How to Show Appreciation to Your Employees

When you value your employees’ hard work and contributions to the company, it’s important to show appreciation. Showing your gratitude lets employees know when they’re excelling, and can increase engagement. Rewarding your employees can include anything from writing a note to providing financial incentives, and you can show your appreciation as often as you want.


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Basics of showing appreciation to team members

Showing appreciation and recognizing your employees’ hard work can benefit both your company and your staff. Some of the biggest benefits include:


  • Increased morale: When employees receive recognition for their hard work, they feel personally appreciated, which improves their confidence and their enthusiasm for their job. Increased morale makes it more likely that employees stay at your company for longer. 

  • Improved engagement: Regular employee recognition and reward systems often incentivize team members to do their best, which leads to increased engagement at work and a greater sense of connection to the company.

  • Better performance: When employees believe they will receive appreciation for good work, they perform better and increase productivity levels, which can contribute to better results and business growth.

  • Stronger company culture: Businesses that recognize employees frequently often incorporate appreciation into their company culture, which can create a positive work environment and a stronger sense of teamwork.

Related: How to Grow Your Business


Best practices for employee appreciation

Use the following ideas to show your gratitude to your employees:


Acknowledge accomplishments right away

The easiest way to recognize your employees for good work is to acknowledge their contributions right away. Show your appreciation in person to make the maximum impact. For example, you can congratulate employees for leading an important meeting successfully or for completing a major project on time and under budget.


Write a thank-you note

When you can’t show your appreciation right away or when the magnitude of the accomplishment deserves more than a quick “congratulations,” put your gratitude in writing. Take the time to write a personal note or an email that conveys your genuine appreciation, including recognition of their hard work and acknowledgment of their professional growth.


Thank your team publicly

While many people appreciate personal expressions of appreciation, it’s also important to make your recognition public, especially when your team has accomplished something significant. To thank employees publicly, say a few words about their achievements at your weekly department meeting or your monthly staff meeting. You can also include a congratulatory note in your internal newsletter. 


Celebrate traditions

If your employees regularly contribute excellent work, recognize them on a regular basis. Create a tradition that everyone can look forward to, such as a monthly team-building or social event. In addition to showing appreciation to your employees, you can also strengthen team bonds and reinforce a positive work environment on a regular basis.


Ignore small mistakes

Sometimes the best way to show appreciation is to give your employees leeway when they need it. If they make small mistakes, such as missing a project deadline by a few hours or neglecting a minor task, allow them to try again rather than reprimanding them. Taking this tact shows that you appreciate their hard work and that you trust them to do their best.


Give a financial incentive

To encourage employees to do their best, consider offering financial incentives. You can start small by offering gift cards to local stores or coffee shops. To recognize bigger accomplishments, offer quarterly, annual or project-based bonuses to team members who reach predefined goals or who make the most substantial contributions.


Offer extra time off

Although most employees value financial incentives, many also appreciate intangible rewards like additional time off. Consider giving top-performing employees an afternoon off each month, or allow select team members to adopt a flexible schedule during a given time frame. You can also show your recognition by allowing employees to work remotely, which is a benefit that people in most industries value highly.


Buy lunch for your team

When you want to improve team morale and show appreciation to your employees at the same time, buy everyone breakfast, lunch or coffee. Order into your office to save time, or make the occasion truly special by taking everyone out for a meal. As an additional reward, consider asking your team’s top performers to choose the venue.


Create a rewards system

If each of your employees has different preferences for receiving recognition, develop a rewards system that allows each person to choose their own incentives. Assign a certain number of points to major tasks and accomplishments, and track the points that each team member receives. Allow them to trade their points for rewards of their choice, such as days off or contributions toward continuing education.


Related: How to Find Good Employees


Employee appreciation FAQs

Read through the following frequently asked questions to learn more ways to show employee appreciation in specific instances:


How can you show appreciation to your coworkers?

To show appreciation to your peers or to fellow managers, consider writing them a recommendation that highlights their impressive contributions. You can make it public by sharing it on a social media networking site, or you can keep it private by providing it to a human resources employee or a potential employer.


What can you say to show appreciation to your employer?

To show gratitude to your employer or a company executive, consider giving them a genuine compliment during a meeting. Take care to highlight their leadership or experience so that others can also recognize their hard work. Alternatively, consider using your company’s feedback system to communicate your appreciation for your employer via the human resources team.


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