The Best Virtual Employee Appreciation Day Ideas Your Team Will Love

As a business owner, you should be aware of the importance of showing your employees appreciation for all the hard work they do for you every day. However, while many business owners may know why it is important, they don’t always know how to show it, and thanks to the pandemic, this has only made the job much harder. No longer can you rely on taking a field trip to the zoo or head off a retreat together. You can’t even get together for a meal and drinks, so what can you do to show your employees you care? Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to you, even in the virtual world, and we have four of the best virtual ideas to help you celebrate Employee Appreciation Day.

Why Host a Virtual Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day lands on the first Friday in March, but the way business owners can thank their employees for their hard work has changed dramatically. However, despite current circumstances, it doesn’t mean that this day isn’t worth celebrating. In fact, given the events of last year, Employee Appreciation Day has never been more important. Many of your team members may be feeling stressed, working much harder than they would have done in the office while juggling other responsibilities, and feeling lonely.

Therefore, by hosting a virtual event, something that has been a huge hit with people over the last year, you can boost morale, productivity, and job satisfaction. This helps you retain the best employees and turns your company culture into one that makes staff want to work for you. Having a passionate team can make all the difference in standing out in the market.

4 Virtual Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

If you want to ensure that your employees know how much you value them, try one of these great ideas. You might decide to make it a more common activity to keep morale sky-high.

1. “Get Together” for Drinks

For some businesses, Employee Appreciation Day involves everyone taking the afternoon off work and heading down to the local bar to enjoy a night out. It might even have become a tradition for you, but you don’t have to let the pandemic destroy this. Nothing is stopping you from continuing the tradition, just at home. To carry this out, you will need to organize a meeting on the virtual platform of your choosing, such as Zoom or Google Meet.

For a successful get-together, one great idea is to send employees cocktail and mocktail kits and recipes to host a company-wide happy hour drinks event. By sending out kits, you can then spend the afternoon watching each other craft the drinks before comparing notes on the taste, smell, and whether they like them or not.

Unlike in face to face meetups, virtual events can be a little harder to manage. However, you can make this a lot easier. For example, when sending out the kits, why not consider sending custom promotional products, such as branded notebooks for your team to write down their notes or even cocktail glasses with your logo engraved on them to take the event to the next level?

2. Host a Free Lunch

A good idea that business owners usually opt for is a meal out or a catered lunch in the break room to say thank you to their team members. You can still carry this out even when separated. You have two options with this. You can send out gift cards with a set balance for your employees to spend on food for lunch, or you could choose to order food straight to their doors. The second option involves knowing their food requirements, but it can be a great way for you to get to know your employees more. Taking an interest in them can massively impact how positive employees feel at your company.

With the food all organized, you can set up a virtual meeting as a whole company, or if you want to encourage chatting amongst employees, you might benefit from creating multiple sessions that people can join. This is a great way to enjoy lunch together, showing your employees that you truly do care for the work they do. A top tip here is to mix up the departments so that people can chat to those they might not have spoken to in a long time due to not working directly with them.

If you don’t fancy hosting a virtual lunch, why not consider doing it at breakfast?

3. Virtual Awards Ceremony

If you really want to show your employees the appreciation they deserve, hosting a virtual awards ceremony is perfect. It allows you to pinpoint the unique qualities that each individual brings to your company and why they matter. Set a date and time and set up a meeting – this could be a surprise, or you could encourage excitement by revealing a few details of the different awards on offer.

Some of the best awards to give out include employee of the month, leadership, or sales awards. You could give out years of service or most creative. Naturally, not every person will come out on top, so you might have to think out of the box on ways to show everyone that they are valued. You could choose to give out “the always late” award or the best team player; you could even opt for the foodie award to give to that employee who is always recommending the next dish for you to try. Although you can’t give their award or some prizes immediately, there are some that you can, such as gift cards.

4. Publically Share Your Appreciation

Being proud of your employees’ accomplishments over the last year isn’t something you should hide. Instead, if you want to boost employee engagement, recognizing employees for their efforts by posting on your social media channels is a great idea. Always make sure to ask for their permission before doing so, but posting a picture of your team or a specific team member online and publically declaring your appreciation can do wonders for your team and your brand. You could even post the picture of your employee of the month and say a few words about why they deserved it. This provides you with a great recognition platform in which you can utilize every month!

Although you can’t be together just yet, these four ideas will let your employees experience a fun event while being appreciated.