Five Powerful Ways to Demonstrate Employee Appreciation

Posted in News, Insights, Motivational, Emotional Intelligence

Employee appreciation is one of the best ways to retain a high performing team and motivate a more productive workspace. Here’s how to show your employees you appreciate them.


  • True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotion to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person.
    - Linda Marshall, Author

Employees are your organization’s biggest asset. How you as a leader demonstrate employee appreciation will directly affect your bottom line. It’s been proven that empathy has a significant impact on productivity. 

How to Show Your Team You Appreciate Them, Marshall Connects

Emotionally effective leaders make it their business to get to know their team and use empathy to build strong relationships.

Let’s face it: the daily grind can impact your team, leaving them feeling unmotivated and unproductive.

Some days are harder than others for employees to get up and head into work with a smile on their face. It’s much easier when they know the organization, they work for cares about them.

(If you’re feeling like your productivity could use a boost, don’t miss this post)

In particular, their direct supervisor plays a significant role in motivating them to do their very best. It’s vital that you—as a leader—understand the powerful role empathy plays in helping team members be more productive.

What happens when we don’t feel appreciated?

I coach clients on a regular basis who are highly motivated leaders. They work hard, care about their team, and strive to show appreciation and willingness to go the extra mile.

However, I’ve heard many examples of employees feeling demoralized because they believe their hard work and dedication wasn’t recognized. This eventually starts to impact their work ethic, which is why realizing the value of implementing employee appreciation strategies is imperative.

Appreciation is a very human need that we must fulfill.

All human beings need to feel supported—it’s a basic need.

Your team needs to feel appreciated and believe their efforts are making a difference to the organization.

When leaders show their employees that they are valued by using empathy, employees (mostly) will go out of their way to accomplish the task at hand.

Practicing employee appreciation.

Here are five helpful tips for demonstrating employee appreciation:

  1. Show your team you care – go out of your way to provide them with evidence that you appreciate them. This includes things like coffee, lunch, thank you notes, emails, etc.
  2. Tell them often – telling employees you care once or twice is not enough. They need to feel appreciated on a regular basis in a variety of ways.
  3. Don’t expect perfection, it’s not possible - it’s not possible. No one is perfect, so expecting perfection is setting everyone up for failure. When a team member makes an error, handle the situation with respect and compassion. You’ll be surprised how positively this approach will affect the team member’s future performance and overall motivation as well as send a positive message to others. Instead of perfection, focus on excellence. Here’s how to shift your focus.
  4. Share employee wins with others – celebrate your team member wins with others (including your boss and at staff meetings). The more public praise and recognition employees receive, the more they’ll feel appreciated. It’s the management philosophy: Praise in public and criticize in private.
  5. Treat them with respect - did you know that only 15 percent of individuals feel respected and valued by their employers? It’s how you make people feel that makes the difference.
If you’re thinking something like, “I don’t have time for this! I have more important things to do!”. You’re wrong and are missing the point entirely!
Employee appreciation is one of the top three ways to successfully retain a high performing team. Find out the other ways here.

When leaders take the time to practice employee appreciation, morale and productivity will soar.


This article was originally published on October 6, 2018 and has been updated.

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