste. If you have the budget, maybe have the event over lunch and have a local pizza company deliver a pizza to each home. It will take some time to find a local pizza place near everyone's home. But your efforts are going above and beyond, which ultimately shows how much you care about your people.


As we continue to bring employees back to the office, find a welcome back gift such as: donuts, bagels, or a lunch get-together. If people are trickling back, have a welcome back gift at their desk, and have your leadership team swing by and personally say “thank you and welcome back.” If they all come back on the same day, have a celebratory lunch. Again make sure leadership is there with a personal message to the team to welcome them back.

There are a lot of companies that felt working from home would never work for their business. Most have found their employees are just as dedicated to the company and their work, whether working from home or the office. This pandemic is changing how some companies view working from home. I encourage everyone to remember that recognition is still a need and we will have to change to ensure we have a culture that shouts employee appreciation.

Thanks for reading,

Andy Rausch

VP and Principal Consultant

Generate 360


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