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Article: Why Employee Appreciation Needs to Happen Year Round

Why Employee Appreciation Needs to Happen Year Round

Why Employee Appreciation Needs to Happen Year Round

Employee appreciation is a hot topic these days - especially in the HR world. Recognition programs are on the rise, but what’s the big deal? Does it make much of a difference?

The truth is - employee appreciation plays a huge role in the success of a company - if you’re doing it well, you will build a great reputation, attract higher quality candidates and see higher levels of productivity. If you’re not, well, you might be looking at higher turnover, detached staff and less teamwork overall.

At the end of the day, we all go to work. Feeling like it’s a great place to be and you are a valued member of your company shouldn’t be such a stretch. Including things like peer to peer shout outs and recognition programs can help boost your mood and contribute to the success of your business.

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.” – Jacques Maritain, French philosopher

Snack Nation came up with a fantastic list of Recognition quotes we’ll be sharing to inspire your own acts of appreciation! Let’s dive in and see how we can better contribute to a healthier work environment.

Can You Recognize Employees Every Day?

“I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish when they are praised.” Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

ap·pre·ci·a·tion/əˌprēSHēˈāSH(ə)n/ (

  1. gratitude; thankful recognition: They showed their appreciation by giving him a gold watch.
  2. the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value.

Yep. The important thing here is to understand how your standout employee prefers to be recognized. Also, going overboard with daily kudos may have the opposite effect - it can come across as disingenuous, and, like a good swear word, lose its impact when overused.

For some, it’s a pat on the back for a job well done, for others, it’s an announcement or their name in an all-staff email or newsletter.

  • Sending a thoughtful email
  • A certificate
  • A card
  • Sending flowers

Maybe you have a company trophy or plaque for ‘Employee of the Week,’ etc. Whatever it is, it should be fair, transparent and open to all. You don’t want people thinking you’re playing favorites!

Celebrating service milestones, remembering a birthday or bringing a cake, decorating their office before they come into work, leaving them a sticky - these can all be simple ways to give the proverbial pat on the back - and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

Have Your Own Style - But Be Genuine

Managers will have their own style - I have worked for people who preferred one on one personal recognition, one who likes to send flowers for meaningful accomplishments, one who called me out for a job well done - in front of 100 people.

I was happy with all 3, after all, they hit the main point - they found a way to personally and meaningfully show their appreciation of me and my work - and made me feel valued.

It’s also not always about a gift - appreciation can be given as time as well. Knowing how busy everyone is these days, doesn’t it mean more when they take a minute to pop their head in to thank you for getting your project in on time or for handling a tough customer?

According to Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences HR Department, you should stick to these guidelines when seeking to bestow recognition:

  • Be genuine. Give it your full attention and be sincere
  • Be timely. Try to recognize the individual as soon as you can after the contribution or accomplishment
  • Be specific
  • Give the action the “recognition” it deserves
  • Keep it right-sized
  • Personalize it if you can

Like anything else, being real when it comes to employee appreciation will have a much more powerful impact on the people you give it to.

They can tell when you’re going through the motions. Follow up quickly, even if it seems inconvenient for you - actually, especially if it does. A tiny act of gratitude goes a lot farther than you think.

Are There Benefits to Employee Appreciation?

“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.” – Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

When people feel appreciated and noticed in their work, studies have shown that they are more productive, satisfied and motivated to keep up the good work. After all, it takes a very driven person to self-motivate. You put in all that hard work on your project, your proposal, your display, whatever it is - and you feel like a balloon losing its air when no one notices.

Perks that come with an employee base who feels they are noticed and valued include:

  • Building a solid reputation for your business
  • Attracting motivated candidates
  • More engaged and happy employees
  • Increased productivity
  • Lower turnover
  • Working better as a team

Peer-to-Peer Recognition

“Feeling gratitude, and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward, inspirational author

We don’t just have to be recognized by the boss - peer recognition can have a massive effect on performance and mental health. In fact, since we spend most of our time with our peers, it’s probably even more impactful, especially if given in a natural, consistent way.

Encouraging this or offering a program where it’s easy for staff to nominate or simply say something nice, a thank you, a random act of appreciation, whatever form it takes, this can help with a day to day opportunity to make your teammates feel great about themselves - and takes the pressure off a busy boss.

Multi-level appreciation offers different kinds of thank yous - and all are contributing to the feeling of inclusion, respect and an overall welcome and healthy work environment.

How Can You Start?

“People want to be appreciated, cared for, loved, trusted, and respected. But they also want to be understood, and if you master the skills to achieve that, you truly become exceptional.” – Joe Navarro, American author

According to Cutting Edge PR, there are 2 aspects to employee recognition: See opportunities and act on them.

  1. The first aspect is to actually see, identify or realize an opportunity to praise someone. If you are not in a receptive frame of mind you can easily pass over many such opportunities. This happens all too frequently.
  2. The other aspect of employee recognition is, of course, the physical act of doing something to acknowledge and praise people for their good work.

Are you giving recognition to the people in your life? It’s not hard to start the process - and it can make a huge difference to your day, your environment and the way people see you.

Some people want to be recognized themselves and fear competition with others if they put someone else in the spotlight. The sooner you change your perspective on that, the sooner you will reap the rewards.

There is power in being a confident enough person to point out the good work others are doing - in fact, this is a sure sign of a natural leader.

Now get out there and make someone feel amazing!

Related article: 5 Apps to Boost Your Positivity

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