EMPLOYEE appreciation hub

Want to inspire employee engagement? Start with employee appreciation.

before you scroll

Send a (free) appreciation card to the coworkers helping you thrive.

Got a work bestie keeping you afloat? A manager who’s more like a mentor? A direct report who’s going above and beyond? Let them know you appreciate them!

Choose from nine designs and customize your appreciation card with a personal message. We’ll take care of the rest.

Write your appreciation note below.

TRANSFORM YOUR COMPANY

Great workplaces have a
culture of employee appreciation.

Understanding the relationship between appreciation and recognition.

Employee appreciation and recognition might feel similar, but they actually come to life in different ways, and for a variety of celebration occasions.
Let’s walk through the key differentiators:

Employee appreciation and team-building.

Employee appreciation should be part of your daily or weekly routine—it should feel easy, low-stress, and personal. And, it can often require little to no expense because appreciation can simply start with an authentic, verbal “thank you.” It’s a great way to show others that you see their hard work and value their efforts. It can come to life through public shout outs on Slack or live at your company all-hands, written in a personalized note or email, or even as team-building activities for appreciating groups.

Here are a few ways that you can foster a culture of year-round employee appreciation at your company: 

Icon confetti popper

Celebrate wins, big and small.

+ Read more
- Read less

As employees live your company values at work, give them a shout out. If they’re leading by example on the team, celebrate their initiative. When they achieve results towards a major goal or OKR, toast their success. It doesn’t matter if the win is big or small—take the opportunity to show them their work is seen, their contributions are valued, and their unique personalities are appreciated. Appreciate them publicly during a company all-hands meeting, privately with a sincere “thank you,” or get creative in a way that suits your team’s culture best.

Icon Chef Hat

Unleash your inner chefs.

+ Read more
- Read less

Many of us miss snacks and catered lunches from the in-office days (*daydreams of free kombucha*). But what we really miss isn’t the food—it’s the shared connections over food. Bring this lost sentiment back into the spotlight by hiring a pro chef or inviting employees to lead a cooking class. Frame it as a fun respite from the day-to-day workload and watch as conversation flows like salt from the hand of Salt Bae himself. Or, consider redirecting your in-office perks budgets into more remote-friendly activities and opportunities for employee recognition. We’ve got tons of ideas for reimagining your office perks budget here on our blog.

Person meditating icon.

Bring self-care to the home office.

+ Read more
- Read less

In a world where our lives are dominated by digital communications, a snail-mail care package can be a delightful way to celebrate employee wellbeing. Send your employees a package that contains small self-care gifts like family games, hot chocolate packets, tea kits, or a pair of warm socks. Encourage them to take a relaxing night in by hand-delivering good vibes to their doorstep. You can also offer guided meditation sessions or yoga classes (by a pro, or employee-led) in lieu of a full care package—namaste.

Appreciation feels good. Saying or hearing a simple “thank you” can improve happiness, well-being, relationships, motivation—even sleep and physical health. Prioritizing appreciation at work not only benefits individual employees, it can also transform your company and business.

3x

Employees who receive recognition aligned to their needs and expectations are 3X more likely to feel loyal to their organization.

4x

Employees who receive recognition aligned to their needs and expectations are 4X more likely to be engaged.

$16M

Savings in employee turnover costs for a 10,000-person company with a culture of recognition.

To be truly impactful, employee appreciation must be cultural. Celebrating “Employee Appreciation Day”, sending the occasional appreciation card—these acts are great, but they won’t set your workplace apart. Instead, the focus should be on building an always-on culture of appreciation, supported by process, technology, and cultural norms.

appreciation v.s. recognition

What’s the difference between employee appreciation and employee recognition?

Employee appreciation and employee recognition are often used interchangeably but there are key differences to note as you think about building your own culture of appreciation.

Hands Clapping Icon

Employee appreciation.

Employee appreciation is about expressing gratitude and acknowledgement. Your people are doing small things worthy of praise all the time—things a central leadership team may not always see.

+ Read more
- Read less

Sometimes, it’s not even about what they do, but who they are to their coworkers and teammates. That’s why employee appreciation should be “always-on” and easy for any employee to send and receive. To achieve “always-on” status, you’ll need to bake appreciation into your company norms, for example:

  • Bringing on a peer-to-peer tool that allows employees to send public and private shout-outs

  • Holding space for public shout-outs in your weekly company all-hands meeting

  • Highlighting peer-to-peer shout-outs in your internal department or organizational newsletter

Party popper icon.

Employee recognition.

Employee recognition is about marking an employee’s milestones, achievements, and contributions at work—often with a reward.

+ Read more
- Read less

Employee recognition programs can be formal (like year-of-service awards) or informal (like spot programs) but are generally designed to reward employees for going above and beyond, hitting specific goals, or demonstrating desired behaviors. For example:

At Blueboard, we view employee appreciation and employee recognition as equally important parts in building a standout company culture. You can learn more about our approach to employee appreciation and recognition here.

transform your culture

How to build a culture of employee appreciation.

The great thing about building a culture of employee appreciation? You can start small by embedding simple, low-cost actions into your existing company norms. From making employee appreciation a part of your manager training, to encouraging public shoutouts on Slack or live at your company all-hands, to using team-building activities as group appreciation, focus on easy-to-maintain, equitable, evergreen touch points.

Here’s how to foster a culture of year-round employee appreciation at your company: 

Building a culture of employee appreciation and recognition might be your north star, but it’s helpful to get specific with your goals for workplace appreciation and recognition.

Maybe you need to combat employee disconnection in a hybrid work environment. Maybe you’re hoping to reinforce company values and build culture in the wake of layoffs. Maybe it’s about reducing the impact of silos and sharing wins across your organization to boost morale. Clarifying your goals will help you zoom in on the most impactful employee appreciation and recognition activities for your organization.

An ideal employee recognition program is multi-dimensional, with programs that support day-to-day appreciation, informal recognition, and formal recognition. But you don’t have to try to get there immediately. Building a culture of appreciation really comes down to one key idea: consistency.

So, start with efforts that are easy to implement and maintain. Do you have a weekly company all-hands? Consider adding an open “shout-outs” section where anyone can submit shout outs to be highlighted. Do you have people managers? Consider holding them accountable to delivering appreciation notes to each of their direct reports every month. Start with one or two efforts, evaluate the success of those efforts, and build accordingly. You’ve got this!

If you’re going to invest time, energy, and funds into employee appreciation, it’s important to track the impact of your efforts. If your goal is to nurture employee connection, for example, make sure that:

  • You are tracking employee connection in some way (you could track this via employee engagement survey, for example),

  • You have an employee connection benchmark before you roll out an appreciation program,

  • You have an employee connection benchmark before you roll out an appreciation program,

  • Consider tracking supporting metrics such as program usage or engagement. If people aren’t participating in your program, it may not be the program itself that’s missing the mark, but communication around the program.

appreciation inspo

Need some employee appreciation inspo?
Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Champagne popping icon.

Celebrate wins, big and small.

As employees live your company values at work, give them a shout out. If they’re leading by example on the team, celebrate their initiative. When they achieve results towards a major goal or OKR, toast their success.

+ Read more
- Read less

It doesn’t matter if the win is big or small—take the opportunity to show them their work is seen, their contributions are valued, and their unique personalities are appreciated. Appreciate them publicly during a company all-hands meeting, privately with a sincere “thank you,” or get creative in a way that suits your team’s culture best.

Sponsor a team gathering.

Treat your team to a virtual or in-person activity based on their shared interests and passions. If you have a competitive team, you could host a trivia or board game night. Or, if you have a super collaborative group of employees, have them try their hand at a scavenger hunt, escape room or cooking class.

+ Read more
- Read less

Regardless of the activity, make sure it’s set up to build meaningful connections across your organization. You can do this by putting people from different departments on the same team or setting up prizes for groups that demonstrate strong collaboration—don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit.

Bring self-care to the home office.

In a world where our lives are dominated by digital communications, a snail-mail care package can be a delightful way to improve employee wellbeing.

+ Read more
- Read less

Send your employees a package that contains small self-care gifts like family games, hot chocolate packets, tea kits, or a pair of warm socks. Encourage them to take a relaxing night in by hand-delivering good vibes to their doorstep. You can also offer guided meditation sessions or yoga classes (by a pro, or employee-led) in lieu of a full care package—namaste.

Before Blueboard, employee recognition was more ad hoc, and wasn’t consistent across the company. Some managers would send gift cards, give PTO time, or share years-of-service awards, but aside from that, not much was done to appreciate employees. Now, when I onboard a round of new hires, they ask about Blueboard. People on their teams are excited, have already shared the program and said, ‘Wait until you experience Blueboard.'
Alexander M.
Head of Associate Experience and HR Communications
Read more five-star reviews

EXPERIENCES over STUFF

Build a culture of appreciation and
recognition with Blueboard.

Blueboard is an employee rewards and recognition company focused on experiences over stuff. We partner with our clients to build recognition programs that employees love and that get results. These programs are centered on experiential employee rewards, incentives, and gifts—think skydiving, dining through Michelin stars, learning to blow glass, or chasing the Northern Lights.

What does it feel like to get recognized with a Blueboard reward? Check out the video below.

Learn more about our approach here

FEATURED RESOURCES

Dig even deeper with some of our favorite employee appreciation resources:

Blog

National Employee Appreciation Day: 8 fresh ideas for celebrating your team

While we’re all for Employee Appreciation Day, everyday, you don’t want to miss out on this year’s EAD. Get fresh ideas to celebrate your people.

Read on the blog
Blog

The 3 types of employee recognition and how to use ‘em

Discover the 3 types of employee recognition and get an actionable blueprint to help you build your organization’s most effective recognition program.

Read on the blog
Blog

5 employee appreciation languages in the workplace

Employee appreciation is critical, but not every employee receives appreciation in the same way: The 5 workplace appreciation languages can help.

Read on the blog

Resources

Get inspired with a few of our favorite recognition resources:

Blog

National Employee Appreciation Day: 8 fresh ideas for celebrating your team

While we’re all for Employee Appreciation Day, everyday, you don’t want to miss out on this year’s EAD. Get fresh ideas to celebrate your people.

Read on the blog
Inspiration Hub

The 3 types of employee recognition and how to use ‘em

Discover the 3 types of employee recognition and get an actionable blueprint to help you build your organization’s most effective recognition program.

Read on the blog
eBook

5 employee appreciation languages in the workplace

Employee appreciation is critical, but not every employee receives appreciation in the same way: The 5 workplace appreciation languages can help.

Read on the blog

Looking for the best way to reward, recognize and incentivize your top people?

Connect with our team for a personalized demo of our recognition and rewards platform and see our hand-curated experience menus.

Let's talk
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Cookies Policy for more information.
Icon cookie