Products, Swag Ideas, Team Morale

National Employee Appreciation Day Celebrations Your Team Will Love

National Employee Appreciation Day falls on the first Friday in March, every year. In 2021 that makes March 5th the special day when employee recognition gets turned up a notch, and employers go out of their way to reward all the hard work their team members put in. 

To celebrate, you’ll want to have something special planned long before social media and LinkedIn become saturated with pictures of thoughtful gestures and Bob Nelson quotes. A few donuts in the break room is not enough, especially in the age of remote work. To show employees you care, you’ll have to reward employees in a more meaningful way.

Recognition for employees helps drive job satisfaction, boost retention  and more. So what can you do to demonstrate appreciation this year?

We’ve got a list of ways to celebrate employee appreciation day, no matter where your employees might be. Without further ado, here are a few employee appreciation day ideas you can use in your workplace this year:

Read more: 7 Employee Appreciation Days to Boost Employee Engagement

The classic: give gift cards!

Gift cards are one of the easiest and most-effective ways to send an appreciation message. They allow for a great deal of freedom and flexibility: after all, what better way to make sure employees get what they want than by letting them choose their own gift?

To personalize it a bit, try to get gift cards to unique places, like the local coffee shop or bakery. This is a great way to support the local economy and avoid the stale feeling that can often come with receiving an Amazon or Visa gift card. 

More ideas: Top Custom High-End Corporate Gifts & Luxury Promotional Products

Organize team building exercises

Organizing activities that allow the team to have some fun together is a fantastic way to remind employees that they are valued. These can range from trivia nights to ropes courses and anything in-between. What’s important is that people have a chance to work together on projects not related to work.

If your team is completely remote or working under a hybrid model, there are still fun ways you can organize team building over Zoom. If you’re looking for some inspiration on great activities you can do as a virtual team (that aren’t virtual happy hours) check out our article all about that here. Virtual potluck anyone?

Deliver fully custom gift boxes

A great gift can go a long way towards expressing appreciation for employees. A great box full of gifts can go even further!

We can help you design fully custom swag boxed chalked full of branded items your employees will love. Maybe you want to send a tech box, complete with headphones, phone chargers and key trackers. Perhaps an activity box with a custom hoodie, waterbottle and FitBit fitness tracker makes more sense. Whatever feels right for your team, Swag.com makes it easy to pick the items you want to include and design your custom package. 

Remember: we’ll handle the delivery of your swag boxes, right to your employees’ doors.

Sponsor a team field trip (or virtual field trip)

Doing something outside of the routine is a nice way to mark a special occasion like National Employee Appreciation Day. Sneaking out of the office for a fun romp across town is one idea we love. Consider taking the team to a museum, park or even the zoo if your team has one. 

If remote work is the norm for your team, you can recreate this experience by using some fun software programs that allow for virtual field trips. Check out services like a virtual zoo tour, virtual museum tour, and even a virtual tour of the Taj Mahal!

Swag Idea: Send everyone on the team a swaggy customized hat they can use to boost pride when they’re out seeing the sights.

Set up a virtual or socially distanced happy hour

As some restaurants and bars begin to reopen, it might be viable to treat your team to a night out at a safe and socially distanced happy hour. Happy hours are a tried and true way to get teams bonded, and, assuming the tab gets picked up by the company, a nice way to show appreciation for hard work.

If your team is remaining virtual for the near future, you can always consider a virtual happy hour as well. Virtual happy hours can be a ton of fun if they’re planned correctly. This means you should come up with some fun games and other activities well ahead of time. And if you want to make it really special, consider sending everyone a happy hour gift box full of customized items they can use for fun at home.

More inspiration: Virtual Happy Hour Ideas: How to Make it Fun and Engaging for Your Remote Team

Create Wellness packages

Well-being is in. We all deserve it. Employees that put in hard work certainly do, and you can give it to them by gifting a wonderful wellness package full of great items this Employee Appreciation Day. 

We have tons of great wellness swag that you can pick and choose into a gift box that will delight and rejuvenate. Consider adding a sheet mask or custom set of soaps and lotions, to start. Maybe you’ll want to include a stone face roller too. Let your imagination run wild, and when you’re ready to send everything out we’ll handle the hard part. 

Read more: Top Ideas for Employee Wellness Kits or Gifts

Send or set up a catered lunch

Everybody likes being treated to a meal! This Employee Appreciation Day, get the team together over a fancy lunch on the house. If you can, take people out of the office to enjoy a meal at a local restaurant. If this isn’t possible, consider ordering takeout that you can bring back to the office. Make sure to say a few words while people eat to remind everyone of how much their contributions are appreciated.

If your workforce is fully remote, you can offer a virtual version of this experience by sending gift cards to Seamless, Uber Eats or any other food delivery service that your team members can use to have food delivered to them. Schedule a time to be together and say a few words over video chat for the same effect. 

More inspiration: Catered Lunches And Beyond: Resources For Office Food And Beverage

Cut the work day short

Let’s be honest: what do employees really want on Employee Appreciation Day? To go home early! Easy as pie. 


Don’t let National Employee Appreciation Day slip by without making plans to acknowledge your team. If you want to send high-quality gifts, we can help you design, create and ship your swag anywhere around the world! Fill out the form below, and one of our experienced team members will reach out with more information about how we can execute your vision. 

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