Employee Appreciation: 10 Ways To Show Appreciation To Employees

When it comes to keeping employees motivated and engaged with their work, there’s nothing more powerful than showing appreciation. Acknowledging your staff’s hard work can increase morale and boost productivity and loyalty within your organization. In this blog post, we will explore why showing appreciation is so important and some simple ways to show gratitude to your employees. So read on and learn how expressing appreciation for a well-done job pays off in the long run!

Benefits of Showing Appreciation to Team Members

There are many benefits to having happy and motivated employees, which is fueled when they feel appreciated.  Let us look at some of the benefits in more detail.

Improve productivity

Showing appreciation to team members can significantly impact their productivity – and, in turn, benefit the company. Making employees feel recognized and valued doesn’t take much effort, but it can pay off big time.

That’s why companies like Google actively give their employees extra rewards when they go above and beyond expectations. In addition to bonus pay, Google offers employees the opportunity to devote up to 20% of their work week to projects that are of special interest to the individual. This recognition for hard work boosts morale and encourages team members to put in extra hours, and ultimately increase productivity. In fact, for Google, this initiative lead to many well-known innovations, including Gmail and AdSense!

It’s a win-win: the company gets more output and the employee is rewarded for their efforts. Ultimately, demonstrating appreciation to team members can be an effective way to increase productivity and company success.

Keeps employees engaged

When it comes to keeping employees engaged, one of the best ways to do this is by showing appreciation and giving recognition. Employee recognition can come in many forms, such as bonuses, extra days off, or a peer shout-out. This recognition makes employees feel appreciated for their hard work and dedication.

I often survey the staff of the companies that I coach, and ask questions to determine if the employees feel their skills are fully utilized and appreciated. From entry-level to highly skilled workers, it never ceases to amaze me that an overwhelming majority of the workforce feels they have more to give, or that they are not acknowledged or appreciated for what they already do contribute.

What an oversight!

Thankfully it is one that is easy to remedy, by taking an active interest in each individual, so you better understand all that they have to offer. Then be intentional to express sincere appreciation for their contributions. It is guaranteed to build a more engaged team, where individuals know they are valued and feel fulfilled.

Increased morale in the company

Expressing appreciation to team members can go a long way in boosting morale. This is particularly important when working remotely, as giving recognition and feedback in this environment can be difficult.

Spotify sets a great example for this with their regular ‘Spotify Thanks’ days, where employees are reminded to pause and recognize each other’s hard work. This has positively impacted the company’s morale, as it boosts employee engagement, job satisfaction, and peer-to-peer relationships. Spotify also provides employees with regular chances to give feedback and voice their opinions, which shows that they value their employees’ ideas and contributions. Such initiatives prove that appreciation can make a big difference in the workplace.

Building a resilient and cohesive company culture

Showing appreciation to team members is essential to building a resilient and cohesive company culture. It helps employees feel valued, strengthens relationships between coworkers, and fosters collaboration.

Software giant SAP understands the value of appreciating its staff members. They created a program called “Acknowledge Your Peers” that allows employees to recognize the efforts of their co-workers. This recognition can come in the form of rewards or at special recognition events. By giving its employees opportunities to thank each other, SAP creates an environment where every member is encouraged to celebrate the hard work and contributions of others, and when each person gives recognition, it comes full circle as they also receive. This leads to a stronger culture and builds a resilient mindset in each individual.

employees party

Why is it Important to Appreciate Team Members?

One of the primary drivers of job satisfaction is when people know that what they do actually matters.

Showing your employees how much you value their contributions can be a great way to motivate them, boost morale, and ensure everyone is working together cooperatively and productively. Giving employees credit for their hard work, celebrating successes, and recognizing achievements all help reinforce a culture of trust and respect.

When employees feel appreciated, there is a direct correlation to job satisfaction, higher engagement levels, and ultimately better performance across the board. So recognize your team members and show them how much they mean to you!

10 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

There are endless recognition ideas that you can use to show you care about and appreciate your employees. Here are my top 10 employee recognition ideas.

1. Celebrate traditions

The Motley Fool is a great example of a U.S.-based company that created its own tradition. This multimedia financial-services company celebrates “Fool’s Day” every year, where employees switch roles for a day to understand and appreciate each other’s roles better. They also provide surprise treats, celebrations, and “Fooliversaries” to appreciate employees’ contributions.

If you’re looking for inspiration for employee appreciation ideas, why not follow The Motley Fool’s example by creating your own traditions? Showing your staff how much they mean to you, and helping them gain a greater appreciation for each other, is a great tradition to make sure every individual feels acknowledged and celebrated.

2. Thank your team publicly

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group of companies, is famously quoted as saying, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Branson frequently acknowledges his team publicly on social media and in interviews.

Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) and Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), run two of the most influential tech companies in existence, yet both are known for taking the time to publicly acknowledge their team during product launches or public events.

Perhaps you don’t have the media platform of these famous CEOs, but highlighting a team member in a social media post or acknowledging team members by name in a press release is a simple step that a CEO of any size company can take.

3. Give a financial incentive

One Asian company that excels at recognizing and rewarding its employees is Huawei. The Chinese tech giant has an incentive program to reward employees for reaching important milestones, such as creating a successful product or completing a project on time. Through this program, they give their employees financial incentives for their hard work.

If you’ve ever been a part of a tech company, you know that launch deadlines are frequently missed, or deliverables fail to meet expectations. So offering a financial incentive for on-time, quality work is a win-win. This communicates appreciation for the team’s efforts and encourages them to strive for excellence. In turn, this can boost morale, lead to increased productivity, and speed up sales cycles for the company.

emloyees learning

4. Participation in courses to upgrade knowledge and skills

Investing in employee development is an excellent way for companies to show recognition and appreciation.

LinkedIn does this well with its monthly ‘InDay’ (Investment Day), during which employees can spend time on personal projects and learning.

If you’re hesitant to make this level of financial investment into your team members, remember the words of Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company:

The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay. — Henry Ford

Investing in the knowledge and skills of your employees not only helps them fulfill their potential, but it shows them they are valued. This type of recognition helps foster a culture of growth and continuous improvement, and is sure to be embraced by your employees.

5. Ignore small mistakes

While many companies are doing a great job of showing their employees that their hard work is appreciated, they can quickly reverse the benefits of that praise by nitpicking when things go wrong.

Remember: Don’t major on the minors.

If the mistake is of minor consequence or is easily recoverable, just let it go. If you fear it might happen again, or that it could lead to a much bigger or more costly mistake, then take the time to help the employee learn from the experience and create a system to prevent it in the future. But it is important to do so with a lighthearted approach, free of shame and blame, which could inadvertently motivate many employees to try to cover up mistakes in the future.

By ignoring small mistakes you send a message that you trust the employee to do the right thing, and that they are competent to solve the problem and move on. Demonstrating that level of trust and care is essential to any successful business. It’s not just about rewards – it’s also about making them feel respected. Even if your company doesn’t have the resources of a big tech firm, you can still make an effort to ensure your employees are respected, and given the credit they deserve.

6. Create a rewards program for your team

If you’re looking for a memorable way to show your team they are appreciated, creating a rewards program is the perfect solution.

Many of my clients have developed rewards programs that allow employees to earn perks. Here are a few ideas of what you can reward for:

  • Receiving a shout-out from a peer
  • Receiving a shout-out from a customer (via email or an online review that references an individual by name)Demonstration of a core value
  • Exceeding expectations
  • Completion of a big project
  • Beating a deadline or beating the budget
  • Work anniversaries

So what should the rewards be?? Here are a few more examples from some of the companies that I coach:

  • Pass out a small gift (like a $1 lottery ticket or $5 voucher to the local coffee shop) for every nomination
  • Enter team members into a drawing for a larger prize once per quarter – like an iPad, or a weekend getaway
  • Reserve time in the team meeting once a month to let everyone who received a nomination draw from a prize box, where the prizes can range from a $10 gift card to a bonus day off
  • Let an extravagant trophy (and corresponding bragging rights) make the rounds, where the worthy recipient proudly displays the item on their desk (and usually posts about it on social media) until it gets passed on to the next weekly winner.

In short, there are endless ways to create a rewards program. The important thing is that it incentivizes the behavior that you most want to acknowledge and celebrate in your team members, and that it provides an accessible platform for managers to recognize hard work at all levels throughout the organization.

thank you team

7. Write a thank-you note

One company in Europe that gives their employees a heartfelt thank you is BMW. The German car manufacturer has a long-standing tradition of providing personalized thank-you notes to every employee, no matter how big or small their role may be. This acknowledgment from the higher-ups is an essential reminder for workers that they are known and valued at the company.

At BMW, every worker is asked to write down what they are thankful for each day and put it in a special box at the office. At the end of the week, these thank you notes get sent out from management with personalized messages to all who contributed. This small gesture goes a long way in showing that your employees matter and their work is not going unrecognized. It’s an excellent way for BMW to show their appreciation and give back to everyone who helps make the company successful.

At BMW, it’s clear that their employees come first! They understand how important it is to thank your team for their hard work and dedication. Writing thank you notes is a creative method to show employees that you are appreciative and recognize their efforts. It makes a meaningful impact on a very small budget!

8. Acknowledge accomplishments right away

While giving annual bonuses or shout-outs at monthly meetings is a great way to make your employees feel valued and appreciated, a robust employee recognition program doesn’t wait for such monumental occasions.

If you see someone doing great work, say something – right away! Don’t hesitate to pay compliments in the moment, whether publicly or in private. Create a culture of appreciation by making daily compliments and expressions of gratitude the norm. One day at a time and one employee at a time, you will give your team a truly valued gift – your sincere gratitude.

9. Offer additional paid time off for employees

In a society where stress is on the rise and burnout is far too common, don’t underestimate the value of allowing your employees time to recharge.

Google is known for offering additional paid time off for their employees, above and beyond the typical vacation pay, which helps them re-energize and shows how much the company values them. This makes it easy for employees to manage personal needs while maintaining an excellent work-life balance.

You might feel as if you can’t afford their absence with all the work that is to be done, but employees who feel rested and refreshed end up being more productive than those who tie themselves to the chair in an effort to crank out even more work. Energized employees are not only happier, but it’s likely that they’ll get just as much done (if not more) than if they never took time off in the first place.

lunch with your team

10. Buy lunch for your team

Consider hosting a team lunch if you want to give your employees something extra. One company, based in Mexico, gives all new employees 2 weeks of free lunch in the company cafeteria, which is how long it takes them to receive their first paycheck. This is their way of making the job transition easier for their new team members, and showing them that they are valued starting on day 1.

Other companies have less frequent but equally thoughtful gestures as part of their employee appreciation efforts – such as a monthly team luncheon, or an occasional happy hour after hours. There’s a special bond that takes place when a team gathers around a table for a meal or a birthday cake, and everyone can take a little time to relax and get to know each other. Besides, who doesn’t love a free lunch?

The Value of Showing Appreciation to Your Employees

Showing appreciation to your employees is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – but it can make a world of difference regarding employee morale and company performance.

One simple way to demonstrate your appreciation is simply recognizing your staff when they go above and beyond, either in their specific roles or in unexpected ways. When you take the time to identify an employee’s hard work, it can go a long way in motivating them and making them feel valued and appreciated.

You can show appreciation by taking your team out for lunch or dinner to thank them for their efforts or offering small incentives like gift cards or vouchers as rewards. Simple gestures can make a big difference in how employees feel about their jobs and how they view you as a manager.

Showing appreciation is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to boost employee engagement, increase productivity, and create a happier workplace. So don’t be afraid to show your staff gratitude – it will pay off in the long run!


What is the best message for employee appreciation?

Regarding employee appreciation, the best message speaks directly from the heart. A simple “thank you” or “we appreciate all of your efforts” can mean a lot. You can also offer specific recognition for particular achievements, citing positive character traits or values that you’ve observed in their actions. A handwritten thank-you card or small gift can also be a great way to demonstrate your appreciation and make employees feel appreciated. Ultimately, the best message for employee appreciation comes from the heart and expresses genuine gratitude for their contributions.

No matter how you show your gratitude to employees, the most crucial factor is that they feel appreciated and valued in their workplace. Gratitude can go a long way toward creating an engaging atmosphere where everyone feels supported and motivated to continue doing their best. So don’t forget to take the time to express your gratitude and show your employees that their hard work is appreciated!

How do you show appreciation to employees who work remotely?

Adequately expressing appreciation to remote employees can be challenging, but it just takes a little more intentionality! Here are some ideas for how you can recognize and reward your remote team:

  • Give out kudos publicly. Letting everyone know when someone has done a great job is a simple way to show your appreciation. You could do this by emailing the team or setting up a virtual bulletin board or Slack channel with shout-outs for everyone to see.
  • Send out small tokens of appreciation. A thank you card, a bouquet of flowers, or a gift card are all thoughtful gestures to show your gratitude for remote workers. You could also set up an online rewards program where people can redeem points for prizes like gift cards or cool company apparel.
  • Give extra time off. Remote work can be isolating and tiring, so taking spare time off is a great way to express appreciation for your team’s hard work. You could offer a bonus vacation day or let people shut down a little early before a holiday weekend.
  • Organize virtual events. Being remote doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun together! Get creative and organize virtual team events like online games, movie watch parties, cooking classes, or a happy hour. This is a great way to bond as a team and show appreciation for everyone’s hard work.

No matter what you do, it’s important to remember that showing appreciation for your remote workers is essential in maintaining morale and a positive and productive work environment. With a bit of creativity, it doesn’t have to be complicated!

By showing your appreciation for remote workers, you’ll create an even more engaged and motivated team, when people might otherwise feel isolated or disengaged. Plus, it will make everyone feel valued and appreciated for all their hard work. That’s why showing appreciation is always worth the extra effort!

How do you show appreciation for hard-working employees?

Showing appreciation for hard-working employees doesn’t have to be complicated and can often be as simple as a heartfelt “thank you.” But if you want to show your staff how much you care, here are some more staff appreciation ideas:

  • Give them time off – Whether it’s an extra day off or even just a few hours, giving your employees some time away from work can be a great way to show appreciation for their hard work, and they’ll likely come back refreshed and ready to take on the next challenge.
  • Take them out for lunch – A free meal is always appreciated! Showing up in person to buy your staff lunch is a great way to let them know that you appreciate their hard work and dedication.
  • Give them a bonus – A small cash bonus or gift certificate can be a simple but effective way to show your employees that you value their contribution and hard work.
  • Organize an appreciation day – Setting aside a day to celebrate your staff’s accomplishments is an excellent way to demonstrate your appreciation for the hard work they do every day.
  • Send personalized thank you cards – Nothing makes someone feel more appreciated than receiving a handwritten card that expresses your gratitude for their hard work, dedication, and character.
  • Offer recognition in front of their peers or community – Public recognition is a great way to show appreciation, Whether through an employee of the month award, a shoutout on the company’s social media channels, or simply acknowledging them in front of their colleagues at the next team meeting.

These are just a few ideas for showing appreciation for hardworking employees. Whatever you choose, ensure your staff knows their hard work and dedication is valued and appreciated. Employees who feel appreciated will be more likely to stay loyal and continue providing the best results possible. It’s important to remember that a bit of appreciation can go a long way!