Employee Appreciation Day Team Activity Encourages Fun and Friendly Competition

January 25, 2010

Employee Appreciation Day is celebrated annually on the first Friday of March, and it’s a great opportunity to recognize employees and provide a brief reprieve from the winter blues. Managers can make the day fun for employees by incorporating a team activity into their plans. An Employee Appreciation Day team activity encourages employee interaction and energizes employees around a special task. Here are a few team activities you can use on Employee Appreciation Day that will have the entire team talking.


Team Mock Elections
This Employee Appreciation Day team activity recognizes key employees for positive attributes. You will need to create paper ballots or an online voting forum and one award for each winner. You could use surveymonkey.com or any other free online survey website to streamline this team activity.



  1. Brainstorm creative awards you’ll give out: Team Spirit, Messiest Desk, Cleanest Desk, Best Lunches, Most Sticky Notes, Chatter Box, Most Likely to Forget Time Card. Create the ballot.
  2. Instruct employees to nominate the employee who best fits the description. Provide a deadline to submit ballots.
  3. Tally the results and prepare awards. You could take a picture of each winner and display it in an engraved picture frame or make a personalized award certificate for each winner.
  4. Make a public presentation of the awards! Employees will have fun learning who the winners are!


Pass It On Praise
This is a great Employee Appreciation Day team activity because it involves all employees in the recognition process. You will need Tokens of Appreciation or another pass-along coin and prizes.


  1. Distribute five coins to every employee and set a time frame for the activity. Let the team activity continue over a couple of days, but make sure to give yourself enough time to publically present prizes.
  2. Employees give their coins to peers throughout the day as a form of recognition whenever they observe a peer being helpful or doing a great job.
  3. By the designated deadline, employees report how many coins they have collected. Employees with the most coins win prizes and public recognition!


  1. Create a bingo card of 16 blocks. In each block, print humorous or interesting personal facts about each team member. “Owns red shoes,” “Worked here more than 5 years,” or “Have more than one pet” are examples. Ask your employees for more ideas!
  2. Print your BINGO cards on the a postcard stock and distribute to employees.
  3. Instruct participants to talk to each other to determine who fits each square and write that person’s name in to the square on her own bingo card.
  4. Give employees a specific amount of time to complete this task.
  5. When the time is up, ask each employee to count and report the number of names they collected. As answers are revealed, celebrate all the “dirt” you now know about each other and the individual characteristics that make your team special!


Paper Airplane Competition
If you want to encourage innovation, creativity, and healthy competition, this is the Employee Appreciation Day team activity for you! Since employees will be making paper airplanes, if you have paper in your workplace, you only need prizes for the winners to make this team activity successful.



  1. Invite all employees to participate in a paper airplane throwing competition.
  2. Be sure to communicate rules and guidelines to employees about the materials they can use.
  3. Have employees gather to throw their airplanes. Be sure the plans are marked for easy recognition!
  4. Award prizes to the employees who made the best airplane! Be creative with your awards, too, and reward employees who had the most creative plane design, flew the shortest distance, etc.


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