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We’ve written a lot about themed ways to boost office morale, whether it’s planning wellness activities or arranging your working environment to become aesthetically pleasing.
Planning the big picture events like company retreats and annual reviews are important, but what about improving the day-to-day stuff?
Studies have shown time and again that appreciating your employees pays off. According to a study published on Psychology Today, 90% of surveyed employees found a fun work environment “extremely motivating.”
But quality employee recognition doesn’t necessarily mean pulling out the big bucks. All it takes is some creativity. Here are 15 simple ways to appreciate employees — all on a budget (or for free)!
Employee Appreciation Ideas
Get your free copy of 109 ways to appreciate employees on a budget.
1. Host a Weekly All-Hands Meeting
As CEO of Justworks Isaac Oates put it, “Start building internal communication channels early. Building a rhythm around that stuff early on has created a framework that keeps people on the same page, even as we’ve grown.” We often choose teams to present and always leave room for questions, announcements, and introductions for new employees.
2. Make Breakfast Tasty with Bagel Tuesday
Pass the strawberry cream cheese!
3. Get Festive with Aloha Wednesday
Wear Hawaiian shirts every Wednesday.
4. Get Fancy with Formal Friday
Everyone needs an excuse to get dressed up every once in a while (especially if you work in a casual office setting).
5. Implement No-Meeting Fridays
Nix the meetings once a week; your employees will love you. Looking for other ways to hold productive meetings? We have a cheat sheet here.
6. Schedule Walking Meetings
According to a study by the University of Texas, walking for 30 minutes instantly boosts a person's mood. Is your computer necessary to hash out a certain idea or project? If not, take a stroll around the park and brainstorm, it will act as a huge refresher.
7. Mix It Up with Offsite Meetings
Trendy working spaces like PivotDesk offer beautiful shared areas.
8. Cut Off Late and Early Meeting Hours
Consider implementing a rule that no meetings can happen before 9 am or after 5 pm — because let’s face it, nobody will be paying full attention.
9. Offer an Internal Hiring Referral Program
At Justworks, we give referral bonuses to employees who refer new hires. It's a great incentive and your team will appreciate that you value their recommendations.
10. Share a Meal Together
This could take place on your office’s rooftop or common area. The most important part is eating together and talking without a bunch of digital distractions. In fact, research from Cornell suggests that teams who eat together regularly report higher performance than those who don't.
11. Offer Summer Fridays
You’ll likely notice productivity levels stay about the same, but employee happiness will skyrocket. As it turns out, about 30% of offices already offer summer Fridays as an employee incentive.
12. Provide Flexible Working Hours
Everyone has a life outside of work, and with remote technology, it makes more sense than ever to be flexible. Telecommuters report 25% less stress when they work from home, which means it's the perfect (and free way) to offer quality employee recognition.
13. Treat Your Team to Lunch
Meals are an opportunity for people to build stronger connections than they would eating alone at their desks.
14. Work Together in a Coffee ShopCoffee shops are the perfect opportunity to limit office distractions, stimulate creativity, and change up your environment. Your employees will also love the change of pace that comes with that cappuccino.
15. Arrange Clothing Swaps
Schedule a day to trade clothes you’re tired of, then donate the remainders to charity.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.