Simple Ways to Increase Employee Recognition

You don’t need to wait for your regular performance appraisals to recognize employees. Demonstrating appreciation for your employees is critical for generating positive morale and increasing workplace effectiveness. According to a survey by, 69% of employees worked harder when they felt they were appreciated, and 54% would quit working at a company where they didn’t feel appreciated. While 56% of managers report that they felt their company was above average at employee appreciation, only 23% of employees felt the same - it’s time to learn seven simple ways to increase employee appreciation!

1. Be Specific with Praise: What did your employee do well? Identify not just the result, but the specific actions that lead to the success. Spelling out the details vs. saying “good job” is more sincere and will be much more appreciated. This approach also serves to provide a clear definition of success which will guide your employee’s future actions.

2. Be Polite: A heartfelt “thank you” demonstrates your appreciation for your employee’s hard work and contributions. Saying “please” and “thank you” to your employees creates an atmosphere of respect and a polite, civilized workplace is appreciated by everyone.

3. Express Interest: Questions about employees’ families, hobbies, and weekend events is generally welcome. A genuine interest in your employees will make them feel valued and engaged.

4. Make it Personal. Get to know your employees well enough to occasionally present a small gift of appreciation that is meaningful to them. It can even be as simple as a card if you know they’re celebrating a birthday, or to offer sympathy for a life event.

5. Be Social. Getting employees together for a lunch is a great way to encourage team building and communication. It can be a thoughtful way to recognize employees and celebrate successes as a group.

6. Bring Treats. Supplying morning coffee and doughnuts can be a huge hit with staff. Or if your employees are more health-conscious, go for cold-pressed juice and fruit. The idea is to offer something your employees will like and don’t expect - something that shows you were thinking of them.

7. Provide Opportunity. Your employees want to participate, contribute their skills, and learn. Is there a way you can include your employees at company meetings or events, or offer them new training? Your employees will appreciate that you’re willing to invest in them and will be more loyal and engaged as a result.

These are just seven ways that you can show your appreciation for your employees, but there are hundreds of other ideas you can use to bolster employee recognition and build a positive, productive workplace. Don’t let employee appreciation be scarce in your workplace – take the opportunity regularly recognize your employees and encourage them to do the same to each other.

Rodney Steele