The 2021 Complete Guide on Employee Appreciation

‍Table of Contents:

What is employee appreciation?

Employee appreciation is the recognition of employee accomplishments, hard work, and dedication. It's making employees feel valued in their roles at your company. Employee appreciation encourages employee motivation in the workplace and helps employee morale remain high during tough times, when employee satisfaction has taken a nosedive. And it helps build a team culture where everyone is working toward the same goals. 

Why is employee appreciation important?

A corporate culture that includes employee recognition is powerful because it helps employees understand the value they have within an organization. This makes them feel appreciated, but also allows them to see their true worth. This, in turn, can lead to a positive employee experience and an increase in productivity, creativity, and motivation. In time employee appreciation will be seen as one of the most important assets for companies looking to grow themselves from being just an office entity into becoming a household brand name.

Employee appreciation ideas are important because they can help retain employees. If team members are happy with what they're doing, they're much more likely to stick around, and employee retention is the number one way for companies to maintain their competitive edge. A happy employee is a hard-working employee, and a workplace needs happy, hardworking employees to thrive. 

Employee appreciation strategies

How can a business start employee appreciation? A small business may choose from a variety of different employee recognition strategies and recognition ideas including handwritten notes of gratitude, regular lunch-and-learns or job shadowing experiences, or daily notes on company core values. A large company may choose to initiate peer recognition programs or bulletin boards to highlight jobs well done. 

Here are some staff member appreciation strategies that can help improve employee morale, and ultimately your bottom line:

  • Recognize good work via emails or handwritten notes.
  • Offer small rewards, like surprise desserts or in-office breakfasts.
  • Make social occasions out of staff member birthdays & other special days (doing this publicly goes a long way!)
  • Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day with public acknowledgment of employee contributions.
  • Include employee appreciation messages in company newsletters.
  • Create employee-of-the-month awards.

Employee appreciation statistics

Implementing these strategies is important! According to a Gallup poll on workplace engagement, only 14 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at their workplace. The remaining 86 percent don’t feel valued or appreciated, and they don’t feel that their work is recognized. The key to engaged employees is simple: create a company culture that highlights your team members' great work and encourages gratitude and appreciation.

Here are some more employee appreciation statistics that may surprise you:

A happy worker is a good worker, and employee retention is directly linked to the employee experience and, specifically, employee recognition.

Remote teams and employee appreciation

According to new research, remote workers are three times more likely than their office colleagues to feel under appreciated, while one in five employees working from home say they never get thanked for their efforts. This data suggests that team member appreciation is even more important when it comes to virtual offices and remote workers, and remote employee appreciation should be prioritized. 

This flies in the face of tradition, as staff appreciation has typically been reserved for those employees who work together in a common location. However, it's important to recognize employee contributions across the board, no matter where they're coming from.

Here are some employee appreciation strategies that can prove beneficial if you have work from home employees:

  • Use phone calls & webcams to talk with individual remote workers.
  • Have a virtual "happy hour" once a week (or month).
  • Send out regular email feedback, with an emphasis on virtual employee achievement and work that has been done right.
  • Use employee appreciation week to express gratitude on social media for the creative ways your remote work team gets things done.

Employee appreciation gifts

Sometimes employee appreciation is best shown through employee appreciation gifts. These employee rewards can be monetary or loyalty gifts that celebrate your staff that has gone the extra mile.

These employee recognition gifts don't necessarily have to be "expensive" to elicit a strong sense of employee happiness and loyalty, which can keep staff members around longer than you might expect.

Employee Stock Options (ESOPS) are another way employers show their employees they're valued. The more an employee feels like he or she is part of something important & meaningful, the longer that employee will stay with the company. This reduces turnover costs exponentially.

Employee appreciation messages

Employee appreciation messages should touch on exactly what makes them feel valued while also mentioning specific examples of how they've shown excellence at work. These can be employee appreciation emails, texts, or handwritten notes.

Here are some staff appreciation examples:

"You're great at your job and I appreciate the way you treat our customers."

"I'm so glad you found this information in time; it would've been tough to handle on my own. Thank you!"

"Thanks for cheering me up...you make life brighter!"

Feel free to add some employee appreciation quotes to further illustrate your gratitude!

An employee appreciation program could involve sending emails for a work anniversary, appreciation event, or employee appreciation day. Or considering fun strategies like visualized emails or mass texting to show how thankful you are. But recognizing employees with an email message doesn't have to be about any special event either, it could just be part of an employee recognition program meant to reward human resources and let staff know the company values their work and contribution.

Finally, employee feedback has become very important in determining employee engagement within teams so remember to get their honest opinions often too! 

Employee appreciation software

Some companies have created employee recognition software that helps businesses thank, recognize, and reward employees. One example of this kind of recognition platform is Matter, as an easy-to-use Slack app that makes sending kudos to your employees a habit. 

While software programs are not an end-all meet-all, they can play a vital role in creating a company culture of appreciation and recognition in which positive appraisal is part of the regular workday and in which every employee feels valued. 

Employee appreciation final tips

There are lots of ways to show employee appreciation. Sometimes it's the little things that make the biggest difference are a heartfelt thank you, a mention in the company newspaper, a handwritten note on their birthday or anniversary, or even just a cupcake! Your company may choose to celebrate national employee appreciation day or choose the first Monday of every week to highlight another employee. Whatever works best for you and your business, employee recognition is crucial in maintaining employee engagement and helping to boost productivity.

The time is now to show your employees that you care. Every team member matters, and if you're not showing staff how much they add to your organization, your competitors will! Show your gratitude for work well done, and don't let employee appreciation slip through the cracks.

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‌Cover Photo by
Jerzy Wierzy
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