17 Ways to Show Employees Appreciation

It is a sad truth, but all too often employees hear only from the boss when they mess up or when it is time for the dreaded performance appraisal.

Employees should receive feedback more often about what they are doing right, than what they are doing wrong.  Emphasizing positive behaviors can reinforce them, and in doing so can minimize negative behavior patterns.

Employees are continually being asked to do more with less and this phenomenon means work environments need to be positive and nurturing – if the goal is to meet corporate objectives.

Managers need to pay attention to front line employees and do what they can to be a source of encouragement and support.   Often budget cuts reduce available dollars for rewarding employees leaving managers struggling to find creative ways to show appreciation to their staff.

Research shows that employees find personal recognition more motivating than money. This is evidence that employees appreciate the personal touch – thoughtfulness and recognition show true appreciation for a job well done.

Motivating and engaging employees can often be as simple as talking to them.  This might include letting them in on new things that are coming for the organization.  This can help get them excited and makes them feel like they are an active part of the organization.

17 Ways Managers Can Show Employees Appreciation

1.  If  you hear a positive comment about an employee, follow up and thank the employee.

2.  Schedule time to have coffee with an employee and just chat.  Show an interest in them and ask them questions about their personal life.  Employees like to know that someone genuinely cares about them.

3.  Acknowledge personal events in an employee’s life – wedding, birth of a child, death of a loved one.  This communicates that you are paying attention and have a genuine interest in them.

4.  Reserve a special parking spot, close to the door, for an employee who performs well.

5.  Reward a job will done with a day or half day off of work – with pay.

Employee Appreciation6.  Designate a page on the company website and share personal stories about employees.  This does two things: it recognizes the employee but it also personalizes the website for customers to see into the heart of the organization.

7.  Allow a good performing employee to take a long lunch hour to shop or run errands.

8.  Feature a stand out employee and use the employee’s picture on the company website.

9.  Reward an employee by asking them to help create a training video for customers or other employees.

10.  Send a high performing employee to a specialized training that would interest them.

11.  Send a gift home for an employee’s child’s birthday.

12.  Don’t forget the magic that comes with using someone’s first name – “Thank you Vicki, that was awesome how you handled that angry customer today”.

13.  Say hello to employees as you pass them in the hall or lunchroom.  Don’t forget to use their name.

14.  Acknowledge an employee’s good idea at a public meeting with other employees. “We are using Steve’s idea for an expedited shipping process for our customers.”

15.  Involve employees into planning meetings and incorporate their ideas into the decision making process.

16.  Write a personal thank you note to an employee – use a note card.  An email is better than nothing, but a personal handwritten note is something that employees appreciate and often keep.

17. Publicly acknowledge an employee’s personal accomplishment at a staff meeting or other gathering of employees.  This could be acknowledging completion of a degree program, holding a position on the PTA or involvement with a nonprofit organization. The closer the acknowledgement/reward to the behavior, the more likely the employee will be to repeat that desired behavior.

These are just a handful of countless ways to show appreciation to your employees.

Just remember, employees yearn for acknowledgment, acceptance and affirmation.  Schedule time to show your care and appreciation to employees, and watch their engagement and performance go up!

Patricia Lotich
by Patricia Lotich Founder of The Thriving Small Business. Patricia is an MBA and Certified Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence through the American Society for Quality. You can find her on Twitter @PatriciaLotich.