Employee Appreciation Day

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

Companies worldwide take the first Friday of March every year to recognize and celebrate their employees. Employee Appreciation Day has been a tradition since 1995 and is growing in popularity globally. Today we’re going to share a little bit about Employee Appreciation Day, and discuss some possible ways to show your employees that they are valued.

Why Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day?

Considering recruitment costs, training, salary, health benefits, equipment, and other expenses, employees can be expensive for companies to find and maintain. These add up to be often one of the largest expenses for a company.

Employees are people that day in, day out, spend the most valuable part of their day in service of their position. For example, salespeople often bring ten to a hundred times more value to their company than what they are paid in the company’s evaluation! Under the Times-Revenue company valuation method, a company is valued between half and two times its annual revenue. This means that for every fifty thousand dollars a salesperson brings in, they are increasing the value of their company by between twenty-five and a hundred thousand dollars. Other positions provide a similar amount of value, but their value is often expressed more subtly within the organization. In some company structures, like in many AI or machine learning companies, the employees are the main source of capital, or value, for the company. It’s truly a wonder of capitalism that employers can get away with a simple salary, a couple of weeks of vacation, some health care benefits, and be able to attract well educated and well-behaved people to work for them.

It’s time to turn the tide on that narrative, and show our employees that they are valued members of the company. Let’s discuss a few ways that companies can share their appreciation for their valuable employees on Employee Appreciation Day.

How to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day?

Here are three popular activities companies can do to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day. There are different motives available in these choices, and of course, there are more ways to thank employees.

Happy Hour

This one is a staple for most young companies striving for a positive social workplace image. You know the drill. On-site or off, all this takes is some beers, sodas, and snacks and maybe a game to keep everyone entertained. We’re talking about what people do at a bar, but paid for by the company. It’s not hard to attract employees to this kind of activity because of the drinks and snacks, and it can be a fun way to build comradery. Consider a planned happy hour on Employee Appreciation Day in the office or at a local bar, where employees can go for a drink and some conversation before heading home for the weekend.

Get off Early

Think about how awesome it felt when you got half-way through a school day, only to realize that you felt sick and had to go home. In this method, we encourage everybody to leave sometime after lunch and get off of work early. 

Granted, this one takes a bit more coordination than the others, because sometimes people will want to get their work done at work. If you choose this method, try to be sure that the employees can plan accordingly and not leave too much unaddressed for the following week. If you have employees on call, or if there are pressing projects that cannot be put off, this may not be the method for your team.


Studies show that group volunteering brings people together better than a happy hour or related activities. If your team needs some relationship building, or if you feel strongly about participating in your local community, then this can be a great way to go. Volunteering can bring smiles to a lot of faces, and is a great community-building exercise. On employee appreciation day, consider scheduling a group activity such as working at an animal shelter, cleaning up a highway, or working at a soup kitchen. 


To summarize, Employee Appreciation Day can be a good opportunity to surprise your co-workers and help them to understand that they are valued members of the company. Our goal is to spread awareness of this valuable holiday. Keep it in your back pocket to surprise a hard-working team, or work it into your yearly plans if you think that it really fits with your company culture. At Ople, people are our main source of value and we are fortunate enough to have smart people doing amazing things every day. To appreciate our employees today, we will be competing for the fastest and safest driver at an indoor racing circuit.