Employee Appreciation Day: lighter in calories, but just as fulfilling.

March 18, 2011

Employee Appreciation Day is around the corner (March 4th!), and since we’ve recently implemented a health and wellness program here at Baudville, I’ve been thinking about how some of our festivities for this event might change.

When I first started at Baudville, I definitely indulged in all the employee appreciation that was happening around the office. From popcorn and potlucks to pizza lunches, I partook, partook, and partook. And woke up six months later with an extra ten pounds on me!

Food is a great motivator and a great reward – I mean, we’ve all got to eat, right? But the very nature of a reward is that it is something extra. And, I think we all know what extra leads to!

So, I was thinking it would be great to share with everyone some ideas for celebrating Employee Appreciation Day without so much focus on food. But then I realized I really had no ideas. I stared into space for awhile, annoyingly tapped my pencil for five minutes straight (sorry, cube-mates!), and finally picked up the phone and called Cindy, our HR manager.

Much to my relief, she agreed to get together with me for a brainstorm. Our meeting actually turned into a much broader conversation about how we need to change our mindset—and become more health conscious throughout the whole year, not just on special occasions like Employee Appreciation Day. Which means:

Grape-Nuts instead of donuts: We have a great tradition of celebrating pretty much anything with muffins, bagels, or donuts. But the last time we had a good reason to cheer, we decided to rethink this ritual by bringing in fresh fruit, low fat milk and cereal, and all-natural juice. We still got our moment of camaraderie, but without the “forever on the hips” repercussion.   

Casual days instead of casual grazing: The thing about food rewards is that they’re so darn easy. But you know what else is easy? Letting everyone wear jeans. I don’t know what it is about this reward, but everyone here at Baudville goes bananas for casual days. Replace food incentives with something just as valuable (or more) and you’ll all continue to fit in your jeans for years to come.  

Doing instead of chewing: Last year’s theme for Employee Appreciation Day was Winter Olympics. We had tons of fun activities throughout the day that kept people moving and energized. It was a total blast, and rescued everyone from the cubicle coma that comes with having a desk job. Whether it’s event-driven diversions, or a few laps around the building on an everyday basis, finding ways to rejuvenate your team members is good for the both the body and mind.

Chair Luge   Kurt Carrying the Torch  

Cori & Lilly participated in Office Chair Luge             Kurt ran the olympic torch through the entire building!

As you plan your Employee Appreciation Day celebration, you can resolve to rethink, replace, and rejuvenate, too. Plus, Baudville has plenty of affordable (calorie-free) gifts you can use as give-aways and prizes.  

Oh, and I almost forgot! Cindy (the one with all the ideas) will be sharing her Employee Appreciation Day tips in our 15 minute Recognition TV webisode next Thursday, the 24th. You can sign up here.


Allison is a self-proclaimed Copywriting Diva and has the certificate to prove it! She’s been writing for Baudville for two years and has worked in a variety of business settings for more than 17 years. Before becoming a professional writer 10 years ago, Allison worked as a department manager where she used Baudville products to motivate her team. She’s what we call a true believer!

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