In case you didn’t get the memo, Employee Appreciation Day is right around the corner. Held annually on the first Friday of March, it is a time for employers to recognize and show appreciation to their workforce. Rather than making Employee Appreciation Day just another day at the office, you should embrace it by turning it into an event.

Why Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day

There are numerous reasons why employers should celebrate Employee Appreciation Day, one of which is the positive impact that it has on worker productivity. When employees are acknowledged and “appreciated” for their hard work and dedication, they’ll feel a greater drive to push themselves on the job. This alone should be reason enough for employers to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day — and to make recognition a normal part of their working environment.

Furthermore, an article published by Forbes indicates that companies which embrace a recognition-rich culture experience a 31% lower turnover rate. By showing appreciation to your employees, you’ll increase tenure while subsequently lowering the managerial and other costs associated with hiring replacement workers.

Host an Appreciation Event

So, what’s the best way to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day? If you think a cash bonus is the most effective way to recognize employees, think again. According to a survey of 1,200 workers conducted by Make Their Day and Badgeville, 71% said the most meaningful forms of recognition had no monetary value. Instead of giving employees a cash bonus, try hosting an event/party for them. Employers can recognize the hard-working men and women of their workforce by throwing a party, complete with food, beverages and entertainment.

Here are some tips on how to host a meaningful Employee Appreciation Day party:

  • Determine an appropriate time for the party. Being that Employee Appreciation Day always falls on a Friday, most companies host their parties after normal business hours on this same day.
  • Make your company’s party fun by hiring either a DJ, live band, or some other form of entertainment.
  • Provide food and beverages for employees.
  • Choose a venue that’s large enough to accommodate all of your employees yet still small enough so they can easily converse among themselves.
  • Set aside time during the party to call out and recognize employees for their accomplishments.
  • Prepare an “appreciation speech” for the party.
  • Consider rewarding employees with trophies, plaques, company-branded gear, or other perks.
  • Seek feedback from employees and guests after the party so you can better plan next year’s party.