12 Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Valued Whether In-Office or Remote

12 Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Valued Whether In-Office or Remote

When was the last time you felt truly valued at work? We all need a big-fat-THANK YOU sometimes, and Employee Appreciation Day gives us all a reminder to show love to the people we work with. 

Recognizing our employees is at the heart of what makes our businesses run. Employee appreciation increases productivity, retention, and keeps our businesses moving forward. Most importantly? It’s a chance to remember that we’re all human, and that we all deserve a welcoming workplace that sees us. 

At Tokki, one of our core beliefs is that the best gifts make us feel seen. They help us connect to the people around us. They can bridge the gap between estranged workers and high-level executives. They can be an outstretched hand when at-home employees feel stuck behind a computer screen. They can be just the thing an employee needs to get through the day, and remember why they work somewhere in the first place.  

Gifts are magic. At least we think so. And each of these ideas are a type of gift, whether it’s something they can hold in their hands or something simple like the gift of time. We should be celebrating our employees as often as we can, and we can start with Employee Appreciation Day 2024. 

1. Provide Child Care Assistance

child playing

It seems simple, but having extra help with childcare is invaluable to working parents. Help them take some of the load off by offering a childcare stipend. This can help give peace of mind to employees, knowing their kids are in good hands while they get their work done.  

This is a great idea for remote employees as well! Those that work from home are often expected to do two jobs simultaneously: taking care of tiny humans and the job they were hired for. 

Some employers think that just because they’re physically at home with their children, that means they don’t need childcare. While this is sometimes true, the vast majority of parents can’t do the work they need to do with kids in the same room. Providing childcare to all employees is a really great step to take to show your appreciation!  

2. Treat Them to Small Surprises

gift card going into a gift card holder

Showing up to work and finding a gift on your desk is the best way to start a workday. It doesn’t have to be something big, just something that lets them know someone is thinking about them and their wellbeing.  

Our favorite employee appreciation gift to give? Gift cards. Whether you’re someone’s best friend or distant co-worker, a gift card allows your giftee to get something they want the most. You’re giving them the gift of choice!

Some of our favorite gift cards to give for Employee Appreciation Day: Bookshop.org (donates to local bookstores), Winc (women-owned wine shop), Delta (or their favorite airline), local coffee shops (pay attention to where they frequent!).  

But how do we keep a gift card from feeling impersonal? That’s where Tokki comes in. Our gift card holders are the perfect way to recognize your employees for Employee Appreciation Day. Just scan the QR code and customize the digital card with a video of you expressing your gratitude. It can be short and sweet, or long and mushy-gushy—no matter what our gift card holders make getting a gift card way more fun.  

3. Upgrade Equipment

at home office equipment

Whether your employees are in-office or working from home, some new office supplies can add a little boost when they get to work every morning. Small changes could be new ergonomic mice or comfortable keyboards. You can re-stock the coffee station with new flavors and add some new office snacks.  

Bigger shifts could mean upgrading to standing desks or new, comfier chairs. You can even poll your employees to determine what office upgrades would be the most helpful. It’s really all about them, so this is a great way to maximize your impact!  

4. Pay For Parking 

If this isn’t something you already do, providing company-wide parking for those that work from home is a great gesture. Especially if you work in an urban area, finding parking can be hard! Make their day a little easier by taking off a little logistical stress in the morning.  

5. Give Them Extra Time Off

Who can say no to a free Friday? A little extra unexpected time off can be a lovely way to show your appreciation. You can even make Employee Appreciation Day (celebrated on the first Friday of march every year) an annual company holiday. This will allow employees to plan something fun for that day or weekend. Whether it’s a mental health day or a day they can check all of their extra stuff off the to-do list, getting a little extra free time will help them re-center and feel good coming back on Monday.

6.  Host a Company-Sponsored Lunch   

Spending some quality time outside of the office together can go a long way. Rent a food truck for the day or spend some time at your local lunch spot! If your employees work from home, send them an uber eats gift card and give them a call. It’s nice to make an effort to connect if they don’t work in the office! 


7. Personalized Social-Media Shoutouts  

This might seem small, but it’s an easy way to show the world how much you appreciate the people you work with. Write up a paragraph about all of the hard work your employees do, and share it! Some tokens of gratitude are even more impactful because they’re visible to other people. We’re social creatures, and want to be recognized publicly! Social media makes it easy to get the word out about all your employees fantastic qualities.  


8. Employee Service for Tax Day 

Ease the burden of tax season by providing employees with assistance or resources for their tax filing. Whether it's access to tax professionals or helpful guides, this gift shows you care about their well-being beyond the workplace. 


9. Give Them a Care Package  

Whether you’re dropping it on their desk or sending it in the mail, a care package is always a welcome surprise. Fill their gift with things that can help them relax and recharge. A few of our favorite employee gifts include: skincare, coffee or a matcha tea set, socks, nice olive oil & balsamic vinegar, spices, and good local chocolate.  

Looking for a way to make your care package more memorable? Wrap it in a Tokki gift bag! Grow is a gender-neutral, beautiful print that lends itself well to employee gifting. Slip your gift into the bag, then scan the QR code to personalize your digital greeting card! This is a great way to “show up” with your gift if you’re sending it in the mail, or a way to connect with your employees in-office (especially if you have a lot of them).

10. Exciting Offsite Activity 

Get out of the office (or your work from home setup) and connect in-person with your team! There are plenty of fun team-building activities to do that can really boost energy in the workplace. Something like an escape room, paintball, or a cooking class is unique and a nice way to facilitate connection for Employee Appreciation Day. It's a chance for everyone to unwind, connect, and create lasting memories outside of the office environment. 


11. Company Spa Day  

Treat your hardworking staff to a day of relaxation. Going to the spa can be such a great way to unwind, and it gives them the chance to decide what kind of relaxation they want. Some people love a massage, but some don’t want to be touched! They can rest by the pool and have a drink instead. It's nice to give them the choice to find the relaxation they’re craving.   

12. Stay Connected  

It’s helpful to remember that staying connected throughout the year is what makes employees feel most valued. It’s hard to take Employee Appreciation Day seriously if employees don’t already feel recognized in their day-to-day work environments. It’s helpful for leadership to make a point of connecting with the people on their team. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your team a few times a year (monthly if you can!) to really check in and give them time and space to come forward with things that might make them more comfortable. Employee appreciation is more than just one day! Let’s celebrate each other as often as we can 🥳 


Further Reading

Calming Gifts to Make it Through Mercury Retrograde
The Ultimate Sustainable Gift Guide | Best Gifts for Low-Waste Living
Pivoting With Purpose | Tokki's Small Business Response to COVID-19
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