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March 2, 2022 Amelia Wilcox

Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day 2022: 6 Healthy Ideas

Employee Appreciation Day 2022 is on March 4th! We know you want to celebrate your staff’s year-long efforts, but it can feel like all the options for doing so aren’t great for office health. Donuts, cake, and pizza parties are typical appreciation day fare, but is that really the best way to show your staff you care?

Read on for six healthier ways to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day 2022.

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day is an opportunity to show your staff you care about their health, wellbeing, and hard work. Employee Appreciation Day 2022 falls on Friday, March 4th. It always falls on the first Friday in March.

The purpose of Employee Appreciation Day is for employers to recognize and reward workers for their hard work—making it a great way to boost employee morale and engagement.

Why celebrate Employee Appreciation Day the healthy way?

A little bit of appreciation goes a long way! Recognizing your staff’s efforts can significantly impact their happiness at work. Studies have shown that feeling appreciated increases office morale and employee retention. However, unhealthy treats and indulgences at office parties can counteract that positivity. 

According to the Global Wellness Institute, an unhealthy workforce costs the nation $2.2 trillion a year. Furthermore, 76% of the workforce is struggling with their physical wellbeing, and 38% suffer from excessive pressure on the job. With so many health issues in the workplace, why not let your celebratory day be part of the solution! 

Fun Employee Appreciation Day Ideas

Recognize your staff with these health-promoting and fun employee appreciation day ideas!

  1. Support your staff’s mental health
  2. Offer a healthy cooking class
  3. Sponsor a fitness class at lunchtime
  4. Give the gift of experiences
  5. Host an in-office massage event
  6. Try playing employee appreciation day trivia

1. Support your staff’s mental health

A recent study showed that 70% of the workforce wants a greater focus on mental health and wellbeing!

What better way to give your staff what they want than by celebrating Employee Appreciation Day 2022 with stress-busting activities.

Offering a meditation tool is one great option. Another idea is a stress management lunch-and-learn class. Stress is a massive issue for workplace wellbeing, so teaching your staff how to manage their stress levels is a gift that will keep on giving!  

You can also put together a kit of helpful mental health resources that your company provides employees, like how to access the company mental health program or book a therapy session. You can also include links to helpful stress management resources, like:

variety of vegetables on display—offer a healhy cooking class for employee wellbeing and employee appreciation day 2022

2. Offer a healthy cooking class

Rather than a catered lunch, consider hosting a fresh and fun lunchtime activity!

Nutrition plays a massive role in focus and productivity. The World Health Organization says that adequate nourishment can raise national productivity levels by 20%! Introducing your staff to healthier options is a great way to celebrate them on Employee Appreciation Day while also bringing better habits into their life—a long-lasting bonus!

You can also come together and create healthy Employee Appreciation Day treats! Try making healthy snacks together in the office, or provide healthy snacks for them.

If your team works remotely, have a contest to see who can make the yummiest looking snack, and have team members vote for their favorite. Give the winners a gift card or cash to spend, and encourage them to use it on something to help them relax or boost their wellbeing.

women performing yoga on green grass near trees—yoga for employee wellness and employee appreciation day 2022

3. Sponsor a fitness class at lunchtime

Sponsoring a fitness class such as yoga, dance, martial arts, or spin at a nearby studio (or online) lets your staff take time away from their desks and gets them moving!

Research shows that exercise can boost employee concentration on work by 21%  and result in 41% more motivation. This makes fitness an excellent contribution to workplace health, plus it’s a fun activity for everyone to enjoy. 

For bonus points: do a fun activity outside. Even if it’s taking walks together at lunchtime, being outside is excellent for employee wellbeing.

4. Give the gift of experiences

Treat your team to a bonus with lasting memories! Recognize staff that have done exceptional work this year with the gift of an experience.

Here are some ideas:

  • A boating trip for two
  • A painting class
  • A month-long membership at a local fitness studio
  • Amusement park tickets
  • Dinner for two
  • An at-home massage

For bonus points: provide rewards that involve spending time with loved ones, getting exercise, and relieving stress so they return to work happier and healthier!

Related: The Best Employee Appreciation Holiday Gifts: $10 to $125 and Up

5. Host an in-office massage event

We might be biased, but our favorite way to celebrate Employee Appreciation Day is with a massage!

Workplace massage has many benefits for improving employee health and happiness (in just 15-20 minute in-office massages!).

Contact us here if you’re ready to book an Employee Appreciation Day massage for your team.

in-office massage for employee wellbeing and employee appreciation day 2022

6. Try playing Employee Appreciation Day trivia

Set aside 30 minutes to play Employee Appreciation Day trivia with your team!

Create some trivia questions to see how much your employees know about each other and see how they do!

Trivia is a great way to get employees laughing and encourage them to get to know each other better.

Here are some Employee Appreciation Day trivia ideas:

  • Which employee has a dog named Daisy?
  • Which employees love cooking?
  • What is John’s favorite hobby?
  • How many different states does our team represent?
  • Which employee has gone on a week-long meditation retreat?

We hope these fun Employee Appreciation Day ideas inspire you to recognize your team!

Learn About the Power of Self-Care

Download the Mental Health Tool Kit to learn about mental health in the workplace – what it is, why it matters, and how you can start supporting employee mental health!

Amelia Wilcox

Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement.

Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.

Recently listed as a Forty Under 40, Fast 50, Inc 5000 Twice awarded National Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Licenses, Certifications & Memberships
Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002
Member of American Massage Therapy Association
Served on Utah Worksite Wellness Council from 2012-2015

Attended Utah College of Massage Therapy
Educated in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah

Massage Magazine (AMTA's publication)