Updated: December 14, 2022

17 Employee Appreciation Week Ideas for Companies in 2024

Here is our list of the best employee appreciation week ideas.

Employee appreciation week ideas are activities, games, and gestures companies can incorporate to celebrate their employees. Examples include tours, in-office mini-golf tournaments, and happy hours. These ideas aim to recognize employees’ efforts while boosting the team’s morale.

These ideas are useful for employee appreciation day and are a great way to improve company culture. These ideas also let organizations enjoy the benefits of employee recognition.

This list includes:

  • employee appreciation week themes
  • employee appreciation week messages
  • employee appreciation week activities
  • creative ideas for employee appreciation week

Let’s get to it!

List of employee appreciation week ideas

Employee appreciation weeks are a golden opportunity to make employees an organization’s central focus. From employee appreciation gift boxes to wine tasting, here are the best ways companies can celebrate and recognize workers during employee appreciation weeks.

1. Handwritten Notes

You can appreciate employees by taking the time to write lovely employee appreciation week messages by hand. First, come up with a thoughtful message for the recipient. You should be creative with the notes and express your gratitude the best way you can. If you need help figuring out what to write, then check online for messages you can read for inspiration.

After writing the message, think of how to get the notes across to employees. You can leave the notes on employees’ desks as a surprise. Also, if you plan to send a food package or gift box, then you can include the message inside the package. The best part is that many gift box companies can help you write personalized notes by hand and send your package directly to employees’ addresses.

For inspiration, check out these inspiring employee appreciation quotes.

2. Flexible Work Schedule

If your company does not practice a flexible work schedule, then you can try this idea during employee appreciation weeks. Employees can adjust their work schedule based on their most convenient time. One of the benefits of a flexible schedule is that the practice contributes positively to employees’ wellness. The idea also creates a work-life balance and boosts employees’ morale.

You should communicate with employees regularly and provide needed solutions. You would also want to monitor employees’ progress at work. Notably, try to measure progress by productivity rather than the number of hours spent working.

Want some free team building tools?

$49 value (100% free)

  • 100+ fully tested icebreaker questions
  • 24+ themed Bingo generators
  • 5+ PDFs (including the 8% Rule)
  • 2024 team building calendar
  • and more...
Tool Box

Enter your email for instant access

3. Superheroic Week

A superheroic week is one of the most fun employee appreciation week themes. The idea is to identify employees as superheroes and appreciate their efforts by hosting a superheroic work party. During the event, encourage attendees to wear their favorite superhero costumes. Also, award and name employees after famous fictional superheroes that share their unique personalities.

Examples of fictional superhero names are:

  • Flash- An employee who is pretty hardworking and works on time
  • Scarlet Witch- An employee that will “fly” or even “teleport” just to be there for the team
  • Spider-Man- A worker who has a good “danger sense recognition” and can quickly recognize opportunities that threaten the company
  • Invisible Woman- An employee whose contributions might not be not noticeable to other workers but has gone a long way in growing the company
  • Hulk- An employee who works with speed and has good “stamina” when working under pressure
  • Captain America- A respected team leader

You can give employees medals containing logos or any symbol representing their respective superheroes. You can also play fun games with a superhero twist like trivia, would you rather, and this or that.

4. Paid Day Off

You can appreciate your workers by giving employees paid days off. A paid day off program gives employees enough time to rest, volunteer, or achieve personal goals. Besides, this program can boost employees’ morale and further increase productivity at work. Allowing all employees to take days off work simultaneously can threaten your company’s output. Instead, you can schedule different groups of employees to take different days off.

During the time off work, you can treat employees to fun activities, ranging from ax-throwing to go-kart racing. You can also reimburse employees to take a vacation and de-stress. Besides boosting employees’ morale, a paid vacation policy can give your company an edge in attracting top talent.

For similar ideas, check out this guide to leave the office early day.

5. Wine Tasting

A wine tasting is one of the best employee appreciation week activities. You can check with a local winery in your city to book a guided wine-tasting experience. During the session, you and your employees will expand your palate by tasting different wines. A bartender will guide you through the experience and even teach you the appropriate language for describing other various wine tastes.

You can find wineries that combine the tasting experience with other activities like a blind-tasting contest, tours, and wine-making. Furthermore, you can buy and gift employees their favorite wines when the session ends.

6. Dinner Cruise

A dinner cruise is a luxury idea for employee appreciation weeks. During this experience, employees can enjoy delectable meals alongside breathtaking ocean views. In most cases, entertainers are usually available on board to keep guests company.

For a more exciting experience, you can book a themed cruise. You will find countless cruises with weird and cool themes, ranging from old-school and Star Trek to country music and pirates. Before booking the cruise, check with the company to confirm if the boat can hold the number of employees you plan to invite. Also, decide how long you want the experience to last. If you prefer a getaway that lasts for days, then opt for a cruise ship. The pros of boarding a cruise ship for employee appreciation weeks include access to fun attractions, like water slides, indoor skydiving, bars, and wellness centers.

7. Tours

Taking tours is one of the most fun employee appreciation week ideas. The best part of this idea is that you get to break work monotony and help employee wind down. First, decide on the location to visit. You can explore a local museum or gallery. You can also tour places like an aquarium, distillery, observatory tower, zoo, and botanical garden.

Depending on the destination you explore, the tour can be self-guided or led by a guide. Be sure to check with the site to see what tour options are available. For a VIP experience, you can look for institutions or amusement centers offering private tours with dedicated tour guides.

8. Fine Dining

Fine dining is one of the best ways to show appreciation and impress your team. You can book a time slot in one of the top restaurants in your city. Or, hire an expert caterer to organize a lasting fine dining experience in your desired location, whether in your office or an event center.

You should confirm and communicate employees’ dietary restrictions to the caterer or restaurant beforehand. Furthermore, decide whether or not to treat guests to a private dining experience. If you rent an event space, then you can hire an entertainer to enhance your experience. You can also look for dining areas that provide entertainment as a part of the service.

Here are corporate catering companies for hire.

9. Employee Appreciation Gift Boxes

You cannot go wrong with gifting workers a gift box during employee appreciation weeks. Whether you pack healthy snacks or lunch boxes, you can be creative with your curated gifts. To further impress your employees, you can add a note containing appreciation messages like:

  1. We are grateful for your dedication and services. Our company cannot be complete without an employee like you. Thank you for being a part of our team.
  2. A hardworking person who contributes immensely to the team truly deserves appreciation. Here is a token to celebrate you and appreciate your hard work.
  3. You are more than an employee of the week. You are an inspiration to all of us.

Gift boxes are creative ideas for employee appreciation week. You can customize each gift box to match employees’ unique personalities. For instance, if you have an employee who loves reading, then a box of newly-released novels will be thoughtful. Also, a box filled with items like eco-friendly water bottles, exercise bands, and a pedometer watch will be great for fitness enthusiasts.

You can use this list of corporate gift boxes for employees as a guide.

10. Health and Wellness Initiatives

During your employee appreciation week, you can focus on your workers’ wellness, financial or health-wise. This idea will go a long way in impacting employees’ personal lives. You can organize activities like yoga, team meditation, and workout sessions to improve employees’ health.

If your goal is to improve employees’ financial wellness, then you can reserve a short-term course for employees to learn about financial concepts. You can also give employees monetary gifts or bonuses to support their financial challenges. Furthermore, you can do a short-term wellness challenge with workers during employee appreciation weeks. Participants will write down a short-term wellness goal to achieve before the week runs out. This idea works for both financial and health wellness goals.

For more impactful ideas, you can check these employee wellness program ideas.

11. In-Office Mini-Golf Tournament

A mini-golf tournament is one of the most fun employee appreciation week activities. You can bring this activity to your office by renting an office-sized putting green. To host a mini-golf tournament, first, divide employees into teams. Then ask each team to come up with fun team names. Also, assign an employee to act as the scorekeeper.

You should decide how to begin the tournament. You can adopt a shotgun style, where each team starts the game together on different holes. You can also opt for a tee-off time where each team will have to wait for the opponent to complete their tee time before starting. In the end, give prizes to employees and award the winning team a trophy.

12. Employees Retreat

Sponsoring a retreat for employees is one of the best ways to show appreciation. The experience usually occurs in an out-of-office environment, such as casinos, campgrounds, and cruise ships. When planning a team retreat, specify your goals to determine the kinds of activities and games you play. The goals can range from team building to employee motivation or learning a new skill. During the experience, you can visit entertaining locations, take tours, take a group class, or play sports. Be sure to pick activities and games your employees will find interesting. Also, decide how long the retreat will run, for a day or the entire appreciation week. A retreat is an opportunity for employees to come together and have fun. Besides, the experience benefits your company by boosting workers’ morale and improving productivity at work.

Here are fun ideas, locations, and venues for work retreats.

13. Media Recognition and Shoutout

Recognizing employees on the company’s media page and platforms is one of the most thoughtful employee appreciation week ideas. You can post about your “employee of the week” on your company’s social media accounts, whether Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn. Also, write a few words about the employee’s contributions and achievements in your business.

You can equally recognize workers in your company’s newsletter. Be sure to attach nice pictures of employees alongside the publication. This idea is an excellent way to appreciate workers in this digital age. Plus, media recognition can give clients a good impression of your employees and your company’s brilliant teams.

14. Happy Hour

Hosting a happy hour is an excellent way to compensate employees for working hard. You can visit a local bar or use free space in your office. Regardless of the location, the important aspect is access to beverages and fun happy hour activities.

Also, plan the event menu to cover different dietary requirements and beverage preferences, including non-alcoholic drinks. You can order takeout or ask your office chef to prepare a special employee meal. In addition, plan games and activities to enhance the experience. For instance, you can live stream a sporting event, do a karaoke competition, or organize pub-style trivia.

For more fun ideas, you can check out these happy hour games and activities for work.

15. Royal Treatment Week

Royal treatment week is one of the best employee appreciation week themes. The idea is to organize special experiences and treat workers like kings, queens, dukes, and duchesses. For example, hire a masseuse for a luxury massage experience. You can also book a spa session for employees to relax with various treatments, from facials to deep cleansing.

Furthermore, you can host a ball and ask employees to dress accordingly. Also, prepare crowns and tiaras to reward your employees of the week. When hosting a party with a touch of royalty, pay attention to all your event details, from the color scheme and decorations to the menu and invitation. You can hire an experienced event planner to help curate a lasting royal experience.

16. Guest Speakers

Inviting a guest speaker, whether a keynote speaker or an influencer, is a good idea to appreciate your workers and inspire team leaders. First, clarify your goals for hiring the speaker. Your goal might be to motivate and inspire employees. If you aim to educate employees and improve work performance, then you can invite an expert in your industry.

In addition, choose a speaker you believe will show employees valuable ways to approach work if your goal is to inspire innovation. You can set up the experience as a Q&A or even a lunch and learn session.

Here is a list of keynote speakers.

17. Caricature Art

Bringing a caricature artist to the office is one of the most creative ideas for employee appreciation week. A caricature artist specializes in drawing portraits with hilarious and exaggerated features. These drawings often spark laughter during an intimate gathering.

You can invite the artist to a special employee appreciation event or a regular workday. The best part is that your employees get to keep their caricature portraits and show the artwork to family and friends. Plus, caricature arts are great conversation starters as attendees share their views about the drawings during a gathering. You would want to ensure you hire a caricature artist who not only knows how to draw perfectly but how to interact and have fun with guests. You can check online reviews for the artist you plan to hire.


Employee appreciation week is an opportunity for bosses to recognize their workers in different ways. This recognition often facilitates job satisfaction on the part of employees. Therefore, employees are less likely to quit work if you celebrate their efforts and recognize their contributions to your company. You can create a lasting impression of your company on employees’ minds with any of these ideas for employee appreciation weeks. Also, celebrating employee appreciation weeks has several benefits, including increased productivity and a strong company culture.

Next, read these ways to show appreciation to remote employees. You can also check these employee of the month programs, and employee gratitude activities.

FAQ: Employee appreciation week ideas

Here are answers to questions about employee appreciation week ideas.

What are employee appreciation weeks?

Employee appreciation weeks are days when an employer focuses on employees and recognizes their efforts. Companies can play games, sponsor retreats, or plan fun activities to make employees happy. The best part of making employee appreciation week a tradition at work is that employees will feel valued and motivated.

How do you celebrate employee appreciation weeks?

To celebrate employee appreciation week, plan the dates for the event. You can throw a big party or reward employees with gifts. Even the slightest effort, such as a handwritten note on employees’ desks, can boost their morale. You can also choose a theme to guide you in picking activities and games. Furthermore, set up a planning committee to plan the week. Whether you host an elaborate party or plan a tour, you would want to pick an experience that employees enjoy or find impactful.

What are some good ideas for employee appreciation weeks?

Great ideas for employee appreciation weeks include fine dining, caricature art, tours, flexible work schedule, dinner cruise, handwritten notes, royal treatment week, and employee appreciation gift boxes.

What is the purpose of celebrating employee appreciation weeks?

The purpose of employee appreciation weeks is to provide bosses with an opportunity to recognize employees. This opportunity can help build a strong company culture and foster a good relationship between employers and employees. During employee appreciation weeks, companies can show their gratitude to employees through small gestures and gifts.

  • Twit
  • Linked
  • Email Share
Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

LinkedIn Grace He

Get our free team building tool box

$49 value at no cost.
May as well check it out?

Tool Box

Enter your email for instant access