Creative Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

Everyone deserves to know how much they’re appreciated. It’s no doubt, then, that employee appreciation is an important thing to consider in the workplace. Studies show that employee recognition boosts retention rates as well as productivity, trust, and morale. While company picnics and corporate excursions are a tried-and-true method of giving back to your team, there’s no shortage of ideas for them, as well as employee appreciation ideas for your day-to-day workweek. Here at A Company Picnic, we’re in the business of appreciation, and we’d like to give you some of our favorite creative ways to show employee appreciation for your team.

Group Gathered Around the Blackjack Table for a Game at inVia's Casino Themed Employee Appreciation Day near LA

Unique Employee Appreciation Ideas for the Office:

Giving back to your team is not just planning big, exciting things. The little things matter every bit as much! Thank you notes, little gifts, and time spent having lunch as a team are all important in making your staff feel appreciated. If you’re looking for something unique you can do for your team during the workweek, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a few of our favorite employee recognition ideas for around the office:

  1. Have a Bring-Your-Pet-to-Work Day
  2. Have a Video Game Session
  3. Have Office Karaoke
  4. Bring in a Masseuse
  5. Hold a Puppy Playdate
  6. Bring in an Ice Cream Sundae Station
  7. Have a Board Game Session
  8. Have a VR Day
  9. Bring in Food Trucks
  10. Have an Office Pizza Party
  11. Bring in a Caricature Artist
  12. Hold a Concert in the Office
  13. Bring in a Game of Mini Golf
  14. Bring Games into the Break Room
  15. Bring in a Slushie Station
  16. Give Out Magazine Subscriptions as Gifts
  17. Close the Office Early
  18. Have a Team Happy Hour
  19. Put Together a Dessert Buffet
  20. Set Up a Game Table (ping pong, foosball) In the Break Room
Playing Ping Pong as Picnic Entertainment at inVia's Corporate BBQ near LA

Creative Employee Appreciation Ideas for a Company Picnic

Here at A Company Picnic, we specialize in one-of-a-kind staff outing ideas. We love planning unique, memorable company barbeques. Over the past 35 years, we’ve collected loads of unique experiences you can give your team. Company picnics are popular for a reason: they’re an amazing way to give back to your team and give them a fun, relaxing day out. Here’s a few of our favorite unique employee appreciation ideas for company picnics:

  1. Make Your Own Carnival
  2. Host it at a Private Mansion
  3. Bring in a Swimming Pool
  4. Set Up an Ice-Skating Rink
  5. Set Up Your Own Arcade
  6. Visit a Corn Maze
  7. Make it a Costume Party
  8. Turn it into a Drive-In Theater
  9. Hold Your Picnic at a Lighthouse
  10. Turn Your Picnic into a Fair
  11. Have a Laser Tag Battle
  12. Hold an Ugly Sweater Contest with Prizes
  13. Turn it into a Tea Party
  14. Ride Horses
  15. Bring in Carnival Rides
  16. Take an Educational Picnic at a Wildlife Reserve
  17. Make it a Pajama Party
  18. Have Camel Rides
  19. Picnic at a Nearby Natural Destination (local canyon, in the mountains, etc)
  20. Picnic at a Ghost Town
Turtle Relaxing at the Petting Zoo at a Safari Themed Company Summer Picnic in Orange County

Unique Employee Appreciation Ideas for a Company Outing:

Days out of the office, bonding with your team and sharing a once-in-a-lifetime experience are amazing. We find it’s a great way to develop connections and rapport with your coworkers. Something about company outings removes the formalities and brings your team closer together. Here’s a few of our favorite creative ideas for your next day out:

  1. Go on a Group Scavenger Hunt
  2. Volunteer as a Team
  3. Take a Guided Tour of Your City
  4. Go Paddleboarding
  5. Go to a Haunted House
  6. Visit an Escape Room
  7. Go Panning for Gold
  8. Visit a Local Landmark
  9. Go Snorkeling
  10. Go Ziplining
  11. Take a Snow Day
  12. Go Berry Picking
  13. Take Surfing Lessons
  14. Go for a Hot Air Balloon Ride
  15. Take the Team Sea Fishing
  16. Go Wine-Tasting
  17. Go Off-Roading
  18. Go Rafting
  19. Fossil Hunting
  20. Visit a Racetrack
Paddleboards at Edwards Lifesciences' Luxury Luau Company BBQ in Orange County

Creative Employee Appreciation Ideas for Every Occasion

Employee appreciation is a crucial part of the workplace. While you likely already give your staff ongoing words of appreciation and formal recognition programs, it’s every bit as important to spice things up now and again to give your team a boost! Whether it’s in the office or out of it, fun experiences are a perfect way to show your appreciation to your team. If you’re looking for further creative ways to show employee appreciation, check out our blog about unique ways to give back to your team. We know whatever you do will be appreciated, and make your team feel appreciated, too!