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  • Jessika Noda Ofiyai

Why Celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is a Must For Workplace Culture

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

a multi-coloured 2d graphic of happy employees celebrating together

Celebrating employees should be a top priority for all HR leaders no matter what size the company is. According to a poll by, with 96% of workers looking for a new position in 2023, fostering a positive workplace culture is more important than ever to keep top talent engaged, productive, and happy.

With 40% of employees seeking a new job with higher pay, and 46% seeking a higher salary due to inflation and cost of living, employers need to consider ways of recognition other than pay in this economic climate. Even more concerning, 67% of respondents “quick quit” due to a toxic workplace and were burned out.

Considering the cost of a new hire can cost anywhere between $4,000 - $17,000, and up to 52 days to fill a position, it begs the question: How can companies keep their top talent?

While employers should be celebrating and recognizing their employees as often as possible, Employee Appreciation Day is a great place to start, and integrate a culture of employee recognition; not just from leadership, but also peer to peer. First started in 1995 by Dr. Bob Nelson as a part of his doctoral dissertation on why managers do or don’t recognize their employees, it has since become an annual, unofficial holiday that gives employers the opportunity to recognize their employees.

With many companies moving towards a hybrid or remote work environment, the employee experience is a key factor in employees feeling respected and appreciated. A popular way organizations recognize their employees is through gifting. Check out our list of thoughtful Employee Appreciation Day gifts.

The Benefits of Celebrating Employees

Making employees feel appreciated goes a long way in showing that their efforts, talents, and contributions don’t go unnoticed. According to an article by Workhuman, many employees don’t feel appreciated at work. In fact, 48% of respondents stated that they only sometimes, rarely, or never received a “thank you” from their employer or colleagues. The survey also found that since the pandemic, 59% felt that their company culture had less human connection and 30% felt a low company morale.

Recognizing employees makes them feel more motivated and engaged, which leaves a positive impact on the company's overall output and humanizes the relationship between the team and leadership. Taking the time and making a genuine effort to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day builds a positive relationship with employees and helps to retain happy employees.

Here are 4 reasons why celebrating Employee Appreciation Day is worth the effort:

1. Boost Morale

Keeping company morale high should be a top priority for leadership. Numerous studies have shown that creating a healthy and positive workplace culture leads to a more productive team and leaves employees feeling more satisfied with a sense of belonging. With many companies moving towards a hybrid or remote environment, it’s more important than ever to continue to build human connection and bonds with employees.

2. Happy Employees

According to a 2021 study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, happy people perform better. Rather than providing the right tools and setting meaningful goals, giving praise to employees makes them feel seen and appreciated. What’s more, praising effort, and not just wins promotes a growth mindset for employees to keep trying which encourages the belief that they can achieve their next target, project completion, or promotion.

3. Employee Retention

Turnover rates across the United States reached an all-time high during the pandemic, coined The Great Resignation. In 2022, one in five workers planned to quit their jobs, and in 2023, 96% of workers plan to look for a new job. Losing one or more skilled employees can be costly for business because of the extra time, money, and resources needed to recruit, hire, and train new people. Plus, keeping your top employees can shape—and maintain—a positive company work culture.

4. Improves Mental Health

No one benefits from burned out employees. Research shows that mental health issues like depression can reduce cognitive performance by up to 35%. According to a study by Deloitte, companies who invested in mental health programs for 3 years saw a positive average yearly ROI of $1.62, while companies who had programs in place for over 3 years had an average yearly ROI of $2.18. Thoughtful tokens of appreciation can contribute to employees’ mental health. Regardless of the industry, happy employees prove to be better for a company's bottom line.

Celebrating Employees Beyond Employee Appreciation Day

Showing employees appreciation shouldn’t happen just once a year. There are many ways to celebrate them throughout the year. Providing employees a way to build social relationships in a more casual setting like catered lunches, or donut days give them the opportunity to let off steam, and bring the office together.

Hosting company events with team-building activities also promotes building relationships in a fun way, helps them feel like they are a part of the team, and something bigger than their job or department.

A growing trend in employee retention are rewards and recognition programs. Especially when not everyone is in the office, companies need to be creative with how they build workplace culture. Implementing a rewards and recognition program gives not just leadership, but peers to congratulate and share exciting wins and milestones.

A strong sense of connection to company culture and colleagues helps to drive a sense of purpose for employees and reduces turnover. Celebrating Employee Appreciation day is a simple way to show gratitude to your hard working team, and build a strong workplace culture.

Experience the Giftagram Difference

Giftagram makes it easy to show appreciation through memorable unboxing experiences. Their full-service corporate gifting platform allows users to effortlessly send gifts, manage delivery progress, and track spending. Choose from thousands of premium and best in-class gifts, hand picked by their curation team. Click here to learn about plans and pricing.


Corporate gifting made easy

Track and manage gifting campaigns company-wide with the GiftCenter platform.

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