Employee Appreciation Events Keep Your Employees Performing
Employee Appreciation: Let ‘Em Know You Care
An off-the-cuff question on employee appreciation ideas from one of our Tip of the Week subscribers prompted this quick report.
John wanted to know if we had any good ideas for a series of fun employee appreciation events and a big BANG! finale awards night. I tossed the question out to the group and this flurry of emails was the result. We got suggestions from store owners, retail managers, and employees. Big ideas and small gestures. They are all wonderful.
Hope you get some inspiration for showing your employees how much their efforts mean to you and YOUR business! So without any further ado, here they are, 12 emails straight from the WhizBang! inbox.
The three words that every woman likes to hear: manicure, make-over, massage!
As women we are so busy putting others on the calendar, we totally forget ourselves. This is my suggestion.
P.S. For your local therapist, I like to recommend that you call the state licensed massage therapy school in your area and ask the administrator of the school for their referral list.
Here are some employee appreciation ideas:
- Night out at the ball park
- Chair massages for staff along with lunch
- Rent one of the paddle wheel boats that go along the Grand River.
Hope this helps. My Best Always,
We played Frisbee golf with our staff a couple of times and it was great fun. Set up a course with targets (holes) to aim at. Divide folks in to 4 person teams, give each one a Frisbee and play "best ball."
You can have prizes for winners, losers, closest to the hole, etc.
Promote other local businesses by buying gift certificates to present to each staff member, as door prizes, etc. I've been very grateful that this has happened for my business and the recipients were ecstatic!
Someone gave me the idea to put five pennies in your pocket in the morning and before the end of the day, hand one to someone along with a sincere and heartfelt compliment or gesture and instruct that person to pass the penny along if they feel inclined.
Make sure all of your pennies are gone before the end of the day. It's a lot of fun and gets people in the habit of expressing things they might ordinarily just keep to themselves.
A great way to spread some cheer!
Melissa at the Kirby Grill does great employee appreciation events.
We've gone rock wall climbing and have had an afternoon of laser tag and tokens at the "Lost City" in Holland, but by far the best was a scavenger hunt around the tri-cities area. We divided into teams and raced to find clues hidden around town. The answers filled out a puzzle that told us our final meeting point. Not only did we have to find facts to figure out the clues, we also had to sing for a clue and take group pictures at some of the clues.
We were all over the city, running, driving, cell phoning for help, searching the museum, etc. I never laughed so hard nor learned so much about my coworkers and the town's history. Did you know the Rosebud Bar used to be the Post Office and that there's a house in town that a plane went through? We ended up at Pinhead's in Whitehall for bowling and pizza and developed our pictures to recap the event with the other teams.
Another thing we do is try to catch someone doing something right and reward them with "Gilmore Bucks." You save them up and once a year we have an auction. Items are generally donated by area businesses and vendors: there's dinner, a keg, special wine, mystery packages, etc. The grand prize is a trip to the corporate condo in either Colorado or the Bahamas.
Good luck to John and he gets way high points in my book for appreciating his employees and showing them how much.
I worked at a Chamber of Commerce for 10 years and each year our boss threw us a Christmas Party to thank us for all of the hard work during the year. We had an opportunity to bring our spouses and have a night out. It was fun.
When our budget was on the weak side, he insisted on us having the party so he could thank us. We got together and told him that instead of an additional expense of the party, meals, and cocktails, what we would really like is some time with our families.
Therefore, we asked that he give each of us a day close to the holidays of our choice off with pay. Sometimes we would have sleep in days (come in at noon) or the afternoon off with pay. It worked well for us and we got some relaxation time with our families.
Your request prompted me to dust off a file I wrote to address workplace recognition programs. I think there are some good tips throughout the article. Please feel free to pass it on if you think someone might find some value in the article.
Keep the tips coming! Warm regards,
Here are a few of the employee appreciation ideas from Pam’s report on workplace recognition:
- Does everyone in your organization have business cards?
Business cards are a meaningful but inexpensive way to tell an employee how valued and important he or she is. Consider adding a special quote/photo to the back of the business cards to further represent your workers as unique individuals. Since business cards are often the first networking tool, a memorable business card is likely to be remembered and allow prospective clients to connect with your people on a deeper level.
- Once a month encourage the senior managers to do something creative for their staff.
Keep it fun - cook them breakfast, bring around an afternoon dessert, wash the windshields of their cars as they arrive at work, or even take them all to lunch. Small acts of appreciation will be remembered and talked about for weeks, especially when delivered in a fun and lighthearted way.
- Ask employee's family members to draw pictures of "What my Mom (Dad, Grandma, etc.) does at work."
Compile these into a company album and display them for customers to enjoy. By blending work and family, you will be nurturing a sense of pride in the organization from the whole family.
- Have a company poster contest to create signs and posters that demonstrate the company's values.
Suggest use of quotations, graphics, and bright colors. Display them in clear plastic frames throughout the building and move them once a week so that everyone can see all of them. Not only will you find talent you did not know existed, but you will also be creating an atmosphere of inspiration and delight.
- Pay it Forward Box
Set up a box or jar with slips of paper and a pen next to it and encourage employees to jot a note whenever they see a coworker doing a good deed.
- Plan a "Bring your family to work" day for your organization.
Be sure to include different activities for different age groups. Younger children will love sending a fax to someone, helping stuff envelopes, copying things, and running errands while older children will want to learn more about the actual business of the organization.
We sure do appreciate it when the president of our company brings in a massage therapist to give 15 minute chair massages to each employee! We really enjoy those little perks that we can brag about to our family and friends.
Another thing that our agency did for an employee appreciation event was a BINGO game. We designed a BINGO card with different insurance coverage and terms. When the term was called, a brief description of the coverage/term was read. It was fun and educational. This would also be a great way for the employees to get to know each other better: have an employee's name on each square and they would have to say something about themselves when their name was called.
For an awards fun night, try a 50's Party with prizes for best 50's outfit, a Hula Hoop contest, Limbo Dance contest, etc. Those parties can be loads of fun.
I took my managers on a scrapbooking cruise. I was able to get a good price, so it wasn't too expensive.
My staff would not like a big group activity. They would rather be with their family. So whenever a customer mentions about how helpful one of my employees was, I give that employee a $10 gift certificate to a local restaurant. They love it and they also like the fact that a customer has acknowledged their efforts to help them.
My employee appreciation event idea is an ice cream sundae party. I go into companies with ice cream and lots of toppings and let the employees create their own sundaes. I scoop the ice cream and clean up afterwards. It’s different than the pizza party and everyone has a blast.
That last suggestion sounds delicious to me! Luckily, we have a great ice cream store (or four!) here in Grand Haven.
One last employee appreciation idea from us: When it comes to rewards, let’s face it, cash is king. There’s hardly anything more motivating than money. So you might want to consider some sort of bonus system as a reward for your retail employees. The trick is to make sure the bonus is more than paying for itself in increased sales and profits.
We’ve developed a bonus system that’s tried and true, so if you are considering a cash bonus to show your employees how much you appreciate their efforts, check out our report, How to Build A Better Bonus Program. It’s easy and it works!
Have fun finding lots of ways – big and small – to show your employees that you care.
Wishing you great sales and lots of fun,