6 Ways to Really Show Employees You Appreciate Them

How do you show your employees you appreciate them, beyond the old-school printed “Employee of the Month” certificate? One key is through real-time communication—instead of waiting once a quarter to thank your employees, show them that you’re aware of the work they do and the skills they bring to your business along with success.

Employee recognition is less of a “very good” and more of a “must do”. than many employers think. One of the biggest reasons Why workers stop caring They feel undervalued because of their work and the company they work for. Instead of leaders patting themselves on the back or viewing employee recognition as a gift for employees, employers need to reframe their approach to understanding recognition as a business strategy that is essential to building a healthy, productive and sustainable workforce. .

Leading a team can be one of the biggest daily challenges for managers, entrepreneurs and small business owners. Beyond the many complexities of interpersonal relationships that affect any work team, the employer-employee/leader-team member dynamic—there is an additional layer of difficulty in recognition.

Valuing your employees as team members and as integral members of your small business operation is key to entrepreneurial success. A powerful tool to promote employee recognition and appreciation Healthy peer and team relationshipsReinforce productive and creative behavior, celebrate milestones of success and ensure that you Retaining good employees.

Conversely, there may be reasons for not showing true perception Good employees must be let go Do them. Employee appreciation is a broad term that can relate to pay and benefits, recognition, celebrating success and team building. It goes beyond the surface level of appreciation like a casual thank you or a job well done and should reflect the heart of your company’s culture and values.

Timing is everything

As with many things in business, timing is of the essence when it comes to employee appreciation. Many feel that small, but timely gestures of appreciation are more satisfying or perceived as genuine than big, but later thanks. Speaking personally, I would rather have a thank you or a gesture of gratitude at the end of the project that happens six or ten months after the event.

Of course, both are still appreciated and meaningful in their own way, but there is something to be said about timely delivery that increases one’s appreciation. Saving big gestures, like a yearend bonus, for later is warranted, but consider small gestures that respond to the task at hand as day-to-day options.

Humility and teamwork

Being thoughtful about how you communicate your praise requires some humility about your own role as an entrepreneur or business owner. While it may be easy to think you’re doing your employees a favor by paying them a competitive wage or thanking them for going above and beyond the call of duty, you run the risk of missing the point of employee appreciation entirely.

The employee-employer relationship is two-way, not one-way. Your employees are serving you as much by choosing to work in line with your business vision and doing good work, as you are by hiring them and supporting them financially.

You are all part of the same team. Every team member, if they’re the right fit, brings something integral to the table. Working together as a unit requires that each member feel valued in their role and supported as they work together toward goals.

1. Give a bonus at an unexpected time

Quarterly or year-end bonuses are a popular way to incentivize employees and celebrate a successful year or milestone. While this old-school option may seem outdated, there are ways to update tradition without losing sight of the goal.

Including a handwritten note thanking your employee for his contribution to the team over the year, giving a bonus at a more unexpected time than a company holiday party, or offering it as a stock option, are all relatively simple options.

2. Feed your team

Throwing a small offering party at the end of a quarter or after reaching a company goal is a great way to thank your team for their hard work. The party does not have to be an extravagant event. All you need is your staff and food.

There is something about gathering around food that makes people forget their troubles. Buying pizza, sandwiches or donuts for your employees almost always boosts morale. Even if it’s just for the day, providing a party atmosphere for your employees will help them feel more appreciated by your company.

3. Thank them on social

Giving shout-outs to your team or individual team members on social media is one way to broadcast your appreciation to the world. If an employee wants and is willing to be featured and publicly thanked on your company’s Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok page, use that opportunity to let your followers know how much you appreciate your team.

To make public recognition a truly powerful tool, make it something that is done regularly. Instead of publishing a post once or twice a year, acknowledge 1 or 2 team members per month.

4. Personalize your praise

What works for one employee may not make sense to another or fail to properly recognize their success. For example, one employee may find it appropriate to mention their hard work and collaboration on a project in front of a collaborative team, while another may find it embarrassing and shy away.

It really depends on the person, and it requires you to assess the situation and decide what type of gesture is appropriate for both the person and the situation. This includes awareness of personality types and work styles, as well as sensitivity around the issue. Different people want to be appreciated and recognized in different ways.

5. Give your time to volunteers

Sponsoring a day where your employees can go and donate their time to a cause they care about is a powerful way to support your team in a way that has nothing to do with work. You can do this by offering volunteer hours. Volunteer hours are likewise worked off paid time. An employee can accumulate hours every pay cycle. You can set the maximum hours per year to 8, 16 or 24 hours.

When team members have enough hours, they can volunteer at their church, shelter, charity or event that helps their community. These hours will be used anytime during regular business hours.

While acknowledging your team’s work and feeding them can be great ways to show appreciation, supporting the cause they’re passionate about adds a different level of appreciation that goes a long way.

6. Recognize non-work related achievements

Has one of your employees completed a half-marathon? Become a US citizen? Buying their first home? If so, take this opportunity to celebrate with them! If you have a team member who has achieved a goal outside of work, acknowledging the achievement will help them feel more than just an employee.

Take the time to send an email, create a banner, or acknowledge it at the next team meeting (with the employee’s permission). To do this you must have a work culture where your team feels comfortable sharing details of their lives outside of work. But once you do, it’s a great way to show your employees how much you appreciate them.


Showing your appreciation to your employees and recognizing their contributions should be a thoughtful and strategic gesture that is part of your culture and way of doing business. Employees who feel appreciated and valued are more likely to be Happy, productive and engaged at workAnd they’re less likely to jump ship.

As a leader, your role in the workplace should be as a representative of your company’s culture, and integrating appropriate recognition into that framework will go a long way to affirming your business values.

Cassidy Welter on Twitter
Cassidy Welter

Staff Writer: Cassidy Welter is a Chicago-based researcher at a consulting firm specializing in nonprofits. When she’s not working, she’s reading anything she can get her hands on, debating politics, watching the Pittsburgh Penguins, and eating her way through the city’s food scene. See more from Cassidy on Twitter at @CassidyWelter.

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Article Tags:

Business Opportunities · Company Culture · Features · Leadership · Personal Development · Your Mindset

Article Category:

Find Your Way · Grow Your Business · Lead Your Team · Your Mindset

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