Employees are any company's greatest asset. Recognition and appreciation help boost morale in the workplace, make people feel happier, and the extra pep can also lead to an increase in performance. So, it's a win-win-win! Here are creative ways to show your employees you care.
Employee Appreciation Ideas
1. Celebrate their notable achievements
Whether an employee is having a significant impact on a project, celebrating a work anniversary, or showing up day after day to do the dang thing, they deserve to feel recognized. Cards are the perfect way to "pop in" and say we couldn't do it without you!One of our favorite stories came from a company that gives out annual Innovation Awards for teams that go above and beyond. The prize was a dragon trophy for being "Fierce Innovators." In addition, each team member was also gifted a Lovepop dragon card (back when we had those). We think it would be fantastic for you to celebrate your most brilliant employees with a card to say you're a star!
2. Host "Fun Fridays"
Embrace TGIF and offer a new activity or free food for employees to kick off the weekend. Imagine an ice cream party (because we're never too old for those!), yoga class, or a volunteer opportunity. Paint parties, lunch out together, or a half-day would all be welcome breaks on Friday!
Fun at work boosts morale and reminds everyone that the office environment is about more than just work!
3. Watch another team at play
Head out to a ballgame or the football field to watch more teamwork in action. Select a few dates & have employees vote on the best dates to ensure that the most people can come. The more, the merrier!
Bonus: bonding over sports or another non-work-related activity is a perfect way for employees to relax and better get to know their co-workers.
4. Welcome new hires with a card that pops
Ashley Trevizo, a marketing account manager, says that Lovepop cards are a perfect way to welcome new employees! "Giving a Lovepop is a great way to motivate people and create a positive atmosphere at the firm. It's not a card people throw away; it's something they save."
First impressions mean so much, especially when starting a new job! If you want your employees to feel welcome & at ease from the get-go, this is an effortless and meaningful way to accomplish that goal.
5. Invest in an office coffee bar or an espresso machine
Coffee has become a staple in our day-to-day work life. It is a sweet and easy perk, but a beverage station also allows colleagues to mingle, congregate, and build friendships to make teams more balanced and unified.
Send out a survey each month to see if anyone has recommendations for new flavors, snacks, or ideas for making the coffee bar the best it can be! Giving employees a say in the small details of their day often translates into happiness & productivity.
6. Take employees on a corporate-sponsored retreat or offsite
Activate your "out of office" and take your team with you! Explore the great outdoors, a theme park, or just a change of scenery for a weekend or an afternoon. Time away from your cubicles can unite a team, solidify a vision, and encourage employees to work towards a shared goal.
If you have a training or group event for work, try to find a way to organize a beautiful meal, a trip to a park, or a new experience for the team.
7. Make something fun together
There are lots of awesome things you can create together! For example, build a piece of furniture to donate to a charity auction. Or create artwork for the office. Decide on a theme, and work together to develop a plan for what each person will make. Finally, prepare and produce an Office-Style Mockumentary based on everyone's favorite show.
Working together to make something different provides creative thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork opportunities. You never know; you may learn new things about your team & company culture by working on a creative project or watching your mockumentary. It will be a memory you'll all laugh about for a long time!
8. Do something adventurous
If you have a team that loves adventure, plan an exciting outing on company time. The team that adventures together stays together, right? Every investment in your team's mental, physical, and relational well-being is going to make them happier and more productive.
A camping trip, rafting adventure, float trip, or group hike are all adventurous activities. If there is a little bit of travel involved, make it a long weekend and invite your team to bring their families. Assume as much of the cost as you can, and clarify what everyone is responsible for well in advance. For really close teams, this is a fantastic way to bond & enjoy some stress-free time together.
9. Start an annual holiday tradition
The holidays get busy but they don't call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing! Make your office's lead-up to the holidays meaningful and memorable by hosting a Yankee swap, tackling a charity fundraiser, or volunteering as a group with friends and family.
10. Find meaningful moments (and ways) to write thank you notes & messages to employees
A thank-you note means a lot to employees in the workplace during high points and low points, too. A manager's words of praise often bring out the best in an employee, and thoughtful words of appreciation can help people feel more positive.
You can write a note on a simple post-it note or keep a package of thank-you cards on hand. Or, you may want to share a creative pop-up card to say, "thanks for being awesome!" But what can you write on the card? What message or quote can express your unique appreciation for each individual on your team?
Employee Appreciation Messages
Your employees have sailed through urgent deadlines & experienced personal difficulties but still shown up & done their best. You notice that an employee is working really hard to be on time, making small changes that impact their work, or being a great team player.
As a leader, your encouragement & approval mean a lot; expressing your support for the people on your team is a huge morale-booster. So if you want to show them how much you appreciate them on Employee Appreciation Day, these meaningful messages are a great start:
- Your contributions have made an impact! Thank you for your dedication to our team.
- I know this has been a tough season in your life & you have a lot going on. Thank you for showing up and giving your best each day!
- Your joyful attitude adds so much sunshine to our days. Thank you for being a bright spot even on difficult days.
- Thank you so much for being an MVP on our team! You bring immense passion & success to our work.
- I don't tell you enough, but it's a privilege to work together. I learn from you every single day. Thanks for being awesome!
- You're always learning more & working hard, even when no one's looking. But your hard work hasn't gone unnoticed. Thank you for your dedication!
- The vision of employees like you helps a company grow. Thank you for seeing the bigger picture & propelling us toward it!
- Thanks for always going the extra mile & dedicating yourself to problem-solving. You make a positive difference every day!
Each of these Employee Appreciation messages will help you connect with your employee & acknowledge their positive impact.
Thank You messages for employees that are leaving
When a beloved employee is saying goodbye, you can share your gratitude for the time you have spent together & their contributions. This is a perfect time to share fond memories, inside jokes, words of wisdom, or any other meaningful sentiments on a unique & artsy thank you pop-up card.
If you are looking for thank you card wording for an employee who is leaving, we have some ideas for you:
- I'm so glad that this was a stop on your career journey, and I wish you all the best as you continue to follow your dreams!
- It's been nice knowing you! Just kidding, I know you'll just be down the street, but I will sure miss working together. You've been one of my favorite employees. Let's have lunch soon!
- Remember when we had to work half the night to finish that project? Congratulations! You'll never have to do that again... at least not here. I'm going to miss you!
- I know everything happens for a reason, even when we don't understand. You have been a tremendous asset to our team, and we will surely miss you. Best of luck!
- It's been a joy getting to know & work with you over the years. I'm thankful for all of the fun moments we have shared. Thanks for being a dependable employee & a dear friend.
- No one is irreplaceable, but there are just some people you don't want to replace. That's how I feel about you!
- I'll miss seeing you around the office, but I know someone else needs you more! I know you will enjoy this season with your little one.
Thank You messages for employees who are retiring
The end of a person's work life and career is a monumental moment. Share your well-wishes and what it has meant to be a part of their life at work.
- You have given so much time to this place, and we hope you'll have more time for yourself. But, whatever you do, make sure you come back to visit!
- No one deserves a long, happy, adventurous retirement more than you do. Congratulations & enjoy!
- Working with you for the past (insert number) years has been the best. I will miss you, but I'm so happy about your new season of life!
- You've worked so hard! You deserve all the R & R. Enjoy!
- Best wishes for a wonderful retirement! Thank you for everything you have done for me. I will always value the ways you have invested in my life and career.
General thank you messages for employees
What about general thank you messages to employees? There are moments when you want to show appreciation, encourage your employees, or recognize their perseverance. It's important to share your kind thoughts. A handwritten note is one of the most personal gifts you can give. It is even more meaningful when you share it in a decorative pop-up thank you greeting card or flower bouquet.
If you are having trouble thinking of the right words to encourage or express your gratitude, put your own spin on one of these thank you messages:
- Thank you for bringing enthusiasm & joy to the workplace. You have an attitude that can't be taught, and our team is better for it!
- Your creativity really sets our team apart, and I hope you know that you are so valuable to our team.
- The way that you accept and overcome challenges is truly an inspiration! Your passion & ingenuity are impressive. Thank you for all you bring to our company.
- You have a can-do attitude, and you never give up! Thank you for bringing your positivity and problem-solving to the workplace. I appreciate you so much!
- My favorite part of this job is employees like you who make every day so much fun!
- I'm inspired by how you balance work & all of the other valuable parts of your life. Thank you for giving your all to our team while juggling so many responsibilities!
- Thank you for taking the initiative & making tough decisions on our recent project. I believe you'll have a long & prosperous future in this profession based on your skill and determination.
- You exemplify our company's value of (insert value here). Thank you for setting an example for your co-workers and being someone we can all depend on.
- I know this job has been exhausting lately, and I want you to know that I see your hard work & sacrifice. Thank you for all you do!
- You bring much-needed laughter to our office! Thank you for always being the life of the party & a wonderful person to work with.
Employee Appreciation Quotes
If you want a unique way to say thanks, you can share a relevant quote. For example, you can share a quote about dedication, work ethic, friendship, or inspiration. You may share a joke with one employee, but you might find an inspirational quote best for another. You can write one of these quotes on the notecard of a beautiful pop-up thank you flower bouquet that your employee can keep on their desk. Here are a few ideas:
- "Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration." ―Thomas A. Edison
- “This is the real secret of life -- to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” ―Alan Watts
- “Hide not your talents; they for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?”―Benjamin Franklin
- “The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.” ―Bette Midler
- “If you care about what you do and work hard at it, there isn't anything you can't do if you want to.” ―Jim Henson
- “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ―Marcel Proust
- “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” ―Woody Allen
- “Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” ―Marianne Williamson
- “The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” ―Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
- "Be an amateur. Not everything you do has to be good, especially at first." ―Ann Handley
Saying "thanks!" to your employees is a surefire way to build a connected and happy team. Whether it's Employee Appreciation Day or an ordinary Tuesday, there's never a wrong time to say thanks (unless you are trying to get something in return). Express your genuine gratitude for your employees with a creative team-building event or unique thank you pop-up cards. Your team will be happy you did!