Quick: What’s your company’s go-to move for showing an employee appreciation? Run out for cupcakes? A gift card dropped on a desk?

Hopefully, your company’s approach is a bit more thought out than that. It may sound harsh, but if you’re solving “employee appreciation” with nothing but free food or the occasional gift card, you’re doing it wrong.

In fact, this approach is exactly why traditional rewards programs don’t work: rewards alone can fail to communicate your intentions, making them feel like an empty gesture.

By not streamlining your employee recognition and employee rewards programs into one effort, you’re doing both a disservice. Coupling recognition with rewards is a surefire way to make work meaningful for your employees.

This take on employee appreciation isn’t new for us. We built it into the core of the YouEarnedIt platform, and we’ve been watching it work wonders with companies for years. But recently something rare and refreshing happened: we caught a glimpse of powerful employee appreciation on camera.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life!”

We saw an everyday office party turn into something truly meaningful.

We saw an everyday office party turn into something truly meaningful.

As part of our recent Employee Appreciation Day efforts, we set up a simple contest — for one day, anyone could nominate co-workers for a chance at a special Employee Appreciation Day surprise from us. No catch; just tell us why that person deserved some extra appreciation.

Hundreds of nominations flooded in, and after learning a bit about what employee appreciation means to many, we were compelled to choose two winners. Here’s some footage from their surprise “pop-up appreciation parties” on Employee Appreciation Day:


As you can see, the rewards themselves — party favors, mini piñatas, treats, t-shirts, and gift cards — were a delightful, simple surprise. But watch as the reason for the appreciation is read aloud to the winners, delivered by their co-workers who nominated them. Suddenly, what seems like an everyday office party becomes something immensely meaningful to these employees, resulting in a truly memorable day at work.

Even though this kind of powerful employee appreciation happens every day on the YouEarnedIt platform, it felt great to catch some happiness at work on camera. Congrats again to our winners and everyone who shared some employee appreciation.

Want to learn more about the YouEarnedIt platform and how it can help with employee appreciation at your company? Feel free to request a demo anytime!