6 Great Ideas For Teacher Appreciation Week & Beyond

Whether it’s teacher appreciation week, the end of the semester, or there’s an upcoming retirement – it’s often a challenge thinking of a unique and meaningful way to thank a special teacher.

But don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with some great, tried and true, ideas.

1) Kudoboard Group eCard


We of course recommend Kudoboard (no surprise, right?), an online replacement for the card that’s passed around and signed.

Whether you’re on the PTA and want to pass it around to fellow parents, or you’re a college student passing it around to your classmates – a Kudoboard is the perfect way to gather a large group to show some teacher appreciation.

Just take a look at a few Kudoboards that folks have made for teachers to get a sense for how special they can be:

2) Teaching Supplies & Resources


“I have more than enough classroom supplies”
– no teacher (ever)

Teachers love their students, but boy oh boy…those kids can be ravenous when it comes to supplies!  Sure little Johnny…feel free to borrow the white out *again* to fix a mistake.

Help them out by getting them some of the much needed essentials, or provide them with funds to use at a site like Teachers Pay Teachers so they can purchase lesson materials from other teachers.  Double bonus – then you would be helping two teachers!

3) A Night On the Town


Hard as it might have been to imagine when you were a little kid, teachers are people too! And they’d love to go out and relax a bit after a long week of work.  Help them out by treating to a night of fun this teacher appreciation week, perhaps even getting them a ticket to a popular show playing nearby.

4) Flowers


Sometimes all a teacher needs to brighten their day is a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Particularly if you live somewhere a bit cold and gray (*ahem* Chicago, we’re looking at you!), then a splash of color on their desk can make all the difference.

5) Treats


NOM NOM NOM.  Enough Said.

6) Gift Card

From popular restaurants to nearby relaxation spas – a well thought out gift card is sure to make the teacher in your life feel appreciated on teacher appreciation week. Just don’t forget to write a nice note, as well, to say thanks directly!

ps – fun fact, one of the Kudoboard founders used to be a teacher. He actually came up with the idea for Kudoboard in the classroom.  Read more about it here.

Group eCard From Fans

What do Reba McEntire, Ashley McBryde, Carrie Underwood, and Michael Ray all have in common? 

If you guessed that they are all country music artists, you’d be right. But more importantly (to us anyway!), they all have fans that recently created them Kudoboards. 

Check it out here:  Reba’s Kudoboard, Ashley’s Kudoboard, Carrie’s Kudoboard, Michael’s Kudoboard.

Kudoboard is most often used in the workplace to celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, onboarding, and farewells.  But it’s also great to use in your personal life – whether to celebrate a family member or friend on a special occasion, or to recognize an artist that you love. 

Here’s what it looks like in action on Twitter, start to finish:

From inviting others to contribute…


To seeing the messages roll in…


To delivering the board…


To seeing the recipient’s reaction!


Choosing The Right Kudoboard Option For You

Smaller teams/businesses (100 coworkers and under) occasionally email us asking whether the Starter Plan or Business Plan is best for their use case. The simplest answer:

If you want any of the following…

  • more than 1 Kudoboard creator
  • custom board backgrounds & branding
  • advanced administrative/privacy controls
  • shoutout mode (see an example here)
  • likes & comments

…go with Kudoboard for Business. Otherwise, a Starter Plan will save you money.

There is more detail on our pricing page, but for a different way to look at it, here is a decision tree to explain our thinking around which Kudoboard option to choose:

Still have questions?  No problem – you can always email us at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you within 1 business day.

Hope that helps!

The Kudoboard Team

7 Ways to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day


Does your employee like to read?  Recognize employee appreciation day by stopping at a local store and buying them a gift card or a book on a subject you know that they are interested in.


Sometimes that sweet, sweet company sweatshirt is all you need for employee appreciation day. It not only creates a stronger bond between you and your employee but can help to foster a positive company culture.


Who doesn’t like a pair of unique socks, particularly when they show how much you know about your employees’ hobbies? You can never have enough socks with musical instruments on them, right!?


Think of company culture as also rewarding your employee on employee appreciation day with gifts that speak to culture. If you are from a large city, you know just how expensive a theater ticket can be. You can make employee appreciation day special by giving two theater passes to a hot show!


Make that a cup of really good coffee for your employee. After all, employee appreciation day comes but once a year.  You’ve been at a local coffee joint with your team. You’ve seen just what coffee your employee likes.  Buy a mug.  Add a bag of coffee and a gift certificate.  You’re set!


There are so many small ways to reward someone on employee appreciation day. Go to LinkedIn and congratulate your employee with a personal message. Write them a note and leave it on their desk.  What is most important is that you show that you care.


We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest Kudoboard as one way to recognize someone on employee appreciation day. Nothing goes as well as giving your employee an online recognition board created by your whole team . All you need to do is go to Kudoboard (www.kudoboard.com) to get started. You can also order a hard copy for mounting. It’s easy. It’s fun. It’s personal.  It’s also a way to create an office tradition.

The Ultimate Get Well Group Card


NBA Pacers’ all-star Victor Oladipo suffered a season ending injury when he ruptured the quad tendon on his right knee in a win over Toronto on January 23rd.  

As anyone who has spent time in Indiana knows – that state loves its basketball.  While they were heartbroken that their star would be out, they also wanted to let him know that they were behind him 100% in his recovery and eventual return. 

The Pacers marketing team created Olidapo a Kudoboard, put it on their website, and let the fans take it from there.  Nearly 1000 (!!!!) posts later, Olidapo has one of the larger Kudoboards that’s ever been created. Check it out HERE!  It takes a few seconds to load since there are so many pictures posted, but the wait is worth it. 

Recognizing a Leader with a Group Card

In 2018, Deborah KL wrapped up her two year stint as the president of the Association of American Women in Europe.  To thank her for the time and commitment to the organization, the group put together a ‘thank you’ Kudoboard highlighting Deborah’s two years in office.

The board includes dozens of effusive notes to Deborah recognizing her efforts.  Here are just a few excerpts:

“Thank you for your leadership, your poise, your empathy, your spontaneous literary quotations, your unflagging humor and overall grace. As AAWE President you have nurtured our beloved association to a renaissance in membership and enthusiasm.”

“I have so enjoyed having you as President, your enthusiasm, efficiency and constant good humour were a pleasure. I know what that job takes and can profoundly appreciate all the time, work and love that you have given. Could we talk you into another year?”

“What a pleasure it’s been to work with you, and to see AAWE thrive and flourish, buzzing with fun events and innovative ideas. It’s inspiring to see how you dash from parties to financial seminars to support training, usually with a tin of home-baked goodies under your arm, and always with your finger on the pulse of what makes our club tick.”

The notes of appreciation go on (see full Kudoboard here), and it was a terrific treat for Deborah when she received the board.  “I LOVE it!!!!” said exclaimed in a follow-up survey. “The photos, the messages, the whole idea was a wonderful surprise and is a precious memento from my dear friends.”

From all of us at Kudoboard, Deborah, congrats on the clear impact you had with your organization.  And thanks for allowing us the privilege to share your Kudoboard story!

24 Employee Appreciation Ideas That Really Work

dwight employee appreciation ideas

Last Updated June 2019 

Numerous studies have shown that employee appreciation is one of the top factors in whether employees turnover — which has a huge impact on whether your team succeeds. For example, a Career Builder survey found that employee recognition was the 2nd most important factor in whether an employee stays with a company. 

But not to worry.  We’ve got you covered with 23 employee appreciation ideas to amp up your appreciation efforts:

1. Recognize birthdays & work anniversaries 

When employees reach milestones like birthdays and work anniversaries, it’s a natural time for them to take stock and consider their futures. A surprising study by Harvard Business school revealed that the reflection that occurs around these big days is particularly crucial in whether folks stick around in their jobs.  One easy way to get ahead of it is by going out of your way to recognize work anniversaries & birthdays.  

Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t suggest Kudoboard as a great way celebrate your people.  It allows colleagues to recognize an employee’s work anniversary or birthday with an online card that’s passed around and signed.  Contributors can add pictures, GIFs, or videos – and gives the recipient something meaningful on an important day.  Particularly if some of your employees are remote, it can provide an easy way a to bring everyone together. 

Just check out this example work anniversary Kudoboard one of our users gave us permission to share to see what we mean.

2. Handwritten thank you notes

Sometimes a handwritten thank you note is more powerful than an email ever could be.  The key here is to write something unique directly for the individual employee that you are thanking.  The last thing someone wants to receive is a handwritten “form letter.”  It feels impersonal, and quite frankly – they’ll question your judgment (or at a minimum, your time management) for not just blasting an email out to everyone.

3. Non-work achievements

One of the hardest things about work is that things often remain “all business.”  This is very efficient in the short term, but many folks crave a personal connection at some point. Taking a moment to publicly recognize employees’ non-work achievements can make a big difference in how employees relate to each other and ultimately the job.

4. Food

Ok this one is not exactly rocket science. People love food.  And when that food is a perk or reward – all the better.  Bring some pizza into the office every once in a while; it will do wonders. 

Have remote employees?  Not a problem. Offering gift cards to eat at a restaurant nearby where they live can be a nice perk with a relatively low cost.  And if you aren’t sure which retailer makes the most sense, you can always get them a Visa gift card that can be used to purchase virtually anything.

5. Mentoring

Taking the time to sent up a more formal mentoring system for your employees can make a big difference in whether they stick around for the long haul.

Even if employees are remote or part-time, setting them up with more senior mentors can make them feel connected and also encourage cross pollination of ideas across the company.

6. Continuing Education

There’s a well known quote from Richard Branson: Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to. One way to do both is to help defray some of the cost for your employee’s continuing education.  

Whether a weekend course on a particular topic of relevance for their job, a conference, or even a course at a local college – showing your team that their ongoing growth and development is a priority can make a big difference in ensuring your employee appreciation efforts are successful.

7. One-on-one video chats

While much of your interaction with employees may be over email or chat, it makes a huge difference to set up regular 1:1 in-person check-ins with employees.  It creates a personal connection and allows you to thank employees for their hard work in a more powerful and authentic manner.

8. Shout outs

When an employee does something well, give them a shout out.  This can come informally, or you can have a more formal time (e.g. once a week on Fridays) when your team pauses for 5 minutes to come together and recognize each other.

9. If some employees are remote, respect that

People choose to work remotely for a variety of reasons. One of the most common, however, is the desire for more control over their schedule (and by extension, their life).  Recognize that fact by giving your remote employees some flexibility in their schedules.  The more you can move toward an output driven culture, the happier many of employees will be.

10. Unique Experiences

Employees have varying interests. Some want to go whitewater rafting, while others would rather curl up by the fire with a good book. If you are going to take the time (and spend the money) to give employees gifts – try to make them sufficiently customizable so that each employee can get what they want.  One idea is to check out Blueboard, a site that allows your employees to select from a variety of unique, experiential rewards.

11. Employee of the month

It may sound cliche, but some things have been around forever because they work.  Employee of the month is a great way to give a boost (and maybe a little gift) to someone who has been going above and beyond. This is particularly effective when it’s peer nominated and has some basic guardrails in place (e.g. don’t have the same person win again and again!).

12. Help with the Commute

There is nothing more soul sucking then a rough commute day after day. And if your office is located in a particularly high priced area (SF/NY — we’re looking at you), then you may even have some “super commuters” on your hands who are traveling multiple hours each way. 

While you can’t dictate where your employees live, you can provide them help with the commute.  For instance, you can cover the cost of public transportation, help to organize office carpools, or even set up a “work from home Wednesday.” 

While this may not feel as creative as some of the other employee appreciation ideas out there, anything you can do to reduce this stressor will pay major dividends.    

13. Add employees to your website

You know that sleepy “About” section of your website that hasn’t been updated in ages?  Use it to highlight your employees.

Make sure to go beyond the mundane (e.g. name, photo, title). Have some fun with it by listing your employees’ favorite ice cream flavors, best vacations ever, etc.  Bonus points if you can connect some of the fun facts to your company mission (e.g. Rotten Tomatoes employees should obviously list their favorite movie!).

14. Retirement Matching

Many of the items included on this list of employee appreciation ideas are simple and inexpensive. If we were being cynical, we’d even call them “hacks” (ooof). 

But let it be said that often the best way to show your employees appreciation is to simply compensate them generously.  This can come in the form of  raises (obviously), or you can start offering a benefit like retirement matching. 

Surveys indicate that only half of companies offer retirement plans, and of that group only about half offer matching programs.  Put yourself in the top ~25% with a matching program and prove to your employees that your company will take care of them over the long haul. 

15. Make Time for Volunteer Opportunities

Pay your employees to volunteer. It may sound counterintuitive, but many top companies give their employees PTO to go out and volunteer for causes that they care about. Some companies even go one further and will donate to these organizations on the volunteer’s behalf.

If you want to make it a bonding exercise, you can organize a group volunteering event among your team. Giving the employees the opportunity to have a say in the cause makes a big difference, so consider some kind of poll or vote (as opposed to volunteering again and again at that organization where the CEO sits on the board!).

16. The “Silly” Trophy

Senior investment bankers make millions of dollars.  But guess what?  Many still love to show off “deal toys” that they received after closing a big transaction. 

Little trophies sitting on our desks can signify big accomplishments and give people a real confidence boost. Whether it’s for employee of the month  or something more specific to your company — you’d be surprised at the mileage you can get out of a little trophy.

17. Suggestion Box 

The suggestion box sounds like one of those employee appreciation ideas right out of 1970s Corporate America. Add cubicles and harsh lighting, and you can almost imagine the lifeless workplace droning away.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.  In fact, giving your employees a public forum to give feedback can be a terrific way to show that you are listening, that you care, and that you will continuously improve.

You can even update it for the modern era with an anonymous digital suggestion box.

18. Employee Wellness Programs

Want employees to feel appreciated? Show them that their health is your priority.

Among employers who offered wellness programs of some sort, more than 50% saw a decrease in absenteeism and two-thirds reported increased productivity.

In terms of exercise, this doesn’t necessarily need to be some morning routine schtick where all the employees are out on the front lawn doing Tai-Chi together. Something as simple as reimbursing employees for part of the cost of a gym membership can be the little push needed motivate someone who has put their health on the back burner recently!

When it comes to health, nothing is more important than food. So if you offer employees meals, try to have a healthy option available (and the same goes for vending machines). Don’t go overboard — we all need our M&Ms every once in a while. But making those healthier choices conveniently available can be what it takes to nudge people in a positive direction.

19. Employee Appreciation Week

Employee Appreciation Day is an unofficial celebration the first Friday in March (and is preceded by employee appreciation week).

It’s the quintessential hallmark holiday and everyone knows it — but still – why not use it as an excuse to do something special for your people? As far as employee appreciation ideas go, this one is about as simple as it gets!

20. Matching Donations

According to Double the Donation, 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching donation programs to their employees. This is a terrific way to enhance your employees’ giving power towards causes they care deeply about while also tackling corporate social responsibility goals you have. 

There are a few keys to a successful matching program that you want to consider. First, you need to publicize it among your employees on a regular basis; otherwise, they will forget about it and not ultimately see the value. Second, you need to make the process for accessing the match simple and straightforward. The more ‘one-click’ you can make the match, the more likely employees are to really consider it a benefit rather than a bit of a hassle.

21. Let Employees Make the Office Their Own

Ordering new furniture for the break room? Give employees a voice.

Looking to add some art to the walls? Give employees a voice.

Replacing desks with something more modern? Give employees a voice.

Updating the smoke detectors and installing sprinklers for safety?  Ok this one you should probably just go ahead and handle!

22. Props on Social Media

If an employee knocks the ball out of the park on something, ask whether you can publicly sing their praises through your company facebook page, twitter handle, etc. 

Some people won’t be comfortable with it (so always ask), but others will appreciation the public recognition — and as a bonus it broadcasts to future potential employees that your company recognizes its people for hard work and jobs well done.  

23. Get them a gift for the holidays

Sometimes the best thing you can possibly do to recognize your team is to buy them a little something on the holidays.  There are tons of great employee gift guides out there; the key is to get each person something a bit personalized to their interests as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach.  It’s not so much about the gift itself, but that you know an employee well enough to understand what they care about.

24. Bring everyone together across multiple offices

Teams spread across multiple offices that interact regularly are an amazing product of the modern age.  But the truth is – people still crave a connection to their colleagues. Bringing dispersed together on a semi-regular basis (once a quarter, once every 6 months, etc.) can seem like a daunting expense.  But it will pay major dividends over the long run as it strengthens your company culture.

Remind Yourself to Create Group Ecards

The new year is fast approaching. Take a minute to set reminders for yourself to use Kudoboard group ecards in 2019 here.

You can add next year’s birthdays, holidays, and special occasions into our reminder system now. We’ll email you one week prior to each of your events so that you remember to create your Kudoboard group ecards.

Thanks, and keep delivering happiness,
The Kudoboard Team

How to Sign a Card From a Group

If someone’s passing around a paper card for a birthday, holiday, or special occasion – the answer to the question is simple.  You sign your name, and that’s about it.  Nothing interesting or inspiring about it, because quite frankly – there isn’t space.

If you want to sign a card from a group using Kudoboard, however, you’ve got decisions to make.

You can add a photo of you and the recipient together.  You can upload a video you created on your phone (or embed one from youtube).  You can grab a GIF from our GIPHY library.  Or you can even write a heartfelt missive.  The point is – you’ve got options.  

As for the other contributors you invite to sign the card from your group – they’ve got options too.  Folks can add as much to the Kudoboard as they want.  With no constraints, the possibilities are endless.  The only question is, does your recipient prefer dancing cat or dog GIFs?

So get out there – send a card from your group.  But whatever you do, don’t just sign your name!


The Kudoboard team.