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National Employee Appreciation Day on the first Friday in March each year focuses attention on employees in all industries. Employers across the country in business and organizations plan employee recognition and celebrations. Employee achievement and contributions are honored.

Employees are one of a company’s greatest assets. Recognition and appreciation are known as some of the key motivational factors in the workplace. An employer may show their gratitude for an employee’s efforts and contributions to the company’s goals in a variety of ways. Many organizations include employee appreciation as part of their business structure. It shows how much they value their employees and keeps morale high in the workplace. Employers who express employee appreciation tend to increase employee job satisfaction as well.

While showing your employees how much you appreciate them, ask them how they like to be thanked. Employers might find a consensus of three or four ways that might best serve your industry overall. It might also save some head-scratching too. Did you go over budget on an ice cream sundae bar last year when your team prefers discounted services to the local chiropractor? In the spirit of enthusiasm, consider the nature of your business and how your employees celebrate, too.

While employees’ personalities differ, most employees are goal-driven people. Earning an award, a thank you, or recognition motivates them to reach even higher goals to the benefit of any business or organization.

  • Show your employees that you value them.

    • Be Flexible – Flexibility goes a long way in this virtual reality world. If possible within your industry, allowing a little flexibility can reap huge benefits when you need last-minute work done.

    • A Thank You Note – Believe it or not, many employees appreciate a heartfelt, hand-written thank you more than a slap on the back or a last-minute e-mail.

    • Team Effort Celebration – If the team pulled together and made it happen, reward them with an office pizza party, casual dress day, or even close the office early so they can spend some well-earned time with family.

    • Get Caught – Ensure the employee hears you telling someone else you thought they did a great job. Give the employee the credit they deserve. If they’re the best at something, make sure a client knows it. It also sets the expectation of repeat performance.

    • Create a Culture of Encouragement – Employees who expand their horizons bring new skills to your workforce and will encourage others to do so, too. Praise their achievements and encourage others to pursue their goals.

    • Share your favorite way to be appreciated. Answer those employee surveys so your employer can take action to improve the workplace.

    • If you have employees, be sure to show them some appreciation and use #EmployeeAppreciationDay to post on social media.


In 1995, Bob Nelson, a founding Recognition Professional International board member, and his publishing company, Workman Publishing, created National Employee Appreciation Day.

Employee Recognition FAQ

Q. Do employees respond positively to recognition? A. Yes. Showing appreciation and recognizing an employee’s dedication and hard work lets them know what they do is important to the business or organization.

Q. How do I know how my employees like to be appreciated? A. Ask. Create a survey or a checklist. Let them know you want to show your appreciation in ways that have value to them.

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