What are some inexpensive ways to express our appreciation for our employees? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily
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What are some inexpensive ways to express our appreciation for our employees?

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in Human Resources,People Management,The HR Specialist Forum

I need some good employee-appreciation ideas—that don’t cost a lot of money. My company has about 500 employees working in different departments. I just started in HR about six months ago, and they don’t even recognize birthdays! I’d like to start an employee appreciation program. Some examples would help me sell the idea to top management. Can you share what you do in your company?—Rhonda, Miss.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa April 21, 2010 at 1:09 pm

We give each employee a card we created with 2 movie tickets inside. We also send them a nice email on their anniversary, it is personalized with their name and the amount of years they have worked at the company. We change the design of the card and the email every year so employees get something different. Hope that helps!


Joanie April 15, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Hi Rachel,
I love your month-month calendar idea for ecards. How is this accomplished?


Anonymous Non Admin April 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

I LOVE these ideas!


John April 14, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Thanks for pointing out the tax issue relating to gift cards, Karen. The IRS offers some guidance on the issue at:


— John, the moderator


Karen April 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Management could go from department to department serving ice cream sundaes or soda & chips.
Get together a committee that searches for excursion deals to offer to employees at a lowered group rate. Some examples might be a bus trip to a hot shopping spot or casino, or one of those “whodunnit” mystery dinners.
I like several of the ideas above. However, please check IRS regulations concerning gift cards & cash/checks. They may be taxable.


Denise April 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

Monthly drawing for:
* Extra hour for lunch
* Leave work one hour early
* Movie Tickets
* $10 gift cards from Barnes-Noble, Restaurants, etc…
* Causal Dress day


Anonymous April 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm

One simple thing I do monthly is to set-up birthday e-mails to automatically send from Outlook on certain dates. It takes little effort and time and sends the message to the employee that you care. Also, in order to give the supervisors a tool to use for recognition, you could pre-purchase small gifts such as movie tickets in bulk and have them available in each department. On a larger scale you could also celebrate the employee’s hard work with a barbeque in the parking lot or lunch event.


Rachel April 13, 2010 at 5:11 pm

We are fortunate to have several recognition plans;
• Online month-month calendar that allows employees to send each other eCards for birthdays(DOBs are not published).
• Recognition program (administered online), it has three levels (1st-no monetary incentive just written recognition, 2nd level $25, 3rd level $50) movie tickets are a good alternative.
• Online newsletter that goes out every Monday, we use it to highlight Ee accomplishments, etc.
• As a business-casual environment, Ees love it when they get extra Jean’s days etc


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