10 ways to express appreciation at work

10 ways to express appreciation at work

Showing gratitude to colleagues is the best way to encourage a happy workplace. Here are 10 ways how.

A manager has many opportunities to express appreciation for employees at work. Indeed, a positive work environment is one where communal efforts are highlighted on the daily.

A catalyst for retaining employees, a ‘thank you’ boosts team motivation. Many employees are more inclined to put increased effort into their work if they know it will be recognized by their employer.

Here are 10 proven ways to accomplish this.

1. Written words matter

As Horace once famously pronounced: spoken words fly away, written words remain.

Your appreciation will be even more meaningful if it is noted on paper.

Whether it is a handwritten message or personalized email, appreciation seems to be more heartfelt if you take the time to create it and write it down.

2. Be specific

Thanks is all well and good, but explaining reasons why is even better!

The next time you express your gratitude to a colleague, highlight their behaviour and, above all, explain how they made a difference to the organization.

The more specific your acknowledgement, the more motivated and connected employees will feel.

3. Quality over quantity

Authenticity is key for an appreciative gesture to be well received by its intended target. Your words will not ring true without it.

Your message should feel natural and not appear forced.

Promote quality rather than countless empty thank yous.

4. Even the quiet ones…

Some employees are less flamboyant, but their contribution is just as important to the success of your organization.

Do not overlook the quieter, more introverted team members and make sure to shower them with as many compliments as you do the more outgoing employees.

It is a way to demonstrate fairness and demonstrate that every employee is important and counts in your eyes.

5. Small victories too

A success is a success, regardless of its magnitude.

Highlight each and every time one of your team members does something that stands out.

There is nothing more demoralizing than working and having the sense of being surrounded by utter indifference.

6. Recognize the good, the bad and the ugly

Projects do not sometimes work out the way we planned, clients jump ship, deadlines are not respected… but your team’s level of effort stays the same and should be recognized.

Practice the art of positive reinforcement. Acknowledge your staff even after failures. You send a message that their efforts and learning are what matter most.

7. Check-in meetings

Schedule a meeting once a month that shines a spotlight on your employees.

Choose a positive element to acknowledge about each team member where you feel they really stood out.

There is nothing like individual recognition to bond a team and make each person aware of the key role they play within the organization.

8. Get to know them…

You know what they say about all work and no play…

Show some interest in your employees’ personal lives. Ask about their passions and what makes them tick outside of work.

Here is a unique way to show they are more than just an employee number.

This expression of interest is also an important team-building component as it fosters a sense of belonging.

9. Other forms of recognition

A formal acknowledgement is not the only way to show gratitude to your employees.

Ask them what they want, what they really, really want. You may be surprised by their replies and expectations that go well beyond an annual performance bonus.

Indeed, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts, 80% of employees would prefer a job with a lower salary, but better working conditions.

As we know, there are some things money can’t buy!

10. Make it a habit

It requires discipline and constant effort to express gratitude on a daily basis.

Regularly show that you recognize their success and commitment to your organization.

Like any other relationship, this fire needs to be continually stoked.