Topic: Employee Recognition


A Year of Employee Appreciation: Holidays, Milestones, and Every Day Achievement

Insights from

Updated on 

April 22, 2024






Employee appreciation shouldn’t be reserved for once a year. The best way to use your recognition budget is to appreciate throughout the year.

Research shows recognition that is frequent, integrated into the employee experience, and an everyday part of the company culture is more effective than big, one-time recognition events.

When recognition is highly integrated, it is given often for a variety of accomplishments and leads to increased odds of:

13x Great work    

9x Engagement

7x Thriving culture

-29% Employee Attrition

-80% Employee Burnout


In order to achieve high recognition integration, employees should be recognized at least every two weeks. Instead of giving employees a big gift once a year, spread your recognition budget across the year and ensure your people are recognized frequently and regularly.

How to recognize throughout the year

Think about building recognition into your organization’s culture, employee experience, and employee lifecycle. Here are a few opportunities to say thank you and show your employees appreciation throughout the year.

Company milestones

This can include company anniversaries, making a list like Great Place to Work, winning an industry award, or completing a new merger or acquisition. Give a meaningful symbolic award that memorializes the achievement and represents all the hard work your people have done to attain the important milestone.

Hitting company performance goals

Whether it’s reaching your annual sales goal, new product launches, winning a big client, or exceeding financial metrics, a group points deposit from your company’s recognition program, like Culture Cloud, is a great way to say thank you to all your employees who worked hard to help the company achieve this success.


“Group Deposits is the easiest way to reward small teams, large teams, and even whole Business Units or the entire organization with a common currency that could complement the existing reward points our employees use.

Deposits are awarded for successful project delivery, campaign participation, strong business performance, and the organization-wide issuance of 100 points as a thank you for another strong year in difficult times from our CEO.”


In addition to end-of-year holidays, show appreciation during industry holidays like Hospital Week or Manufacturing Day, Administrative Professionals Day and Boss’ Day (because leaders need recognition too), and, of course, Employee AppreciationDay. Give fun corporate swag or let employees choose a gift from a thoughtfully curated selection of items.

Heritage Bank celebrates Employee Appreciation Day every year, even in a virtual work environment in the middle of the pandemic.

Learn more


What better way to show appreciation to your new hires, thank them for joining your company, and introduce them to your recognition culture than sending a swag box filled with items that shout company pride? Follow it up with a symbolic award and ecards on their first day at work like CIBC, and you’ll start helping employees feel a sense of belonging, appreciation, and workplace community from day one.

Extra effort

Your people are putting in extra effort every day to keep your company running and customers happy. Be sure to thank them for their efforts, whether it’s staying late to meet a deadline, helping a peer, or innovating. Use tech integrations like Capital One does to ensure that employees can appreciate and recognize one another in their flow of work in the apps they use every day—while sending an email, chatting in Slack, or researching on Chrome.

Individual above and beyond work

Don’t just recognize your top performing employees. When employees go above and beyond their normal job duties to do great work, or complete a big project, they deserve recognition. Formal recognition through points, awards, or gift cards ensures their work is noticed and appreciated by others. TD Bank Group’s recognition program recognizes employees when they go above and beyond to demonstrate TD’s Shared Commitments.

Team successes

When teams achieve something together, it should be celebrated. From small to big wins, taking risks, and overcoming obstacles, recognition at the team or business unit level creates a culture of belonging and community that helps with employee retention for team members. Use your recognition tools to recognize and celebrate individual team initiatives.

“At TWE we regularly use Group Deposits to reward employees for participating in competitions and initiatives. It has been an effective way to help boost engagement and encourage participation in business-led initiatives…The ease of use has meant that this has now become the standard method of reward across our business.”

Reskilling, upskilling, and promotions

Recognize employees when they grow and develop. It shows they accomplished something important and that you are invested in them and their careers.

Career anniversaries

Celebrate an employee’s career—not just time spent at your company, but their achievements over those years. Yearbook brochures that let peers and leaders add their congratulations and stories, and custom symbolic awards that tie employee work anniversaries back to your company will help create lasting memories and loyalty.


Just because an employee is saying goodbye doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate them. American Airlines gives every employee who retires from the airline a Yearbook with messages from the peers and leaders throughout their careers thanking them for their contributions.

Get more employee appreciation ideas, and see how Culture Cloud can help you appreciate all year long.

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