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15 Employee Appreciation Ideas for Large Companies

October 18, 2023
| By
Preethi Jathanna

Senior Writer for HR and Remote Work

Reviewed by
Kara Funk

Senior HR Consultant, People & Culture

Employee Appreciation Ideas for Large Companies

While hiring a skilled workforce is the first step to creating a successful business, making sure that the workforce is engaged and motivated is the key to sustained success.  In today’s market, there’s greater competition than ever for talent, which makes having a clear retention strategy more important than ever. This is true for all businesses, but especially more sizable operations, which can get bogged down in a laborious hiring cycle.

One of the pillars of a successful retention strategy must be acknowledging and praising your team for a job well done. To  give you some inspiration for how this can be achieved, we’ve assembled some diverse examples of employee appreciation ideas for large companies below.

To foster a culture of appreciation in your organization, explore our comprehensive collection of articles on the best employee appreciation programs that help you develop a sense of gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for long service employees.

Delve into our articles to discover the power of motivational quotes in boosting employee morale. To ignite the spark of positivity in your team, explore our captivating article on no-cost employee appreciation ideas.

1. Why Is It Important to Appreciate Employees in Large Organizations?

Particularly in bigger organizations, individual employee contributions can get lost in the maelstrom of the workplace. Taking the time to implement even no-cost employee appreciation ideas can have a positive impact on staff engagement, morale and retention.

Research by SurveyMonkey found 63% of people who are “always” or “usually” recognized at work consider themselves “very unlikely” to seek a new job in the next 3-6 months, whereas only 11% those who are “never” or “rarely” recognized feel the same way.

2. Employee Appreciation Ideas for Large Companies

2.1 Facilitated Virtual Events with Hooray Teams

Just like in-person activities and outings, facilitated virtual events can help build connections and show employees how much you appreciate them by spending time and having fun. So take a break from spreadsheets and meetings to try virtual cocktail making, sauce making, or pasta cooking with Hooray Teams.

The real kicker ? These out-of-the-box ideas are not just about cooking or mixing drinks. They are about mixing up with your team with a dash of friendly competition.

2.2 Give LinkedIn Recommendations

Give LinkedIn Recommendations

No-cost employee appreciation ideas such as shout-outs on LinkedIn, are an excellent option when it comes to acknowledging your employees. As LinkedIn is the most important social media platform for professionals, tagging an employee in your organization’s post for a job well done on a project makes a positive impact for that individual. It also shows other potential employees that your organization makes employee recognition and appreciation part of your culture. 

You can craft a single post that draws attention to the recent successes of an individual or team orfor a person who consistently delivers on their KPIs, you can write a personalized recommendation that will appear on their profile page for everyone to see.

2.3 Provide Concert/Movie Tickets

Movie tickets are usually a solid employee appreciation idea for large companies because they provide flexibility and choice for the employee. Staff can choose what they would prefer to see, whether it’s the latest rom-com or a detective thriller. 

You can also give out gift cards for popular sites like Ticketmaster or Live Nation, so your team can choose what theater shows or concerts they might like to go and see. Even if the vouchers are for a modest value, they will still be appreciated for offsetting the overall cost.

2.4 Take Them for an Office Trip

Employee appreciation day ideas for large companies could involve a more learning-based experience designed to improve soft skills, or they could be purely for leisure, visiting a notable tourist site or city. You can even take them on a virtual tour of famous spots like Machu Picchu or the Great Wall.  

For starters, there are numerous team-building scenarios available, from problem-solving games like scavenger hunts and escape rooms, to physical activities like zorbing and whitewater rafting. 

2.5 Host Annual Award Programs

Host Annual Award Programs

Annual awards ceremonies or programs are a great way to acknowledge employee contributions. They also have the additional benefit of acting as a motivational tool, encouraging individuals to strive harder so they, too, can receive an accolade or prize. You can also get employees involved by taking nominations for employee awards.

These events can be as elaborate or as simple as your budget requires. The most important  part of hosting an awards event is the public recognition and confidence-building effects.

2.6 Introduce Employee of the Month/Quarter

Rather than splashing out on annual awards, a less expensive employee appreciation event idea for large companies is to create an employee of the month or quarter scheme. This has the additional benefit of being a more consistent way to acknowledge the hardest-working staff. 

The employee of the month can be presented through a newsletter or, for remoting working teams in particular, a virtual wall of fame. In addition to the newsletter and virtual wall of fame, the employee of the month can also be given due recognition at the monthly all-hands meeting.

2.7 Praise Them During Meetings

There can be as much as a 10-20% boost in revenue and productivity if people receive weekly praise. Working employee appreciation into your regular team or 1:1 meetings allows you to call out positive behaviors and actions without having to make any scheduling shifts or introduce new procedures or software into the mix.

2.8 Reward for Long Service

On the other end of the time scale from frequent shout-outs, commemorating employment milestones is an employee appreciation idea for large companies to implement. Marking long-term service with an employee appreciation card, gift, or award is a nice way to show all staff that their loyalty is noted and valued.

Be sure to create a process with clear rewards at each milestone to ensure consistency of recognition across the organization.

2.9 Send Inexpensive Gifts on Their Special Occasions

Scented candles, a box of chocolates, or desk plants are all simple gifts that won’t break the bank. Giving staff small presents on special occasions is a more personal way for managers to show they are invested in their team. Special occasions such as welcoming a child into their home, getting engaged or married, purchasing a new home, or even celebrating work anniversaries can be acknowledged.

To ensure consistency across the organization, it's advisable to allot a budget to line managers for each employee on their team to spend per year on these occasions. 

2.10 Allow Them to Choose Work of Interest

Something as simple as self-selection of work can be empowering for staff. It demonstrates a degree of managerial trust in an individual’s ability to identify their own strengths, which in turn can foster productivity – particularly in jobs that involve independent, specialized tasks.

2.11 Offer Free Lunch/Dinners Every Week

Big tech companies like Google offer all employees free meals every day of the year. Your business doesn’t have to go that far. Instead, consider treating your team once a week to lunch or dinner.

This could be in the office canteen, at a nearby restaurant or, if everyone is remote working, a delivery straight to their door or you can create a corporate account with an org that delivers food (grubhub, doordash) and allot a certain amount of funds per month to employee's accounts to utilize. Alternatively, some companies subsidize in-house catering so food is cheaper for staff.

2.12 Introduce Various Activities for Entertainment

Brainstorm some fun employee appreciation event ideas for large companies with your staff to find out what kind of fun activities they’d most like to see happen. These could be creative contests, bake-offs, after-work karaoke, or a whole host of other entertainment. The most important thing is to get everyone’s input.

2.13 Make Room for Mistakes

We all make mistakes, as the truism goes. Giving people the benefit of the doubt not only builds stronger relationships between managers and their teams but it also means individuals are more likely to admit their failings sooner so issues can be addressed and rectified.

2.13 Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Employee appreciation ideas for large companies should also address how to make everyone feel supported and included. You can promote diversity by acknowledging the holidays of all cultures, running unconscious bias training sessions, and making sure the company policies on equality are clear and accessible for everyone.

2.14 Provide Mentorship

As part of some inexpensive employee appreciation day ideas for large companies, career guidance or mentorship is a great option. Set aside sessions to provide one-on-one career advice to each member of your team. Ask them what their long-term goals are and help them create a plan for how to achieve them.

In tandem, give regular constructive feedback to help them improve their day-to-day performance and develop their skills. This mentorship initiative can be an integral component of your employee appreciation strategy, demonstrating your commitment to their growth and success.

2.15 Give Them Day Off When Needed

Everybody needs to take a day off, whether for a doctor’s appointment or perhaps just because they’re going through a particularly stressful time at work or home. Being flexible with days off shows you appreciate someone’s contribution and are, therefore, willing to give them some leeway when it comes to taking a necessary break.

You might even consider letting people take the day off for their birthday as an added bonus. 

3. What Are Benefits of Employee Appreciation in Large Organizations?

What Are Benefits of Employee Appreciation in Large Organizations?

3.1 Increases Loyalty

Staff retention is key to any organization. Enacting employee appreciation ideas for large companies shows that individuals are valued within the wider workplace, leading to a decrease in churn.

3.2 Boosts Productivity

A lot of research has shown a direct link between praise and productivity. A study by Harvard Business School, for example, demonstrated that people who receive compliments about their capability go on to perform better at subsequent tasks.

3.3 Creates a Positive Work Environment

Surveys often reveal that employee recognition for large companies ranks higher than pay and bonuses. That’s because people would rather work in a positive environment where they are valued and acknowledged for their successes than somewhere that pays well but has a hard-driving unappreciative culture.

3.4 Increases Employee Engagement

Line managers who motivate and support employees have previously been identified as one of the key pillars involved in increasing staff engagement. Engagement is linked to productivity as well as workplace satisfaction.

4. Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas for Large Companies

4.1. Customized Company Swag

Customized company swag is a great way to express appreciation while promoting company pride. These items typically feature the company logo, colors, or a special appreciation message. Branded merchandise can include items like T-shirts, hoodies, water bottles, coffee mugs, tote bags, and even hats. To make it even better, think about adding things for employees' pets and kids to your company swag program.

You can consider setting up a virtual company store to offer employees more freedom and variety in their swag choices. This online store would allow employees to pick and choose the swag items they like best, making the experience more personalized and accommodating to their preferences.

4.2.Gift Cards

Gift cards offer employees the flexibility to choose a gift that suits their personal preferences. These can be in the form of popular retailer gift cards, restaurant vouchers, or online store credits. The beauty of gift cards lies in their versatility - employees can use them to purchase anything from clothing and electronics to dining experiences or entertainment.

4.3.Wellness Packages

Wellness-focused gifts send a message that the company cares about its employees' health and well-being. Wellness packages can include a variety of items geared toward promoting a healthier lifestyle. For instance, fitness trackers or smartwatches can encourage physical activity and help employees track their health goals.

5. FAQs

5.1 What Are Some Employee Appreciation Food Ideas?

Company picnics are one of the long-standing employee appreciation ideas for large companies. You can also organize an annual dinner or treat your staff to a meal once in a while, whether in person or via delivery. Consider providing sweet treats like donuts or cupcakes to celebrate a team win.

5.2 What Are Some Creative Ideas for Employee Appreciation Week?

If you have a whole week dedicated to acknowledging staff contributions, you can get creative by trying out different employee appreciation activity ideas, such as arranging fun activities, like talent shows, office Olympics, or even a food truck cooking up trendy eats.

5.3 Name some employee appreciation day ideas for large companies.

Some employee appreciation ideas for large companies include hosting a Recognition Awards Gala, Employee Picnic, Personalized Gifts, Charity Events, Wellness Fair, Professional Development Day, Team Challenges, Surprise Celebrations, Food Trucks, Employee Art or Talent Show, Appreciation Wall, and Recognition Video.

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