Any excuse to eat cupcakes and chocolate in the office is fine by us!
Valentine's Day is the perfect chance to find a way to show your staff how much you appreciate them.
Cheesy or not, celebrate Valentine's Day by taking some time out of the day to show little employee recognition can increase morale, share some positivity and make the team feel valued.
And, of course, you can all enjoy some delicious Valentine's Day food and snacks while you're at it.
So... how do you celebrate Valentine's Day in the office?
Host an office breakfast
Start your Valentine's Day celebrations off first thing in the morning with some sweet and savoury breakfast catering to treat your team!
Encourage employees to take the time to grab a warm drink and nibble instead of heading straight to their desks. They can also skip the instant coffee and toast this morning. Consider ordering in some some breakfast bagel sandwiches, yogurt parfait cups, fresh fruit and create a surprise spread everyone will love.
Get everyone a card to show your appreciation
A quick, easy and affordable way to make sure your employees feel appreciated is to get each one a personalised card.
Emphasis on the word 'personalised'.
We recently spoke to Dr Robyn Johns, a senior lecturer at UTS in Human Resource Management about the importance of employee appreciation and she noted that generic gifts come across as impersonal — which could end up having the opposite affect of what was intended.
Make sure not to just print the same card for everyone and take the time to write a unique message for each person. If you're part of a large team, work with the team leads who know their crew members best.
Some charities, like Oxfam, even have Valentine's Day cards available for a good cause, where proceeds will be donated. Just remember to personalise that message inside!
Put on a gold-coin donation tea
Plenty of our catering partners offer Valentine's Day treats, and what better way to spread the love than to host a morning or afternoon tea for a good cause?
Order items like cupcakes, cookies and other classic morning tea items and ask for a gold coin charitable donation in exchange for the sweet treats.
At the end of the day, donate the proceeds to a charity that's near and dear to your company's and employees' hearts. It really is the perfect gift for Valentine's Day!
Get creative with an appreciation bulletin board
Sometimes saying 'thank you' goes a lot further than you'd realise. Set up a board where staff can post their appreciation for one another - once you've written your own messages of employee recognition too, of course!
Supply a few Valentine's Day coloured-markers, post it notes and nice paper and encourage employees to share the love with colleagues, or write the name of someone they may appreciate and why.
Even better, this is something that you can hang up on the wall that employees can read for a little pick-me-up anytime long after Valentine's Day has ended.
Not everyone works in the same office? That's okay! Virtual kudos boards are also great for remote teams so everyone can participate.
Individual Valentine's Day themed goodie bags with cookies or chocolates
Along with those personalised cards, order some cookies and create a goodie bag to place on employee's desks to make sure that everyone gets something.
Making individual goodie bags is also a great way to ensure anyone with special dietary restrictions is still able to get a sweet treat and that no cross-contamination will happen.
Put on a spread with a Valentine's Day celebration lunch
Take your staff lunch to the next level and create a Valentine's Day themed catering menu.
We've created a list of must-have items you should get for your Valentine's Day celebrations, including sweet and savoury items and drinks.
You can go way beyond just the food too. Decked out your office space in pink and red decorations, like heart-shaped balloons and flowers, for Valentine's Day too.
Fun, office-friendly Valentine's Day activities and games
A great way to show the team you appreciate them, understand how much hard work they do and celebrate Valentine's Day all in one hit, is by rewarding them with some social time on the company's time.
Whether it's an extended lunch break or finishing up early for the day, encourage the entire company to take a much-needed break by joining in on some Valentine's Day themed activities and games.
It could be something as simple as guessing how many candy hearts are in a jar! Anything that will get them away from their desks, even if just for a few minutes. Then gift the jar to the winner at the end of the day (and remind them sharing is caring).
After work drinks
We love a themed drinks event! And Valentine's Day is one where you get to be surprisingly creative. Plenty of pink and red cocktails can be added to the menu and rose and red wines were practically made for the 14th of February.
How to use Valentine's Day as an opportunity to boost employee engagement
A shocking 87% of employees report feeling unengaged in the workplace, but luckily there are heaps of ways to turn it around, and a holiday or event is a great place to start.
After all, it's often the little things that make a difference, so take the opportunity to make their day.
- Brighten the mood: Remember this date or time of year can be tough for some, so make sure you're being respectful of everyone when celebrating and encourage good vibes all around. See it as a day to spread the love, not to ensure everyone is in it!
- Increase camaraderie: Celebrating an event together not only forms bonds in the workplace, but it can spark a feeling of togetherness and boosts team morale.
- Encourage positive corporate culture: Ensuring you celebrate in an inclusive way will make employees feel safe, connected and happy in your business.
What to get employees for Valentine's Day
- Sweet treats, like chocolates, cookies and cupcakes
- A small plant or flowers for their desk to brighten their day
- A "voucher" for an early mark, reduced work hours or a day off - the perfect gift to show employee recognition and appreciation
What not to do when celebrating Valentine's Day at work
Don't be inappropriate
Despite being the holiday of love, there is a time and a place for everything. Ensure whatever you decide is positive, but not inappropriate. The last thing you would want to do is make someone (or everyone) uncomfortable. If you organise games, make sure they are optional and family friendly. After all, this is an office space and not a buck's or hen's party!
Don't make anyone feel bad
If someone doesn't want to get involved, that's ok! don't pressure anyone to take part in celebrating. Give the chance to get involved, but allow people the space to remain reserved; there may be a personal reason after all.
Don't leave anyone out
Both for any meals you're catering for Valentine's Day and any food-related gifts (like chocolates or biscuits), make sure you cater to all dietary requirements.
Don't make this a matchmaking event
Your staff is here to celebrate Valentine's Day with their co-workers, not to be paired up with them. Remember, at the end of the day, this is a work event, so don't take on the role of cupid!
Don't get too personal
Being appreciative and thankful: yes. Being flirtatious: a big no. Valentine's Day doesn't have to be romantic! Find work-appropriate ways to celebrate and show appreciation for your teammates.