Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day: 6 Healthy Ideas - People in a park stretching/yoga

Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day: 6 Healthy Ideas

Amelia Wilcox
March 1, 2023
October 9, 2022

Employee Appreciation Day 2023 is on Friday, March 3rd! 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 2023.  

What is Employee Appreciation Day?

Employee Appreciation Day (aka Staff Appreciation Day or Team Appreciation Day) is an opportunity to show your staff you care about their health, wellbeing, and hard work. Employee Appreciation Day 2023 falls on Friday, March 3rd. 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 2023 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

2. Offer a healthy cooking class

Rather than a catered lunch, consider hosting a fresh and fun lunchtime activity on Staff Appreciation Day!

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.

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.

Related: How HR Can Organize Group Exercise in the Workplace

4. Give the gift of experiences this Team Appreciation Day

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 classes
  • 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

Bring relaxation right to the office this Employee Appreciation Day with corporate massage.

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

6. Try playing Employee Appreciation Day trivia

Try setting 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!  

Stop stacking benefits. Start being well. Set a Nivati demo


By participating in/reading the service/website/blog/email series on this website, you acknowledge that this is a personal website/blog and is for informational purposes and should not be seen as mental health care advice. You should consult with a licensed professional before you rely on this website/blog’s information. All things written on this website should not be seen as therapy treatment and should not take the place of therapy or any other health care or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of a mental health care professional or physician. The content on this blog is not meant to and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Amelia Wilcox
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.