How to Give Your Employee Appreciation Day Celebration a 2022 Update

Emily Patz
Emily Patz
Posted February 7, 2022 in Employee Appreciation, Employee Appreciation Gift Cards

As the Great Resignation continues into 2022, many companies are scrambling to find better ways to engage, retain, and attract employees. From implementing remote work policies to doling out frequent rewards, the strategies of the most successful employers have one thing in common: they’re designed to show appreciation for their staff. 

In a year marked by a mass exodus of employees who are burnt out, fed up, and redefining their priorities when it comes to work, Employee Appreciation Day gives your business a special opportunity to go big. 

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day is a holiday dedicated to showing your staff just how much they mean to you, your customers, and your company's success. 

Before Employee Appreciation Day, career-centric celebrations were limited to administrative professionals. In 1995, Bob Nelson, a founding board member of Recognition Professionals International, conducted research that revealed the positive effects of employee recognition on company success. These findings inspired Nelson to create Employee Appreciation Day, which celebrates workers of all kinds. 

When is Employee Appreciation Day in 2022?

This year Employee Appreciation Day falls on March 4, 2022.



5 Stats to Inspire Your Employee Appreciation Day Participation

While Employee Appreciation Day has existed for over two and half decades, its popularity has grown in recent years. We already know that employee recognition positively impacts satisfaction, but the pandemic has rapidly changed what “recognition” means. This year, it’s important to look at the numbers driving the Great Resignation, along with the employer trends we see in response. 

Your staff is stressed to the max. 
89% of workers say their work life is getting worse, 85% report declining wellbeing, and 56% say their job demands have increased. 

Quitting is the new black.
52% of US employees are thinking about leaving their job this year.

Mental health matters.
Since the pandemic at least 68% of companies have added a well-being benefit to their package.

When it comes to work, people want purpose.
The number of highly-engaged workers jumped from 40% to 60% when an organization took action on timely social issues.

3 Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in 2022

Employee Appreciation Day might look a little different this year. With many offices going fully remote or experimenting with a hybrid model, the go-to conference room luncheon won’t do. Fortunately, the numbers above call for a shift in how we say thanks, so there’s no need to worry about creating a winning celebration for your distributed team. 

Check out these ideas to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day in a way that tells your team that you’re tuned in to the challenges and changes we’re facing in 2022.


Bolster Your Employee Benefits Package

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of work, one in which employees hold the cards. From increased pay to better benefits, the changes workers have long desired are becoming a reality due to the ripple effect of the Great Resignation. More than a trend, today’s employers are reassessing what they have to offer to meet the shifting standards of the modern workforce. 

In the spirit of Employee Appreciation Day, think about a new perk or benefit your company could announce. Not sure which one to pick? Ask your team. Check recent employee surveys or launch a new one to discover what matters most to them.

Considerations could include:

  • Announcing a “work from wherever” policy
  • Giving employees extra PTO for mental health/self-care days 
  • Providing more expansive parental leave
  • Creating flex time guidelines for employees
  • Offering a wellness stipend for gym memberships, therapy, massages, etc.

If this list feels like a lot, don’t stress. There’s no need to update everything at once. Look to your employee surveys to influence one meaningful change, and know that by making it, you’re letting your team know that you truly value their feedback and their contributions to your company.

Show Employees The Positive Change Their Work Creates

When you look at employee appreciation through a purpose-driven lens, your thank you elicits the feels that make employees feel personally connected to their work and your company culture. This community-building initiative can serve as the bow on your Employee Appreciation Day Gift. 

Work with managers to create an award that reflects the impact of each team within your company. Think about how your products and services better people’s lives and let your mission shine through the folks who make it happen. 

If you’re able, quantify the difference they made by leveraging company metrics. 

For example, suppose your business creates software for educators. In that case, you can create a certificate for your customer success team that says: Teacher's Pet Award: Given to the Crew Who Supported 9,732 Educators in Their Toughest Year Yet.

In addition to professional roles, call out employees who’ve shouldered committees and initiatives that enriched your company culture. For example, who kept you on track for your DEI commitments? Which employees organized critical volunteer campaigns to champion social justice or support local causes? By explicitly calling out all of the good your employees do, you’ll give their work a deeper meaning and a reason to continue.


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