Employee recognition shouldn’t be reserved for birthdays and holidays. Are you looking for additional opportunities to recognize your team and motivate them to new heights? Here’s a list of 10 lesser-known dates, along with some simple, low-cost or no-cost tips on how to show your appreciation.

June 1: Say Something Nice Day
Personally greet each employee by name. Send out an email thanking your team for their hard work on a recent project. Or write down a compliment for each person and leave it on his or her desk. Encourage employees to celebrate this day, too!

July 20: Ice Cream Day
We’re sure you don’t need instructions! Invite your team on a field trip to a nearby ice cream or frozen yogurt shop, or buy a box of frozen treats to pass out. You can even go with healthier alternatives, like frozen fruit.

August 24: Waffle Day
Belgian, Eggo, or whole wheat, everyone loves waffles! Surprise your team with a waffle breakfast. Whip up a batch the night before, or bring in a box of frozen waffles and a toaster. Don’t forget the fruit toppings!

RSW celebrates Waffle Day 2012

RSW celebrates Waffle Day 2012

September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day.
“Arrr!” is for recognition! Get your landlubbers in the spirit of today by using this English-to-Pirate translator to create custom thank you notes for your team. Ahoy!

September 29: Coffee Day
You know what to do! Bring in steaming cuppa joes to give your team a morning rush, or cool down a hectic afternoon with iced coffee.

November 17: Electronic Greeting Card Day
Leave a little recognition in your team’s inboxes by sending electronic greeting cards. Browse Punchbowl or Blue Mountain to find your favorites.

December 21: Look on the Bright Side Day
This week, meet with each department separately and share positive comments about that team. Let everyone know what he or she is doing right, and what you look forward to for next year.

March 29: Earth Hour
Around the globe, people will celebrate conservation by turning off non-essential lights from
8:30-9:30 p.m. local time. If your team is unlikely to be at the office at that hour, observe during the day by turning off non-essential lights for a period of time. Pass out glow sticks, have fun with a flash light and shadow puppets, or come up with other ways your office can champion sustainability.

April 13: Scrabble Day
Buy a supply of Scrabble tiles and use them to spell out positive attributes about your team. Make sure the tiles cross (ex. “T”om and “T”errific.) Or, ask employees to create words for their peers, and see who can score the most points.

May 5: Hoagie Day
Hoagie, hero sub, grinder—whatever you call it, today is the day to treat your team to this traditional Italian-American sandwich. Call up your local deli and arrange for a giant sandwich or sandwich platter to be delivered for lunch.