Talent HR Essentials Culture

Recognize and Celebrate Your Team This Employee Appreciation Day

March 3, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many unprecedented challenges upon us. As a company leader, you worry about the wellbeing of your workforce among other priorities. Your people are your biggest asset, and you want to recognize their contributions. With your team most likely working remotely and still not fully back in the office, you can no longer plan a company lunch or an in-person celebration.

March 5 is Employee Appreciation Day, and more than ever, it is important to recognize the challenges your team faced in the past year. You want to honor and celebrate your team and may be pressed for ideas. To help, we put together a list of different ways you can still recognize your team and make them feel special, even in a virtual environment.

  • Send a personalized note or email from the company leadership. Words of recognition and encouragement go a long way!
  • Virtual cupcake making party. Bring together different teams and to encourage healthy competition, pick a winner. You may be surprised how quickly those creative juices start flowing!
  • How about a photo contest for “best staycation.”
  • Sponsor a series of fun virtual courses or events that are not work-related but encourage people to spend time on their hobbies.
  • Virtual appreciation lunch! Provide an allowance towards meal delivery and have the teams eat together.
  • Surprise your team by giving them a paid morning or afternoon off.
  • Send a care package to the employee’s home or rely on a good old-fashioned flower delivery. Some employees may not want to receive gifts at home, so consider providing an option to receive an online gift card instead.
  • Offer a donation to an approved non-profit cause of the employee’s choice in the employee’s name or roll-out a new volunteering benefit.
  • If available and activated, look to leverage any existing internal employee recognition program.


There are many companies who may have part of their workforce back in the office. We pulled together some ideas that can help you celebrate your employees safely.

  • Top of the list again is a personalized note to thank employees for their contributions
  • Have a place in the office (or virtual setting) for recognition, where people can write messages for each other.
  • Have lunch delivered for all employees in individual servings and ask them to gather outside in small groups while socially distanced to eat safely.
  • Drop off care packages at each employee’s desk.


Whatever you decide to do, we encourage you to use Employee Appreciation Day as an opportunity to slow down and express gratitude for the work your employees have done over the past twelve months. It’s been an extremely long year and even small gestures will be appreciated as your employees look forward to a healthy and productive 2021.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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By TriNet

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