In 2024 Employee Appreciation Day is Friday, March 1st. It’s a day set aside for employers to show their gratitude to the people who work hard to help their businesses succeed.
The first Employee Appreciation Day was in 1995, created by Workman Publishing owner Bob Nelson. It has since been observed in the US every year on the first Friday in March. This is good. It’s not only the morally right choice, but there are also solid benefits employers will reap when they plant these seeds of appreciation.
Employee recognition is one of many actions employers can practice to impact their team’s job satisfaction. And higher job satisfaction leads to lower turnover, higher morale and more productivity.
Paying fairly and offering attractive benefits certainly are starting points. But when the boss goes beyond that to show their people recognition and appreciation for their work—both on specific days (like Employee Appreciation Day) and throughout the year—it’s very powerful in helping foster a positive workplace culture.
The Power of Promotional Products in Employee Appreciation
Branded merchandise is an ideal way for the leadership team of a company to express gratitude to their employees. Especially when this merchandise is of high quality. It helps foster:
High employee morale—This is one of a business’s most important values for productivity and its bottom line. As we already saw above, it’s a direct outcome of job satisfaction.
Sense of belonging—People love to be part of a positive community whether it’s family, a friend group, club, or in the workplace. Branded merch is the perfect visual tie-in for a company’s employees to feel that sense of belonging among their co-workers and leadership team.
Brand loyalty—High-quality branded merchandise given to satisfied employees will be used or worn frequently in different environments, not just at work. It’s some of the easiest and most cost-effective advertising available. Not only that, according to a 2023 Ad Impressions Study by ASI, promo products are US consumers’ #1 favorite type of advertising. That’s true across men and women in every age group from 18-65!
Select Thoughtful Branded Gifts
When giving branded gifts to their teams, employers should be sure these products align with their company culture and values.
For example, if a company publicly expresses its commitment to sustainability, it doesn’t want to give its employees “fast fashion” items on Employee Appreciation Day! Instead, it should look for branded apparel options that come from companies also committed to sustainability.
In that way, the gifts and the company culture are in continuity. That’s a plus for both the leadership team and their workers, showing everyone understands this value goes beyond the label – it’s part of the company’s core.
We use sustainability as our example because it’s high on American consumers’ list of what’s important to them, according to the 2023 Ad Impressions Study. 46% of them say they feel more favorable about branded products that are eco-friendly.
Employers should also ensure the branded gifts will be items their employees will want to use or wear, not items that will quickly be thrown into the nearest trash bin or collect dust in a closet. So quality is important. Usability is important. If these gifts are apparel items then fit, color and style are important.
The same Ad Impressions Study found that outerwear is the top pick for branded merchandise, and that 61% of people would keep and wear promoted outerwear for at least two years. 62% of people would keep and wear a promotional polo shirt for at least a year. And 59% would keep and wear performance apparel for at least a year.
One final statistic for you: Outerwear and fleece branded apparel generates 7,856 impressions over its lifetime. That’s high impact.
Are we suggesting you should observe Employee Appreciate Day to gain more ad impressions? Of course not. But we want you to understand that thoughtfully selecting branded gifts to show gratitude to your team members produces favorable outcomes for everyone.
Promotional Products Success Stories
We want to help you get promotional products to your customers that they can be proud to offer their team for Employee Appreciation Day or other significant company events.
Here’s what some of our satisfied partners have had to say recently:
“The Promo industry is continually moving towards higher-quality products to show employee appreciation. It is extremely important for companies to take into consideration the quality of apparel they are giving employees. It communicates trust, value, respect, and appreciation for the employees who are the most important part of the company. This is why Storm Creek is always my first choice for high-end corporate apparel. Their product line is not only some of the highest quality in our industry, it is also stylish, sustainable, comfortable, and affordable. It checks all my boxes!” ~ Mike
"My experience with your company has been nothing short of FANTASTIC! Storm Creek is my new 'go-to' for outdoor apparel and accessories!" ~ Jo
“I have a monster of an order I'm currently working on and everyone helping me through this has been phenomenal. Super supportive and accommodating. I will use Storm Creek whenever I can.” ~ Gail
“Thanks very much for your help with the Traveler Vest project. I wanted you to know that your assistance on this order has been exceptional. Offering a sample, doing a virtual, following through...ALL WITHOUT ME ASKING.” ~ Rich
One of the easiest ways for a company to increase employee morale, create a sense of belonging and raise brand loyalty is by showing gratitude to its team. Employee Appreciation Day on March 1st is a natural opportunity for that.
And one of the best ways to show that gratitude is with high-quality corporate branding merchandise. It makes that gratitude both meaningful and memorable.