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16 Employee Appreciation & Wellness Ideas Your Team Will Love

Appreciating employees is critical to employee retention, behavior “at work,” productivity, loyalty, and engagement. This is true under traditional circumstances. Given the current scenario and the challenges of the past year, showing appreciation is beyond necessary. It’s almost urgent in some scenarios where employees have been working extra hours, handling work and supporting remote school, helping others within their family, and where an overall fatigue with on-going life events has set in. Now is the time to either establish, re-invigorate or amp up your employee appreciation plan. And, we’re here to share a few ideas.


Employee Appreciation Opportunities

  • Offer Financial Planning Support: Many employees have encountered some form of financial challenge over the past year. Help them reset their financial plans by offering free financial planning with a certified financial planner.
  • Virtual Workouts: Activity is an important component of overall well-being. Consider hiring a fitness expert who can host online workouts, check out YouTube, and share the multitude of virtual workouts that are now available.
  • Coffee/Tea Breaks: Schedule coffee/tea breaks with employees via your favorite online video chat tool or in-person later in the year. Avoid the work chit-chat and stick with getting to know them and what they have been up to.
  • Host a Movie Viewing: Online or socially distanced in person. Play a new movie or a classic. It’s an opportunity for employees to decompress for a bit.
  • Dance Competition: Host a weekly or monthly dance competition. Have a little fun and switch up the theme. One session is the ’80s and the next is the 60’s. Regardless of the theme, have a little fun and get a little exercise.
  • Fitness Challenge: A number of people are looking to get active again because of resolutions or because of health reasons. Help with this goal by kicking off a fitness challenge. Steps per day, push-ups per day, or daily yoga. Your choice!
  • Branded Fitness Gear: Think water bottle, yoga mat, activity tracker, or resistance bands.
  • Gratitude Challenge: It can be hard to feel grateful when the world seems like it is full of doom and gloom. Help employees snap out of a potential funk with a gratitude challenge. Encourage them to write 100 things they are grateful for or start with ten.
  • Books, Books, Books: Send employees a book on wellness, motivation, or personal development. Better yet, offer employees the opportunity to select a book of their choice or pay for an audiobook service like Audible or Scribd.
  • Gift Cards: Send gift cards to employees for local, small businesses. By doing so, you are helping your area small businesses and offering an unexpected treat to your employees.
  • E-Learning Opportunities: There are a number of e-learning opportunities available. Offer this up as an option for employees, and pay for the course.
  • Mindfulness Sessions: Work with a mindfulness instructor and schedule weekly or monthly group sessions. Alternatively, offer to pay for a set of sessions for your employees
  • Be Flexible With Employee Sick Time: If employees are sick, urge them to stay home, and avoid penalizing them for staying home.
  • Bring In A Nutritionist: Virtual or safely distanced in person. A nutritionist can help employees make changes to their eating habits and feel energized because they are eating the right foods.

Showing compassion and appreciation for your employees goes a long way. How a business treats their employees over the next year will be remembered for many years to come. But, more importantly, we’re all people. And, at this point, we could all probably use a “virtual hug” in the form of a little care and appreciation.