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10 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day – March 1

“When I feel appreciated, I am more motivated to work hard and be a team player.”

This statement sums up the decades of research behind the importance of appreciation in the workplace. Appreciation contributes to increased engagement and productivity and positive workplace relationships.

When the human need to feel appreciation is met, it’s a win-win for everyone involved. 

Without appreciation and recognition in the workplace, employees feel like a cog in a wheel. As a result, they start looking for other job opportunities where they can feel seen and valued. When they find one, employers lose out on a valuable employee.

Many supervisors and managers overlook appreciation as an important strategy for employee engagement and retention. Some think appreciation in the workplace is fluff. Others have never been taught that communicating appreciation is an important responsibility of a leader and don’t know how to do it well. 


Do your managers and supervisors know there are 5 universal ways humans feel appreciated? Since people feel appreciated in different ways, it’s important that leaders know and speak an individual’s language of appreciation to them.

Appreciation that is not personalized to the individual will not have it’s full impact.

For example, while Thomas may feel like a valuable member of the team when he gets thank you cards, Sahar feels most appreciated when people spend time with her. Thomas clearly values Words of Affirmation and Sahar clearly values Quality Time. Those are two very different forms of appreciation.

quick reference 5 Languages of Appreciation

The reality is that individuals feel most appreciated when you communicate appreciation to them in their preferred language of appreciation. That’s how leaders hit a home run with their appreciation that leads to higher engagement and retention.

A culture of appreciation takes consistent effort to build and a great place to start is with leadership training in the 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace.  

Another great starting point is to celebrate national Employee Appreciation Day that takes place Friday, March 1. It’s an opportunity to celebrate every single human being in your organization for who they are and what they do.

Here are 10 meaningful ways to communicate appreciation that touch on all 5 languages of appreciation. Those with an (R) also work well with remote employees.

  1. Push the red record button and start recording personalized thank you videos for each person on your team. Share specific reasons why you appreciate the person they are and the work they do. (R) 
  2. Give a leadership book or offer leadership training that can help someone reach their career goals. (R) 
  3. Volunteer together as an entire team or organization. Spend quality time together while giving back to a cause people care about. 
  4. Organize a cornhole tournament and place individuals on random teams with people they don’t know very well. Give prizes for first place, last place and most team spirit. 
  5. Invite a guest speaker to create buzz or a team building facilitator to create fun and deeper connections. (R) 
  6. Surprise the team with a food spread of everyone’s favorite snacks or desserts or mail it to their home. (R) 
  7. Play some Minute-to-Win-It games and give everyone a high five for playing and having fun. 
  8. Give everyone a half day off to do something they enjoy on company time. (R) 
  9. Give everyone a stipend to upgrade or personalize their home or work office. Support them in making their workspace more functional, comfortable, or visually appealing. (R) 
  10. Send everyone a Movie Night Kit that includes a movie gift card, popcorn and candy. (R)

Appreciation brings the “human” element to the workplace that the workforce of today want and need.

Coaching Questions:
What can you do to spark a conversation around the importance of appreciation in your workplace?

What can you do to ensure that your managers and supervisors are empowered to speak all 5 languages of appreciation to their team members?


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