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Coworker Appreciation [2023 Ultimate Guide]

December 6, 2021
9 Min Read
Photo by
Frederico Jesus for Significa
Table of Contents:

What is coworker appreciation?

Coworker appreciation is the act of showing appreciation for your coworkers. This can include simple things, such as saying "thank you", giving them a thank you card, or even more involved actions like taking care of tasks that are time-consuming or annoying, making snacks, organizing events with coworkers outside of work, etc.

The definition of coworker appreciation according to Google Dictionary is “the practice of noticing and thanking people who provide benefits to the organization”. It's important because it lets employees know that they are doing a great job. It also helps build morale which creates camaraderie between your employees. Coworker appreciation allows your team to feel appreciated for their hard work instead of seeing their job as a burden.

Why is coworker appreciation important?

Every successful team has two common traits: group cohesion and individual performance. These qualities are dependent upon each other and enhance the quality of work-life for everyone involved. Taking steps to show your team members that you value them and their contributions not only has a positive impact on morale but also on overall productivity.

Coworker appreciation matters because it's important for your employees to feel appreciated for their efforts. It also allows them to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, which can be difficult to do when working from home or in remote positions. Coworker appreciation lets employees know that their company cares about them and values their work ethic and positive attitude even outside the parameters of the 9-5 shift. 

Having happy employees is beneficial because it will improve productivity and morale throughout the entire organization, not just in certain departments or teams. People want to do good work, and they want to be recognized for doing so!

Coworker appreciation benefits

Most of the time, your coworkers will be your friends away from work. Even if they’re not your best buddies in the world, it’s still nice to be able to have someone around you can depend on at work. Everyone needs someone who cares enough about them to show appreciation and kindness during the average week.

As much as it might seem like nobody notices the things you do, they probably do. Whether it's made them smile or helped them get through the day when things were tough. Show your appreciation for your coworkers by showing that you're thankful for all that they do.

We often take our coworkers for granted. We think that they're nice, but don't know much about their lives. When was the last time you reached out to your coworker and said: "thank you?"

Doing this not only benefits them but will also benefit you! You'll improve your relationship with that person. You can even build up an even better rapport than before. This might lead to new opportunities at work, outside of work, or help during projects.

Some additional key benefits of coworker appreciation are:

  • Improved productivity and work ethic
  • Less turnover
  • Reduced stress and burnout
  • Fewer conflicts and disagreements
  • Increases employee happiness
  • Helps improve communication between employees of various departments
  • An increase in employee engagement and morale
  • Decrease in office conflicts and complaints
  • Increase in company loyalty
  • Creates a positive company culture

Remote teams and coworker appreciation

When working remotely, it can be difficult to communicate with your coworkers. Coworker appreciation is more challenging in a remote setting. There are many great ways to appreciate your teammates without being around them face-to-face.

Appreciating the work that your teammates and remote employees do shows that you value what they contribute and reminds them how much their work means to the company and its clients.

The following is a list of 12 opportunities for coworker appreciation:

  • Write an email or send them a card with an appreciation letter.
  • Send a gift (snacks, coffee, or sweets).
  • Skype chat about an upcoming project and ask your colleague how they are doing.
  • Organize a coffee meet-up. If you can’t get together in person, you can still do this via Skype.
  • Make a quick video (and add it to your company's wiki, Slack channel, or employee directory) saying why you appreciate the work that they do.
  • Send an email asking for an update on how their pet is doing (if they have one)
  • Reschedule a meeting to where they are, instead of expecting them to come into the office.
  • Have a virtual chat with your colleague about their favorite hobby or interest.
  • Take an online survey about what they would like to see as a reward or bonus (and then fulfill it).
  • Implement software to express appreciation digitally, or simply tag them in a coworker appreciation meme on social media!
  • Have a good old-fashioned phone call.
  • Email an article that you’ve read recently that was relevant to their work.

These are all easy ways to help your remote teammates feel valued and appreciated.

How to improve coworker appreciation 

One of the best ways to improve coworker appreciation is to create a coworker appreciation program. There are many things you can do to create one and it doesn't have to be an expensive or time-consuming process! Here are some simple ideas for ways to show your employees that you appreciate them:

  • Send gift cards or gift baskets (if allowed by company policy).
  • Bring in baked goods or pick up donuts for the office.
  • Organize games with coworkers outside of work hours (Game night, anyone?).
  • Give out certificates for great work or excellent job performance.
  • Organize events/days at the office where everyone wears casual clothes so they can relax and bond outside of work hours.
  • Start a "thank you" program where employees can say thanks to the people who make the office run smoothly (like your administrative assistant).
  • Bring a massage therapist into work once a month.
  • Organize a contest for the best new idea on how to improve the office environment or workflow.
  • Simply write appreciation notes on Post-it Notes and stick them on their computer screen.

Whether it's a one-time event or an ongoing program, there are endless possibilities to show your employees that you appreciate them! Start simple and do what you can as often as you can until it becomes second nature. Your employees will notice the difference and be happier in their jobs as a result. A study done by SurveyMonkey found that 82% of employees are happier when they’re recognized at work.

11 coworker appreciation tips and ideas

Coworker appreciation is an important part of the work culture at any company. If you are looking to improve your current workplace culture or if you are trying to manage a remote office, this list contains helpful ideas for improving your coworker appreciation efforts.

  1. Hold regular team meetings allowing employees to feel comfortable voicing their concerns and sharing ideas.
  2. Get the entire workplace involved with one another’s hobbies.
  3. Designate a specific day as a Coworker Appreciation Day!
  4. Go out of your way to acknowledge hard work, even when it's not noticed by leaders.
  5. Celebrate birthdays and personal milestones publicly. Make your employees feel special!
  6. Have a system for anonymous compliments and encouragement.
  7. Ask questions and listen to the answers.
  8. Encourage socialization across departments.
  9. Allow for flexible work schedules and telecommuting or remote options.
  10. Ask employees what they need to feel appreciated. Some may feel appreciated by hearing words of appreciation and encouragement, but others may need a physical gift. The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace is a great place to start!
  11. Recognize good deeds done by coworkers.

This list can help you make your workplace a place where employees feel valued and happy, which will only benefit the company in the end! You and your coworkers spend the majority of their time in the workplace, why not make it someone everyone enjoys being?

The point is appreciation doesn't have to be big, but it makes people feel great. It reminds them that they are valued and respected as members of your team. Your workers will work harder knowing that achieving goals is appreciated by you and other coworkers on your staff. 

Coworker appreciation best practices

A major contributor to an employee's happiness in the workplace is their relationship with their coworkers. As we have already pointed out, appreciation for your coworkers can ultimately lead to increased morale, which results in happier employees. However, finding ways to show your appreciation for your fellow employees can sometimes prove difficult. Here are five coworker appreciation best practices.

  1. Be specific when showing your coworkers gratitude

Saying something like "Thank you for always being here" doesn't mean much to anyone, but saying "Thanks for staying late to help me finish that document!" is very meaningful. Employees love knowing what exactly they're appreciated for, so try to find specific examples of your coworkers' work.

  1. Always keep it positive

When someone goes out of their way to do something for you, saying thank you should be a given! Don’t bring up past performances or experiences that weren’t so positive. Simply thank them for their efforts and be appreciative, even if this is the first time this coworker has done something worthy of gratitude.

  1. Be the one who recognizes people

If you notice a coworker always pitching in on tasks, take it upon yourself to recognize their work by giving them kudos. Although they might appreciate it if you said something about their effort, your recognition can double as thanks in itself. This is a great way to be a good colleague!

  1. Show your appreciation in public 

Don't be afraid to show your coworkers that you appreciate them by throwing some praise their way when other people are around. Not only will peer recognition make them feel good about themselves, but it might even encourage others to join in on the positivity, which is a good thing! This is a great way to build a positive workplace culture.

  1. Say thanks every day

It's easy to take for granted the little things that our coworkers do, so try to show thanks for them daily. A simple "Thank you" can go a long way towards making your coworker's day, and making the workplace more enjoyable all around.

Coworker appreciation for small and medium businesses

A person's coworkers can make or break their workplace experience. Coworkers can offer motivation, inspiration, and can even work together to create camaraderie among one another; this is especially true in smaller companies where more employees tend to be involved in decision-making processes than in larger businesses.

Employee appreciation is often part of the culture of small businesses. It shows others that their work is valued and appreciated. Manager appreciation for a group of employees helps keep the morale high and shows improved results from workers who feel they are being recognized for their hard work. Managers can show coworker appreciation by taking time to thank employees individually, thanking them on social media or in company newsletters, providing bonuses or incentives, and rewarding the prize winners at company events. Holding contests and games with incentives is a great way to increase employee engagement and morale.

Coworker appreciation is important for small and medium businesses because it improves collaboration and teamwork. Coworker appreciation helps smaller companies keep their team together even if they can't afford to offer benefits such as paid sick days, family leave, etc. Employees also feel more encouraged to complete tasks when they know someone is counting on them. 

Large companies see similar benefits from engaging in coworker appreciation practices. Organizations that value their employees often get a better return on their investment in terms of increased productivity, improved morale, and higher employee retention.

Coworker appreciation for large businesses and organizations

Company culture and workplace morale often go hand-in-hand. Both of these components can positively or negatively affect businesses, as demonstrated by the statistic shared by the CPP Human Capital Report that employees spend at least eight hours each week dealing with workplace conflicts. Multiply this by the number of employees at the company and this turns out to be a tremendous loss of productivity, not to mention profits!

Unfortunately, disregard for coworkers has become all too common in large companies across the nation. While large businesses and organizations cannot deny that this is a growing issue, these establishments can try to resolve it by implementing coworker appreciation tactics.

According to the Huffington Post, a common mistake many large companies make is neglecting their employees to focus on appeasing customers. However, without the support of fellow team members, employees will not feel fulfilled in their roles. By implementing an appreciation program that includes positive reinforcement, managers can help their employees continue to grow and thrive within the company.

Companies that implement effective development programs experience less turnover and increased productivity. In fact, statistics by Lorman show that retention rates increase 30% to 50% in companies that offer development programs for employees. What’s shocking is that almost 60% of those surveyed stated they did not receive any training and everything they learned was self-taught. When employees feel overwhelmed and unsupported, they will quit.

While implementing an appreciation program can be beneficial for companies, managers must choose their method carefully. According to Forbes, time-consuming and expensive strategies like bonus and profit-sharing systems don’t necessarily yield the same results as small gestures of gratitude, but they have an impact. Instead of receiving bonuses, employees need their managers to stop by their office and ask them how they are doing. Rather than give away gift cards, managers can organize lunches where coworkers can get to know each other better. While these may seem like simple gestures, managers need to remember that the quality of the appreciation matters more than the quantity.

As major corporations continue to struggle with employee morale, managers must recognize the value they have in their employees. Implementing a coworker appreciation tactic can help companies see a vast improvement not only in workplace culture but also in productivity and success.

Coworker appreciation software

At corporations, engaging with employees to create a supportive and cohesive company culture is becoming increasingly important. It's an ongoing process that involves each team member committing to the success of everyone on their project. If one person doesn't care about their job or the people they work with, it will have ripple effects: other employees won't feel motivated or inspired, and distractions will take away from the quality of work.

One way companies can promote this culture is through coworker appreciation software, where employees can anonymously give their teammates compliments. Employee feedback surveys are another option, but they often don't produce the desired results because people are afraid to speak up or managers aren't receptive to employee concerns. Coworker appreciation software allows employees to give positive feedback in a way that is both encouraging and fun.

These programs are based on psychological principles like reciprocity. When you give something to someone else, they feel obligated to return the favor. These programs also allow employees to anonymously see who likes them or how often their coworkers interact with them through social media. This creates a fun environment of friendly competition and allows employees to more confidently speak up with suggestions or feedback.

Giving compliments to others, especially your coworkers, feels good. Coworker appreciation software is one way you can show appreciation for the people around you without breaking your budget or making a huge effort. Some software even provides pre-made graphics with coworker appreciation quotes!

One of the most streamlined software options out there is Matter, which is a free Slack app where coworkers can easily recognize each other and show their appreciation. Convenience is key; when employees don’t have to go too far out of their way to do something outside of their job description, they’re more likely to do it. Matter will make it easy to create a culture of appreciation within the company. You can look forward to seeing a more positive workplace culture and increased productivity as a result!

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