National Employee Appreciation Day

Group of diverse employees gathered around a conference table, smiling and holding coffee mugs. Office setting with motivational posters on the walls..
National employee appreciation day illustration

Strap on your office chair, grab your favorite mug, and let's dive into the wonderful world of National Employee Appreciation Day. A day to celebrate the backbone of any business - you got it! The employees. No need to wait for Christmas bonuses to show some love. Cue the balloons and the motivational speeches!

When is Employee Appreciation Day?

It's national employee appreciation day on the 5th March.

Discovering a Cult Classic Day

Did you know that on 5th March, thousands of employers around the internet showered their employees with tweets, posts, and e-cards about how they couldn’t live without them? With a whopping 8390 online shoutouts in 2021, National Employee Appreciation Day has become an internet sensation faster than your colleague can heat up fish in the office microwave.

5th of March – A Day to Rememeber

Ever wondered why we chose the 5th of March? Why not any other day? Is it just a random pick from the calendar, like choosing the last doughnut from the box? Nope. This day was strategically chosen because it gives companies some time to recover from the 'winter blues' and it encourages a positive work culture as we jump into spring. A single day to celebrate can boost morale for the rest of the year, reaffirms the value of every employee's work and gives a gentle shake to upward lines on performance graphs.

Appreciation - Not Just for a Day

And while we are talking about this, appreciation needs more than just a day’s celebration. It’s like only watering a plant once a year and expecting it to grow. Nurturing a positive work environment needs consistent appreciation and acknowledgement. So maybe, extend the celebrations beyond a day, after all, who doesn't enjoy a little extra sunshine!

History behind the term 'Employee Appreciation'


Rise of Workforce

With the industrial revolution in full swing, the concept of organized labor and a formal workforce began to emerge. As more and more people transitioned from agricultural to industrial jobs, the need for acknowledging and appreciating the hard work of employees started to gain importance.


First Labor Day

In the United States, Labor Day was officially recognized as a federal holiday in 1894, marking a significant step in recognizing the contributions of workers. This annual celebration not only provided a day off for workers but also served as a platform for expressing appreciation towards the workforce.


Hawthorne Experiments

The Hawthorne experiments conducted at Western Electric's Hawthorne Works in Chicago brought attention to the impact of employee satisfaction and emotions on productivity. These studies indicated that acknowledging and appreciating employees' efforts positively influenced their job performance and overall morale.


The Human Relations Movement

During the 1950s, the Human Relations Movement gained prominence, emphasizing the importance of valuing employees as individuals and establishing positive relationships between employers and workers. This movement encouraged employers to show appreciation to their employees as a means to increase job satisfaction and productivity.


First Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day was officially established on the first Friday in March in 1995. The day aimed to recognize and appreciate the hard work and dedication of employees in various organizations. It provided an opportunity for employers to express gratitude and strengthen the bond between the employer and employees.


Continued Recognition

In today's workplaces, employee appreciation has become an essential aspect of company culture. Many organizations regularly celebrate Employee Appreciation Day, hold recognition events, and implement employee recognition programs throughout the year. Recognizing and appreciating employees contribute to higher job satisfaction, improved morale, and increased productivity.

Did you know?

National Employee Appreciation Day originated in 1995, instituted by Bob Nelson, a founding Recognition Professional International board member. So next time your boss organizes an employee game night or appreciation lunch, you know who to thank!


celebration appreciation employee office work culture motivation

First identified

9th March 2015

Most mentioned on

5th March 2021

Total mentions


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