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Student Employee Appreciation Ideas

Low Cost Ideas

  1. Treat Day, full-time staff bring in treats/lunch for student workers.
  2. Treat Week, each day bring something different – cookies, popcorn, candy, etc.
  3. Take pictures and post student employee pictures and list what wonderful things they do
  4. UNC Gear from the Bookstore
  5. Notes Home - send a note to the families of your student workers. Let them know what the student does, how their work impacts your department, and how terrific the student is for your department
  6. Buy low cost, blank certificates and make up silly awards for students: best telephone voice, best web-surfer, etc.
  7. Friendship Plants - take cuttings from a plant in the office and give to each student as a live “connection” to the office.
  8. Bright Ideas - spray paint a light bulb gold, screw into a jar of play-dough and make a label around the jar naming who is receiving the “Bright Idea” award.
  9. Good Egg Award - buy plastic Easter Eggs, fill with goodies and give out with “Good Egg” certificates. List what the student did to deserve this award.
  10. Cookies, Cookies, Cookies – Students love treats
  11. Snack Goodie Bag- Fill with small packs of crackers, cookies, candy and chips
  12. Healthy Meal – Crackers and Cheese, Spaghetti with Ready Made Sauce.,
  13. Popcorn – Fill a bowl or individual mini bowls daily, inexpensive yet tasty.
  14. Fruit – Have bowl of fresh fruit – take out- apples, plums, oranges etc.
  15. Gift cards – fast food, subway, pizza hut etc.
  16. Movie tickets
  17. Certificates of Appreciation – Make up certificates and have them framed. (you can find decent frames at the dollar store or office depot)
  18. Cyber Cards – Send your students a free Cyber Card stating your appreciation.

Ideas that are Free

  1. Let students pick music for the work place to listen to for the day.
  2. Use this week as an opportunity to start an award recognition program. Look around the office or at home for a white elephant item.
  3. Switch roles for a work session, and let your student employee be the boss.
  4. Let your student employee choose to come in late or leave early one day.
  5. Have everyone bring in a baby picture of themselves and have the students go around trying to guess who everyone is. 
  6. Have everyone participate in carnival activities or games for competitive fun. For example, have a spinning wheel with fun activities or even challenges that your office has to do during specific times.
  7. Create a "Thankful Paper." Have employees in the office pass around a paper with the student employees names on it and have the department fill out what they like about the student employee, how they appreciate them or thankful to have them be a part of the team.
  8. Name the item for the award (Employee of the Month/Week, Great Idea Award, Gotcha Award - catch someone in the act of doing something good) and then make the first presentation of it during Student Employment Week.
  9. Make a banner to hang for the whole week in your office.
  10. Decorate an office bulletin board or the office door for the week in recognition of your students.
  11. Invite to your home for dinner – There is nothing better than a home cooked meal for a student.
  12. Use YOUR imagination…. A simple THANK YOU for all you do will go a long way!