9 Employee Appreciation Ideas for Large Companies

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What is employee appreciation?

Some companies seem to think that employee appreciation is out of the question, that's just not how they roll. They're too big, too busy to take time out of their day to give praise where praise is due. Their employees are jaded, discouraged, and disengaged. If the company succeeds, it's an accident. Is that you?

Let's be honest here: there's no reason to skimp on employee appreciation just because you're big. In fact, if you're a big company, that's all the more reason to show appreciation to all the folks who make it a success!

Yes, employee appreciation and recognition is an investment. It takes time, attention, and work to say "thank you" in a big way. But it's worth it. Acknowledging employee contributions builds morale and fosters engagement (one of my favorite buzzwords) and, let's not forget, employee engagement is a direct link to productivity.

Wait, did I say employee appreciation was an investment? Because employee appreciation is an investment. Why else would Google put $20 million of employee appreciation into play each year? Why else would Zappos spend so much on their culture of happiness? Why else would Walmart follow suit with employee appreciation events of their own?

Benefits of employee appreciation for large companies

Let's make it super simple, with five reasons why employee appreciation matters so much for large companies. Here are five reasons you want to make employee appreciation a priority in your company and show recognition to your staff for their hard work: 

  1. To show employees that they matter.
  2. To encourage their best work.
  3. To motivate them and give them direction and purpose, with a shared vision and a company culture that supports the entire team.
  4. To boost employee engagement, which leads to better productivity.
  5. To increase employee retention - so you don't have to spend the time and money training replacements every year or two.

Employee appreciation is as easy as remembering employee birthdays (no, you don't have to memorize, that's what calendars are for). It's as simple as holding regular employee recognition meetings. It's as one-of-a-kind as a Pinterest board of employee appreciation ideas. Employee appreciation could just mean kicking back for some casual conversation and pizza on Fridays. Whatever it looks like for your company, employee appreciation is a must.

So go ahead, employee appreciation is an investment. Make the most of this employee appreciation article and put some employee appreciation ideas into play at your company!

9 employee appreciation ideas for large companies

Here are the nine employee appreciation ideas for large companies, ideas that can get you started on an employee recognition program that is more thoughtful than costly, and which makes the employee experience one that motivates, inspires, and enables your entire workforce.

  1. Commission a videographer to create a monthly video showing recent company successes and highlighting the achievements of individual teams and team members. Include honorable mentions. Post on social media, tagging all teams featured in the video. Everyone loves being the star of the show, and having formal recognition or something tangible to show the family at home is cool too!
  2. Set up a rewards system for employees who go the extra mile, exhibit exemplary performance, or just put in consistently good work! When your employee retention strategy includes employee appreciation ideas, there's no limit to employee rewards. One recognition strategy involves gift cards for coffee or a local smoothie shop. Another gift idea: points toward self-care options such as a spa, hairdresser, or massage.
  3. Compile employee feedback from employee surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, interdepartmental meetings, etc., and publish top ten lists of various kinds. This one is for more advanced employees who can handle constructive criticism! Send each team member a copy of the list so it's clear where they stand.
  4. Embrace employee shout-outs! Share employee happiness, excitement, and engagement with employee shout-outs on your blog or company social media. You can also send an employee newsletter highlighting employee engagement stats every week (or month).
  5. Post employee photos in the office. Decorate the office in creative ways for employee appreciation month with employee appreciation pictures, employee recognition awards, and employee of the month awards to bring team members together even more than what they already are. If you have remote employees, decorate the virtual office by jazzing up a Zoom background or Slack channel!
  6. Create employee appreciation groups for individual teams. Encourage employees to share their great work, and thank each other for being part of the team! Recognition is one employee appreciation idea that requires little effort while providing big rewards in employee morale.
  7. Post employee quotes around the office. "Strength finds strength", "I don't know where I'd be without you", "We are a team", etc. Employee appreciation is not just about employee rewards for large companies, but employee morale as well.
  8. Create employee recognition awards with employee names on them. Yup! Take pictures of employees receiving their employee appreciation awards (and everything in between) with employee engagement boards. Then, use these photos to create employee awards plaques to hang around the office. Everyone loves an employee appreciation gift. Make employee awards and employee recognition fun with employee recognition ideas!
  9. Employee of the month. Who doesn't love employee of the month? It's for employees who work hard, achieve high goals, follow through on deadlines, welcome new team members, keep the morale high, etc. Employee recognition ideas like these are what employee retention strategies are made of.

Final thoughts on employee appreciation ideas for large companies

Over the last ten years, employee satisfaction scores have been on a downward trend in North America, Australia, and other countries. Employee turnover rates are higher than ever. One of the main reasons for this is failing employee engagement numbers. As employees lose interest in their roles, they search elsewhere for more challenging and fulfilling work. 

Employee engagement is a difficult topic, but it should never be neglected. Any money you put into employee appreciation is money that will reap huge dividends, and every employee recognition idea has the potential to increase productivity and bring your company that much closer to your goals. 

Good employee appreciation for large companies does not rest on big gestures alone. It rests on solid foundations including clear communication, defined goals, teamwork, innovation, individual progress tracking, reward systems, and socializing. Try to work a team-building activity or two into every other staff meeting, and provide social recognition for every work anniversary as well as when a staff member achieves success at work.

If your employee appreciation ideas aren't quite hitting the mark, try rethinking how you communicate. Employee appreciation email blasts are fine but how about total transparency? It's great to thank employees in private, but it's also awesome to share staff appreciation. Share employee happiness, excitement, and engagement with employee shout-outs on your blog, company social media, or through Slack using an app like Matter. Employee recognition isn't something you want to leave for appreciation week or employee appreciation day. Make it part of your employee experience every day!

If you need more employee motivation tips, have a look at this blog post on ten employee engagement ideas!

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‌Cover Photo by
Alaina Johnson
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